Technology Helping Sports Hospitality Re-Discover Its Mojo

Whilst reading the fantastic Partnership Activation newsletter (sign up for if you haven’t already for some great sports activation/branding news) put together by my friend Brian Gainor.  I came across something that really stood out and made me take notice.

On the Sports Technology section there was an item relating to the new hospitality experience being enjoyed by McLaren F1 hospitality guests this season.  So, what have they done that is so ground breaking?

In a market that has run stale with companies cutting back on their hospitality expenditure, there is a need to be different and offer a more exclusive and exciting experience to those attending.  Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (VMM) have used a company called Marvellous who have built a fantastic mobile app for them that really is worth taking note of for all those in the sports hospitality industry.

The brief was to mix the need to enhance and prolong the hospitality experience with the showcasing of cutting edge technology that the team, and the sport, embody.  I think they achieved this and more.

The ‘VMM Guest Hospitality App’ is downloaded to guests handsets before F1 events and, by utilising barcode scanning technology, gives guests secure entry to the Paddock Club with exclusive F1 content, including race schedules, location map, driver profiles, guest contacts and even a city guide featuring the coolest bars and places to go.

The Augmented Reality App allowed guests to aim their handset cameras around the track to pick up dynamic content and info, based on image recognition.   This is a great use of the technology and it fits so well with the sports profile and the famous F1 track experience.

Jon Carney, Marvellous chief executive, said: “The android platform gave us the opportunity to enhance the guest’s user experience, by allowing us to incorporate features such as real-time ticket scanning and checking- in, as well as augmented reality of McLaren’s garage, bringing it to the forefront of leading technology.”

You can see why it stood out so much for me and will set the benchmark for others I am sure.  Imagine, it can easily work within football stadiums, on Cup Final days, within the Olympics, Athletics World Championships…. any major event or stadium. 

Wimbledon had a similar app this year that was in partnership with their technology partner IBM.  Technology is becoming more prevalent within the sports hospitality industry and means it could regain some of the lost sparkle that being a VIP should have.

Have you used the VMM Guest Hospitality App or the Wimbledon one?  Or do you know of other uses in this way of technology within the sports industry?

Love to hear your views as always

About author

Daniel McLaren
Daniel McLaren 820 posts

Dan is the Founder & CEO of Digital Sport. Can be found at sports industry events and heard every week on the Digital Sport Insider podcast. @DanielMcLaren

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