Monday, April 8, 2013

Ghosts, Moonlight Graham, and the Fan Experience

During the movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner’s character Ray Kinsella sees Moonlight Graham’s statistics on the scoreboard while watching a game at Fenway Park. Kinsella soon realizes that a ghost is responsible for that information, and nobody else in the ballpark sees it besides him.

Now 24 years since the movie debuted, are we approaching the day when sports venues display personalized content on the video board?

While it’s currently impossible for each fan to view different content on the same scoreboard, personalized statistical content would benefit fans, clubs, and brands/sponsors. Why should I have to view meaningless items like “Pujols has gone 2-for-3 lifetime against pitcher A?” On the other hand, I’d like to see stats like win expectancy and left/right splits that have a major impact on the game.

Mobile apps provide one solution. However, do teams want thousands of fans looking down at their devices? Fortunately, there are other alternatives.

1)      Teams could dedicate one of their smaller video boards to advanced statistical content. A tech/data-related company would jump at the chance to sponsor this feature to build its brand. 

2)     Fans in luxury boxes could choose between content options like “old school stats”, “advanced metrics”, or “fun and games” on their video screens. All three could share the screen with the game’s live video feed. 

3)     One inning per game, clubs could show advanced statistical content on the big screen.

All three approaches offer great sports sponsorship activation opportunities. Best of all, they make the game far more interesting for the fan.

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