Last year many predicted the rise of second screen, but few foresaw how much it would dominate the social media landscape. The biggest social media moments of 2012 coincided with live televised events (Super Bowl, Grammys, VMAs), proving that second screen was no passing fad. In 2013, sports brands and teams will find new and more powerful ways to reach fans and consumers through second screen capabilities.
Sporting events are the last bastion of live TV viewing, thus the industry has eagerly adopted second screen technology. From Coke’s Polar Bowl to Xbox’s ESPN and NBA Game Time app, brands realize how important mobile and tablets have become to the sports viewing experience. Recent data from Trendrr shows that 31% of social TV conversations came from sports. What better time to reach engaged consumers than when they are watching a game and chatting with friends? Here are some of our predictions on how sports brands will take second screen to the next level in 2013.
In-Stadium Second Screen Activations
The one drawback to attending games in today’s connected world is being disconnected. Next year more sport venues will invest in technology that allows fans at the game to participate in the online activities they do at home — blending the two for the ultimate fan experience. Stadiums around the world are frantically ramping up Wi-Fi bandwidth and implementing equipment to display relevant social media. This will encourage fans to interact with other fans online while at the game. For example, Sporting Kansas City’s stadium offers over 200 Wi-Fi hot spots and a 550 square feet HD video board that fans can interact with through Twitter. Fans can also download the Sporting Explore app to view in-game content, play trivia, or “check-in” to earn credits that can be used towards in-stadium and online purchases.
Besides upgrading stadium technologies, sports teams and brands are looking to mobile apps to enhance the fan experience and the bottom line. One game changer to keep your eye on in 2013 is Pogoseat. This innovative app offers live event seat upgrades so fans can get closer to the action. Unsold ticket inventory is dynamically priced based on a variety of factors and Pogoseat’s early partnerships with Stanford athletics and the Golden State Warriors have delivered promising results. Attending fans can simply open the app, find an empty seat, purchase the upgrade, and the tickets are delivered straight to their phone. Look to see mass adoption of Pogoseat by professional teams as well as some unique brand activations to surprise and delight fans at the game.
At-Home Second Screen Activations
Somewhere between 75% and 85% of viewers use other devices while watching TV (depending on which study you look at). Fans watching sports at home are constantly checking other scores, fantasy standings, and talking to friends on social networks using their smartphone or tablet. Here are some of the apps that will break away from the pack in 2013:
- SportStream. This iPad, iPhone, and desktop web app delivers a personalized feed of relevant analysts, athletes, and fans engaging with the same content. Its clean interface makes it easy to view messages, update your status, and switch between games. Recently the company launched Facebook integration, which pulls in relevant News Feed posts from a user’s friends who are watching and engaging with the same game. Athletes like Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry have already joined the SportStream community to share in the game-viewing experience.
- Spogo. Spogo takes predictive gaming one step further, asking fans to put their money where their mouth is. Fans use the app to wager on what’s going to happen — not for money, but for points that can be exchanged for prizes. The app already has 50 prize-awarding partners, consisting of mostly sports bars that award free beer and food. Spogo currently only covers football in New York and Boston, but is looking to expand into more cities across the major sports. We see great partnership potential with Spogo and sports brands.
- TBS Social Dugout. Powered by the social TV gaming platform provider Kwarter, this iPhone app rewarded fans for watching the MLB Playoffs last October. Fans using the app answered predictive questions based on what’s happening in the game, awarding points for each correct answer. Users could also set up private rooms to play and chat with friends. While built specifically for MLB, we predict more leagues, teams, and TV networks will partner with Kwarter to white label this technology and introduce new ways to engage fans during games.
Near field communication (NFC) has been around for nearly a decade, but held back by the lack of enabled devices. However, NFC-enabled devices jumped up to 100 million shipped last year, a significant increase from the 2 million devices sold in 2010. An estimated 300 million NFC-enabled devices are predicted to ship in 2013 and the billion-device mark is set for 2015 (50% of smartphones). Looks like NFC’s time to shine is now. Besides smartphones, NFC chips will also be included in Nintendo’s new gaming consoles, the Wii U, as well as connected TVs, headphones, and other electronic devices.
This wireless technology allows consumers to view customized rich media, receive targeted special offers, share their experiences, and make purchases via mobile. We predict you’ll see sports marketers experimenting with NFC in 2013, particularly in the area of mobile payments by turning your phone into a digital wallet.
The past few years have witnessed some innovative activations from Vail Resorts, ASICS and the Tampa Bay Lightning using NFC’s close friend, RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency Identification. RFID works with a longer range of several feet, but is limited in capabilities compared to NFC such as the ability to make mobile payments.
Check back here Monday for Part 3 of the our 2013 predictions series, where we’ll tackle “Big Data”. Do you agree with these predictions for second screen this year? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
This post is a part of Activ8Social’s 3-part series of predictions for sports social media for 2013. Over this series, we will delve into the specific tech and digital trends that we foresee as being big for sports marketers this year. Check out part 1 about content marketing here.