Blackpool’s AR Match Programme is the Future of In-Stadium Engagement

This weekend, League One side Blackpool became the latest club to use augmented reality in their matchday programme.

It seems to be the new trend among football clubs trying to jazz up their matchday output for their fans who come to the games, and the use of an augmented reality video in the programme is certainly one way of doing just that.

In a way, it’s a little bit of a gimmick. Augmented reality is the new kid on the block when it comes to technology. The success of Pokemon Go last year showed how well the platform can take off, but it’s all about channeling that popularity into something which have more long-term benefits or success.

And when it comes to sporting events and matchdays, we might have found a particularly good use case.

When fans attend events these days, one of the problems is connectivity in all its forms. For one thing, stadium WiFi – certainly in the UK – often leaves a lot to be desired, and 4G signals tend to be too blocked up to use.

There’s also the problem that whenever you’re at a game, you have to go without the stats and social media conversation that you’d be able to get at home. That’s why technologies like AR, when used in a matchday setting, can really add something, creating an experience which is a peculiar one to the event you’re watching. And perhaps that’s where emerging tech like AR is put to best use in sport.

Over the years, the TV cameras have become better and more numerous, whilst broadcast coverage has become more nuanced. Whereas going to the game used to be the pinnacle, now watching the analysis of the likes of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher on TV is often more rewarding. It’s up to sports teams to change that, and technology which brings fans something different and new when they attend a game is surely the best way of doing that.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 420 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and a regular contributor to Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan91

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