Photo: Paul Rudderow
Technology is everywhere.
You wake up. You check your phone. You go downstairs. Check the TV. You probably drive a four wheeled, gas guzzling machine. Most likely, you use e-mails and internet at work or school to complete tasks. You come home, watch TV, eat dinner, maybe exercise with some machine that can help you. You check your emails, then go to sleep. On the weekends, you watch Philadelphia Union on TV or use a mode of transportation to get to the games.
It’s clear we use lots of technology.
If we use it so much, why don’t sports teams — especially the Union — take more advantage of it to to enhance game day experiences?
Think about the Philadelphia Union having an app that offers unique experiences to fans, which in turn, would help fill Talen Energy Stadium. They could offer raffles, sales on jerseys, unique on-field experiences like taking a penalty at halftime.
True, they already offer certain fan experiences, but if they further embrace technology, the Union would leapfrog other pro sports teams.
Imagine a young fan going to a Union game where he has a chance to go out on the field just by throwing his name in an app. Before the game starts, the PA announcer tells fans to check their phones to see if they won. This young fan realizes he won, and at halftime he gets to go out on the field for 5 minutes to take a PK against the backup keeper.
Now, let’s say he goes to the Linc or Citizens Bank Park, where they don’t offer similar experiences. He goes and watches the game but doesn’t feel super connected. Which one is he more likely to attend?
Although we use technology everyday, many people will say, “We shouldn’t look at our phones during a game, you’re there to have a fun time watching the game.” I completely agree with them.
But if the Union can take the time to produce this sort of game-day experience every weekend, I would bet a mortgage that attendance would increase.
I’ve had the awesome experience of taking the first kick. I’ve also been on the field as a player escort and a ball boy. I once asked Amobi Okugo if I could just go on the field for a couple minutes while the stadium was empty, and he brought me on. I want young kids to have these same experiences.
We shouldn’t sit at a Union game in front of our phones, but this is the 21st century. Adapt!
Fans feel connected to the teams for a reason. The Union can grow their franchise however they wish, but to offer fan-focused apps would bring in more revenue and more fans.