Why digital experience is key to driving live sports attendance

A new report suggests that today’s sports fan is demanding more from their game day experience than ever before.

With mobile devices in hand, sports fans are conducting more and more online activities while at the game, including accessing information and social sharing, which make network connectivity crucial—not just a nice-to-have. The report, Connected Sports Fans 2016 which was commissioned by Avaya and conducted by Spider Marketing, is based on 5,000 sports fans from the UK, USA and Australia who have visited a stadium within the last 12 months and own a mobile device.

The spirit of the sports community is going digital as fans move away from being passive spectators towards live engagement and broadcasting. Standard mobile features like cameras for videos and photos, social media apps, and instant messaging have changed the way sports fans engage with their teams and each other during live stadium events. The data indicates that 89% of fans take pictures of others while at a game, 71% take selfies, and a whopping 89% of 18 to 24 year-olds create videos when they visit a stadium.


The shift from viewer to broadcaster is most evident when digital behavior within particular age groups is observed: 90% of 18 to 34 year olds admitted to posting on social media while at the stadium. And it’s the younger generation who is sharing their experiences with an ever wider audience, as they will post content more publicly compared to the next generation of fans who selectively share.

Key Findings

 Almost three-quarters of 18 to 34-year-olds said receiving real-time updates on athlete performance would improve their experience

 Fans desire digital features to help address some of their biggest frustrations: queues for food, pricing information, convenience and crowd management being high priorities

● 70% of respondents stated that receiving special offers relating to food and merchandise on their mobile devices would improve their experience of the game

 63% would like video replays of game events on their mobile device

 75% of fans use digital game boards to get information; however, more than half of respondents have at some point used other digital sources for information, including the web, dedicated apps and social media

The digitally connected fan is becoming a venue’s biggest online influencer. The trend for public postings, particularly within the 18-34 year-old age group, is a sign of far more user-generated content to come in the future. Stadiums can take advantage of this public broadcasting to increase visibility, enhance team support and drive interest for future live attendance of events.

To satisfy the digital fans’ high expectations, stadiums need to create an integrated digital experience that uses online solutions to generate higher attendance. What’s more, stadium apps with video and social features, digital offers direct to mobile phones and game information on digital boards can increase fan engagement and generate new revenue opportunities.

Download the full report.