Telecommunications giant EE have recently signed a deal to become Wembley Stadium’s top-tier partner.
The six-year deal will see EE assist in making Wembley one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world, including mobile ticketing, improved WIFI, and enhanced mobile network services. Also, a free app will provide live content and information to fans attending events.
This follows a trend discussed in the Momentum ‘Data in Sport’ Trends Across the Planet piece, where stadia across the planet are seeking to enhance the experience their venue can offer by increasing connectivity and technological capacity for attendees.
Certain venues have expressed concerns in the past regarding the challenge of delivering a system that can cater for info-hungry fans, while at the same time ensuring this system doesn’t detract from the focus on the sporting spectacle, as fans spend time on their mobile device, as opposed to viewing or supporting the game.
However this move from Wembley, which will enable fans to receive live, relevant and useful data at their seat (including travel updates), is likely to spell a change of thinking in UK stadia. We believe that the concept is good and will catch on throughout the country, but only if the content is relevant and engaging and not ungrounded corporate plugging.
Some had believed Wembley would be renamed under the agreement (http://bit.ly/1dQgpvx), but this was never likely to materialise due to Wembley’s sacred history, and the FA’s unwillingness to discolour that. It is likely however that as this trend develops other stadiums will opt for greater relationships with telecommunications companies, in order to capitalise on their infrastructural support while minimising the associated costs