NFL and the Stadium Experience

Just a quick thought on today’s comments by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as reported by Gregg Rosenthal on NFL.com . Rosenthal highlights Goodell’s comments as follows:

  • The focus at the NFL Spring Meeting was clear: It was on the stadiums. We knew Super Bowl L and LI were awarded to San Francisco and Houston, respectively, in large part because of their new stadiums, but the conversation went beyond that.
  • “We spent a great deal of time on the stadium experience,” Goodell told reporters Tuesday.
  • The league also approved a multiyear agreement with Microsoft in an effort to enhance the game for teams and fans. The league approved the Atlanta Falcons‘ new stadium, and renovations for the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers‘ homes. Goodell wants to “solve the wi-fi” problem around the league.
  • Stadiums that are not state of the art, like Miami’s Sun Life Stadium, are being left behind.
  • “I did have a few owners who expressed to me privately that the condition of the stadium was an important factor,” Goodell said in reference to South Florida’s failed Super Bowl bids.

What else are teams doing to enhance the in-venue experience, for all fans? I’m hearing nothing about data and data integration. Until they provide customer intimacy through surprise and delight, in real time, the fan’s value proposition will continue to be compromised.

And competition from the couch will continue to become a bigger issue.

The Building Blocks of Customer Intimacy

As customers/fans gain more control and power through personal technologies, they will demand that they, not your product, become your focus. The days of depending on your product, or for sports, their on-field product, to carry the day and maintain long-term customer loyalty and spending are long gone. Ask any customer/fan and they’ll tell you most retailers/teams and venues deliver an experience that is lacking in personal relevancy and intimacy.

Customers/Fans have deep emotional relationships with the favorite teams/retailers. The following chart highlights the building block nature of how Relationships are built.

As with any relationship, it must be a reciprocal, two-way relationship to last over any extended period of time. As we all know, infatuation may be fun, but it is fleeting.

So how do you create experiences that are personal and are intimate? Experiences that are truly awesome? We believe the following matrix provides guidance.

Understand the customer/fan journey and then surprise and delight them by creating relevant engagement and experiences in real-time. When you create these experiences based on their actions right at the “moment of truth”, you will create the emotional meaning, connections and memories that deepen relationships and lifetime value.

Are your systems ready to deliver the real-time engagement and management functions your customers and fans are demanding?