We know how powerful sport can be in terms of bringing people together to create a shared experience. With pro sport leagues back in action after the COVID-19 lockdown to finish their respective seasons, we have picked out four stories that highlight the changes coming to the world of sports & entertainment.
Kraft Heinz brought the in-stadium baseball experience to Toronto Blue Jays fans in their homes since fans are unable to attend games in person. In partnership with DoorDash, fans could pre-order hot dog meals to be delivered on game day. In addition, Heinz made a Spotify playlist called “Heinz Sounds of Baseball” to further enhance the at-home experience.
Since fans are not allowed to attend sporting events during these league restarts, some teams are finding creative ways to bring them together (safely!) outside the stadium. Clubs like the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers are redesigning their venues to appear as drive-in music and movie theatres for their supporters to visit.
Five experts across various leagues and properties imagined how the live sport experience will change post-COVID, examining everything from digital fan engagement, arena upgrades, content development and investing in social movements. Some of the highlights include:
- Engaging Fans via:
- Virtual Town Halls & Tail Gate sessions for supporters – with celeb (player or front office) surprise visits
- Emphasizing Security & Health
- Cashless Shopping to reduce exposure via lines
- Architecture & Construction:
- Bathroom Upgrades (faucets, hand dryers, toe-pulls for doors)
- Seating arrangements (to allow for distancing)
- Content Development:
- In-house studios to develop digital content and own process
- More thought-process going into storytelling
- Investing in Social Movements:
- Amplifying community voices, especially around the Black Lives Matter movement
There’s a ‘changing of the guard’ in several stadiums across the professional sports leagues in North America when it comes to stadium and arena naming rights. As Forbes points out, with learnings from the past few months, the next wave of naming rights deals may come with a heavy focus on contract language and a touch of curiosity about the longevity of the business buying the rights.