David ChavezOctober 09, 2018

Mobile Data, Digital IDs, and Identity-as-a-Service in the Sports World

We are long past the digital revolution. 21st-Century technology and solutions are deeply embedded in both our personal and professional lives. The world of sports and fan engagement is no exception. A plethora of venues, organizations, and brands now provide enhanced digital capabilities to engage audiences in new, innovative ways—often in a mobile environment. In addition to more robust customer experiences, digital interactions generate data that can be analyzed and converted into actionable insights.

Sports clubs, stadiums, venues and event centers are developing more personalized, emotional and engaging campaigns for their fans, from the moment they buy tickets. People attending live events now expect to be engaged not just by physical elements at the venue, but across digital channels as well. This could include social media, mobile apps and services, web platforms, and even conventional communication channels like text or email.

Improving the Customer Experience with Mobile Ticket Authentication

Mobile is a particularly interesting opportunity. A customer could purchase a ticket via their mobile device. Gain access into—and out of—the venue with the digital ticket. Pre-purchase amenity access or goods. Receive special offers and promotions. In this case, mobile becomes an all-encompassing solution for an in-the-moment experience.

For a venue, filling empty seats is about so much more than selling tickets. It’s vital for a venue or event provider to keep seats filled, over and over, to secure repeat business and revenue. To capture the support and loyalty of any customer, you need to understand who they are and what they want. It’s about knowing the person behind the ticket. To this end, mobile is one of the most viable solutions for continuously capturing the type of data and information you need. When did they arrive at the stadium? What did they buy when they were there? How long did they stay? Who came with them and how big was their party? What are their favorite concessions to frequent? Want to know your customer? Know their mobile device.

Mobile can also help solve one of the biggest issues that sports and event venues have: fraudulent tickets. Once a ticket or paper pass has been issued or printed it can easily be duplicated, several times or more. Counterfeits can result in a significant loss of value for the business. Worse yet, security and handling solutions can backfire if you try to stop legitimate ticket holders and purchasers, who are often none the wiser about fraudulent activities.

Mobile solutions can help alleviate this by creating a private and secure authentication system. Better yet, it can help fans and loyal customers by protecting their sensitive information, such as payment details. Mobile solutions combined with a robust identity solution can reduce the potential for problems and provide a better, frictionless experience for customers.

How Data Collection and Digital Identities Personalize Customer Experience

Everyone now has a smartphone, and the great thing about mobile devices is they natively include support for what could be considered incredibly useful features. Deploy a mobile app and suddenly you can tap into location data, user imaging and photos, instant communications, NFC and Bluetooth, and many other functions.

And rather than pulling out your phone to scan your ticket, what if you could just walk right through the gates. With digital identity tools like facial recognition, stadiums don’t need to have an on-site scanner, they simply validate a face associated with a ticket or profile. Digital identity tools decrease wait times significantly and piggyback off built-in safety and security associated with facial recognition. With a rich database for recognition, you can assess everyone attending—it’s a huge value-add for teams, sponsors, operators and so on.

By introducing valuable mobile or digital experiences, you are then encouraging your audience to provide information they wouldn’t otherwise consider sharing. Instant access to your mobile users’ data means that you can collect much larger quantities of information. From a fan identity perspective, you can see location data, communications with your brand or reps, purchases and promotion history, seating charts, visit times and so much more.

Because most people always have their phones with them, they provide a perpetual stream of insights to roll right back into your business and future campaigns. Mobile can also be used for more secure and more efficient digital profile use. Imagine buying concessions from a mobile app, or using mobile pay to complete a transaction. Fans don’t have to take out their credit cards or payment info, keeping things secure and quick. It’s all tied back to one single source of truth that is connected to each fan. You could augment this further through authentication profiles with facial recognition tech to pay. Order a hotdog and a soda from your phone, walk to the concession stand and pick it up from the window without having to stand in line.

Ultimately, systems such as these help everyone involved, from the customer to the vendor. You build an up-to-date digital profile for each customer, which they can leverage to pay for goods, gain access to a venue, or receive promotions.

Secure Your Mobile App with Avaya Identity-as-a-Service

With Avaya’s unique and industry-first Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) technology, fan and customer experiences are secured in a highly controlled environment. Our mobile-first IDaaS solution incorporates industry-leading biometrics to authenticate fan profiles, secure sensitive data, and authenticate the customer’s identity and data with robust security.

The cloud-based solution provides a frictionless in-venue experience that extends beyond the fans, it impacts the whole ecosystem from the contact center to the vendors to the operators and more.

Data powers not just customer insights, but digital touchpoints that enhance modern fan experiences. Smart stadiums and smart venues globally will need to look for a robust identity solution to keep up with, or even stay ahead of, the digital transformation curve. Avaya is a pioneer in this important technology, and we are leading the development of an ecosystem that will enable consumers and partners in the future.

Mobile Data, Digital IDs, and Identity-as-a-Service in the Sports World

David Chavez

David Chavez is a Vice President in the Office of the CTO, responsible for Architecture and Consulting. Having 25 years of experience and holding 76 US patents, David is responsible for Avaya's award-winning and market-leading IP communications architecture and the creator of the Avaya Aura(R) architecture. He has a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from New Mexico State University and an M.S. in Mathematics from Colorado State University, with some executive education from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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