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  • Writer's pictureJean Marc van Rijswick

Digital revolution in football : the fan experience takes on a new dimension

Sports clubs and stadiums have become businesses like any others.


To grow their business, they need to stand out from the crowd and offer innovative services. The fan experience is key to developing their business. This is where digital technology comes in. It's the perfect ally to offer ever more to an increasingly demanding public.


But how does this translate into reality?


Originating in the American sports leagues, the fan experience aims to encourage fans, supporters or spectators to attend sporting events and use the services offered before, during and after the match. The ultimate aim is to win their loyalty and turn them into true ambassadors.


To achieve this, clubs and stadiums play on the public's feelings, emotions and attachments to encourage them to consume.


  1. Promising opportunities for football fans in the USA

Photo by The Glimpse Group. Source: https://www.theglimpsegroup.com/case-studies/bringing-dallas-cowboys-players-and-fans-together-with-augmented-reality


When attending a sporting event in the United States, it's clear that spectator satisfaction is the number one priority. Doors open hours in advance for tailgating and other sponsored activities, as is the case at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Numerous restaurants also accompany these events, along with concerts, rides and shows. The people who work in stadiums are generally called "Guest Experience" rather than stewards or hosts, to further amplify their need for customer satisfaction.


The football fan experience is undergoing a major transformation, with new opportunities on the horizon to deliver even more captivating experiences. By focusing on inclusion, personalization, technological innovation and engagement with fans, football organizations in the U.S. can increase audience satisfaction and drive growth. Let's take a look at these opportunities in numbers, which will shape the future of the fan experience.


According to a study by Grand View Research in 2021, the sports fan experience market in the United States was worth around $3.97 billion. However, this value is set to increase significantly, reaching $10.7 billion by 2028. This meteoric growth reflects football fans' growing interest in more immersive and engaging experiences.


In terms of revenue generated by sporting events in the United States, a study by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) predicts a steady increase in the coming years. In 2022, revenues are expected to reach $78.5 billion, rising to $81.1 billion in 2023 and $83.6 billion in 2024. This testifies to fans' growing enthusiasm for the sport and opens up promising prospects for the football fan experience.


Among sports in the United States, football occupies a leading position, with an annual budget of $16 billion in 2021. It is followed by basketball with $8.3 billion, baseball with $4.4 billion, and ice hockey with $4.1 billion. These figures demonstrate the scale of investment in football and the opportunity to develop exceptional experiences for fans of this exciting sport.


Personalization is a key element in enhancing the fan experience. By using fan data, organizations can provide tailor-made offers. According to one study, spending on personalized sports experiences has increased by 9% per year, offering considerable potential for football organizations to attract and retain a diverse audience.


When it comes to technology, innovation plays a crucial role. Mobile apps, streaming platforms and augmented/virtual reality experiences offer new possibilities for football fans. By 2025, the fan experience technology market is expected to reach a value of $14.49 billion, opening up exciting prospects for more immersive and interactive experiences.


Finally, engagement with fans is essential to strengthening the bond between teams and their audiences. A study by Statista reveals that 74% of football fans want to interact directly with players and teams. Special events and opportunities to meet players in person allow fans to experience memorable moments and strengthen their attachment to their favorite team.


In conclusion, the football fan experience is booming in the United States, offering significant opportunities for organizations in the sector. By focusing on inclusion, personalization, technological innovation and engagement, these organizations can not only meet the growing expectations of fans but also boost their growth and consolidate their position in the sports world.



2. College football: a lucrative market


College football continues to flourish in the United States, with ever-increasing budgets. According to recent data, each NCAA Division 1 team spends an average of no less than $23 million on its football program. This figure, which has been rising steadily for the past two decades, testifies to the importance attached to the sport within universities.


An in-depth study reveals that the top 10 college football teams have an average budget in excess of $40 million. These impressive figures demonstrate the scale of investment in this field. Nearly $9 billion is spent each year by all NCAA Division 1 universities.


Of this expenditure, around 35% is allocated to a department that could benefit from the products offered by Technology Based Magic. In fact, these investments are earmarked for various aspects of the college football program, such as facilities, recruiting and game-related costs. This positions the company as a key player in meeting the needs and requirements of these departments.


There's no denying that football, at both university and professional levels, represents a real opportunity. The figures speak for themselves, with substantial and ever-increasing budgets. However, in order to maximize its potential, the company has identified other events and locations that are ideal for implementing its products.


These additional opportunities include major national college football competitions, such as the national championship playoffs and prestigious bowl games. These events bring together thousands of passionate fans and offer exceptional visibility for partner brands.



In addition, university football stadiums, often emblematic and with a large capacity, represent another privileged venue for Technology Based Magic. The sporting events held there attract large crowds, creating an environment conducive to the promotion of the company's products.


In France, however, this is not always the case. There is a stark contrast between the two countries, which has a major impact on France's ability to attract new audiences.

Spectators are rarely offered preferential treatment unless they hold a special ticket reserved for companies rather than genuine fans. During the pandemic, some clubs, such as Girondins de Bordeaux, took advantage of this unfortunate situation by organizing various events dedicated to the fan experience. One of these was a Fan Club of around 20–30 people who greeted fans at the entrance to the match.

While this is a step forward in audience engagement, it has yet to show its full potential.


To improve the experience in France, as well as the overall fan experience at sporting events, the use of digital tools must become dominant in stadiums.

Digitization will simplify the pre-game experience while enhancing all aspects of the game itself. There are a plethora of ways to implement telecommunications in stadiums, but it is still possible to stand out technologically from the rest.


3. Holios: redefining the fan experience with interactive holograms


To meet this challenge, we created Holios.


There are many ways to create the illusion of holograms, but our main aim at Technology Based Magic is to create an experience that is more than just a floating image illusion.


We create holographic displays that blur the line between illusion and interactive reality.


With Holios, fans can enjoy an unforgettable experience.


Imagine the joy and excitement on fans' faces as they engage in interactive conversation, take virtual selfies and create memories that will last a lifetime.


With Holios, every fan becomes a VIP, every interaction a precious moment.

And it's not just the fans who benefit from its presence.

Holios is there to welcome companies, to showcase their logos and to create a seamless integration of brand identity into your club's environment. At any given moment, it can adapt and evolve, to keep your club at the forefront of innovation, always pushing back the boundaries of what's possible.

But let's not forget the heritage and legacy that make clubs special.

It's possible to add a new dimension to a club's museum and hall of fame. Thanks to a holographic presence, the stories of the past come to life, the heroes of yesteryear are resurrected in their prime, and the glorious moments in your club's history are redefined for a new generation.


Thanks to Holios, spectators can enjoy the ultimate fan experience.


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