Smart Ball

Posted by Ken Lynch on Wed, Oct 06, 2010 @ 12:34 PM

RFID Will Help Deliver the Fan Experience of the Future

Contactless Payment KioskWith the Major League Baseball playoffs ready to kick off, what better time to cover the potential uses of RFID in sports.  The use of new technology is nothing new to this market.  Think instant replay, the Telestrator and race car cams.  With recent advances in wireless and mobility technologies however, we’re now entering new era of technology use in sports venues.  New stadiums are being built with a variety of wireless and mobile services, many of which may include RFID, to streamline operations and deliver a personalized fan experience.

Here are a few to consider:

RFID tags in tickets to improve ticket processing, venue access and reduce ticket counterfeiting.

RFID-enabled loyalty cards and retail infrastructure (see Yankee Staduim conctless payment kiosk above) for point-of-sale automation and on-the-spot retail promotion.

Automated access control, personalized greeting and service delivery for VIPs.

Delivery of live and replay video and data pushed to mobile devices based on personal identification and location.

Personalized location-based messaging delivered on smart displays, including special offers during the event and real-time traffic updates after the event.

Location based fan experience sharing and engaging with friends, sports teams and professional athletes on social networks.  (See previous posts RFID Predictions and Shredding it with Sensors for examples).

Sports teams are investing significant dollars to create the next big thing in fan experience and today’s wireless and mobility technologies allow for a new level of personalized fan involvement.  Check out the expansive use of Cisco communication technologies at the new Yankee Stadium to provide fans with a more interactive, personalized and immersive sporting experience.  As advertised by Cisco, this infrastructure is architected to integrate video, voice, data and wireless services into a seamless next generation network that transcends sports operations.

With an estimated 50 billion smart cards in use by 2015 and RFID finding its way into sports tickets and other venue services, what impact will RFID and related technologies have on the way that stadiums operate?  What are the benefits that businesses and fans can expect to gain from using RFID-based solutions?

Tags: RFID, Sports & Entertainment, Cisco, New York Yankees

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