Sports season is in full swing across Australia, with stadiums across the country alive with energy and excitement. But in today’s digital-first environment, are sports marketers doing enough to attract, engage and inspire the next generation of sporting fans? One of Australia’s leading marketing platforms, XRii takes a closer look…
The sports digital revolution is here
The digital revolution is undeniably transforming the live sports and entertainment experience. It’s ushering in unprecedented access, interactivity and engagement with the rise of virtual venues and concerts enabled by AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) technology, the growing popularity of Esports and the emergence of NFTs, among other innovations.
In fact, Australia’s sports technology sector is now worth AUS$4.25 billion, putting it equal in value with the country’s financial technology sector, according to a recent study by the Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN).
XRii, one of Australia’s leading marketing platforms that revolutionises brand engagement and conversions through cutting-edge interactive solutions, has revealed how the following sports clubs are creating innovative and impactful digital experiences with experiential marketing that drive results.
Established in 1989, Perth Heat has emerged as one of the most accomplished teams in the Australian Baseball League, boasting an impressive history with a record 15 Claxton Shields and a track record of nurturing players who have gone on to Major League Baseball.
Looking for innovative ways to enhance fan engagement, Perth Heat turned to XRii to develop a customised app, which facilitated a AU$50,000 cash giveaway, enabling data collection and rewarding users with in-app incentives. The seamless integration of XRii’s AR technology with digital campaigns and in-venue experiences led to impressive results, including:
- • 60% app downloads converted to user sign ups
- • 75% app users entered into the AU$50,000 promotion
- • 76% vouchers collected
- • 95% vouchers redeemed
The integration of XRii technology not only fostered greater engagement with fans and sponsors on game day but also opened new avenues for revenue generation for both the club and its partners.
Founded in 1904 to provide unity among national soccer associations, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is arguably the most prestigious sports organisation in the world.
To keep pace with its winning reputation and exceed fans’ expectations, FIFA continues to push the boundaries of innovation and deliver unparalleled experiences. In 2022, it released FIFA+, an AR app that offers viewers immersive content via mobile devices to bring the action to fans wherever they are, which is sure to bring even more excitement to FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand this year.
The completely free platform features a host of immersive and engaging features. A few highlights include:
- • Full tournament coverage, with an industry-leading live blog running non-stop, capturing the sights, sounds, atmosphere and energy of the world’s biggest football celebration.
- • Official highlights, with each and every match recapped within minutes of the final whistle and all the thrills, drama and emotion available to fans in every corner of the globe – with a version available to watch in sign language as well.
- • FIFA+ Stadium experience, allowing fans in the stadium to experience the action in new ways with a live AR overlay of stats, heat maps, insights, different camera angles, VAR replays and more.
Formed in 1903 to foster unity among baseball enthusiasts worldwide, MLB (Major League Baseball) stands as a symbol of excellence in sports. Continually pushing the boundaries of innovation and aiming to exceed fan expectations, MLB recently debuted its immersive ‘MLB All-StAR Scavenger Hunt’ this July, bringing the game to life like never before.
The first-of-its-kind MLB scavenger hunt cleverly engaged fans, earning participation and gaining valuable customer information that could be further used to personalise experiences by:
- • Offering fun prizes: World Series tickets, signed baseballs, a batting practice experience and All-Star-themed apparel were up for grabs.
- • Unlocking creative AR experiences: Using Snapchat to scan designated, hidden Snapcodes at various locations, fans could unlock innovative AR experiences.
The NFL (National Football League) is not only a prominent professional sports league in the United States and Canada but also the pinnacle of American football worldwide. It sets the benchmark for innovation among sporting clubs.
To enhance the NFL experience, the league introduced an app with augmented reality (AR) features. Fans can use their cameras to create and share images, incorporating virtual helmets and eye black, on social media platforms.
The 2023 Super Bowl is a testament to the club’s ongoing commitment to pushing boundaries with innovative partnerships and technology usage, including:
- • Avocados From Mexico partnered with ChatGPT to create an immersive campaign during Super Bowl 2023. Leveraging AR and ChatGPT technologies, they launched a digital platform called “Always Good” that allowed users to engage in various online experiences, including:
- – A music toolkit that generates personalised tracks based on the user’s Spotify account.
- – AR capabilities on Instagram, enabling users to trigger specific sounds with different facial expressions.
- – A ChatGPT section for generating and sharing Tweets
- • A collaboration with Roblox to develop a series of virtual experiences, including:
- – “Super NFL Tycoon” game, which allows users to experience owning an NFL team, undertaking tasks like drafting players, building an “Intuit Stadium” and managing finances, payroll, taxes and customer acquisition with the assistance of Intuit’s products
- – A virtual concert for the NFL’s Super Bowl LVII pregame, featuring musician Saweetie.
Game-changing tactics for your next sports marketing campaign
According to Matthew Endresz, CEO and founder of XRii, the impact of the digital revolution goes beyond enhancing the quality and accessibility of live events. It is also reshaping the business landscape of sports and entertainment, generating new and innovative business models.
Says Endresz: “The integration of technology has opened up a plethora of revenue streams, allowing for monetisation opportunities that were previously untapped. To truly capitalise on this exciting time and this massive opportunity, sports clubs must evolve. They have to ensure sports remain captivating for the next generation of fans whilst keeping the current state of sports fandom strong.”