Sport Innovation/Ticket Wristband
Ticket Wristband - The ultimate solution for Stadium visits
Stadium visits at football games
The visit of a football game can be one of the best experiences in terms of attending a sporting event. In particular, for football fans in Germany, where football can be seen as a part of the culture. However, problematic issues such as accessing the stadium, paying for drinks and food in the stadium environment and safety are omnipresent. Currently, a paper ticket is required in order to enter the stadium. Additionally, cash money is required to buy food and drinks before and during the games. The problem with paper tickets begins even before people are leaving their homes to go to the stadium. Where to put the ticket which is the size of a postcard? This problem is often solved by putting the ticket in the trouser pocket or in a bag. However, from there it is often lost or can be easily stolen. Once arrived at the stadium, one has to pull the ticket out of the pocket or bag and insert it into a scanner. Then it has to be put back in the pocket again, which is quite uncomfortable and again poses a risk of loss.
The next point is the purchase of refreshments within the stadium. For the payment process the fans require cash money. Further, the same problem of storage occurs with money in a wallet as with the ticket. People have to pull it out, pay and put it back. The carriage of cash money poses an additional security risk in terms of loss and theft.
Other contemporary issues, especially in the European football environment, are crowd control and stadium safety. There have been many incidents with fans and hooligans hiding in the crowd after committing illegal actions. Also, rival fan groups have been involved in many violent clashes in the past because were not properly separated in the stadium.
In order to improve the aforementioned issues of convenience and safety, the “Ticket Wristband“ team wants to introduce a new version of football tickets. The Ticket Wristband is a new product which improves the quality before and during the attendance of a football game. The product consists of a silicon wristband and a microchip. The microchip contains Near Field Communication(NFC) technology and a Wi-Fi tracker. These technologies are used to provide the following functions:
The main function of this wristband is an electronic ticket. Instead of buying a paper ticket, the product offers the opportunity to load the event on the wristband. This is achieved through online or telephone purchase of the match. In both cases the ticket will be sent and loaded on the wristband through Wi-Fi technology. The wristband enables instant walkthrough access to the stadium for the respective purchased football game.
The next product function included is a payment tool based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Instead of carrying money (cash) to the stadium, the “Ticket Wristband“ can be charged with funds similar to other electronic payment tools based on this technology. The charging process can be conducted in advance from home. The only technology needed is a Wi-Fi connection. If one has forgot to charge their Ticket Wristband with funds, this can be done at the stadium. For this, the user only needs a mobile phone to charge the wristband. Phone banking is a safe way to load the Ticket Wristband with funds. The final payment will be booked to the user's credit card.
With its Wi-Fi technology, the Ticket Wristband can become an important tool to enhance the stadium and football experience. Each Ticket Wristband can be tracked and used for identification for crowd control purposes. This is possible due to established Wi-Fi tracking technology which has the advantage of functionality in closed facilities (closed stadium roof) without any limitations unlike GPS tracking devices. The identification of individuals is made feasible by the recording and saving of personal data on the chip in each wristband. In terms of crowd control, the ticket wristband can also help to separate rival supporter crowds. This is done by having a unique signal loaded onto the fans wristbands for each team to differentiate between home and away supporters. When the two sets of fans approach each other it would become evident to security allowing measures to be taken in to avoid a potential violent clash.
The use of online surveys and face to face interviews with fans at several football games were the selected strategies chosen for the customer development phase of this product. These strategies were designed to identify the likely profitability of the Ticket Wristband in the target market.
The online survey has the power to reach a wide audience and enables a greater understanding of the market to be formed. The survey will provide a feedback from both a German and global fan audience. This will create a platform for broader knowledge to be gained, which will allow for the generation of product expansion outside of Germany. The online survey is valuable because it eliminates the possibility of a narrow sample not reflecting the overall market population. The online survey allows data to be gathered from a wider demographic that penetrated the barriers of gender, age and social status. However, the online surveys would make it difficult for the team to know the sincerity of the received feedbacks. The major questions in the survey were directed at understanding the challenges/problems that fans may face at games held at large stadiums and their thoughts about the product's features. Understanding the challenges faced by fans and considering the feedback on the current product allows insight to be drawn on whether the present features of the product give value to the customers and satisfy their needs.
The face to face interviews at games will give reliable feedback on fan's emotions and feelings on tickets and stadium experiences. Being present at the game also allows the development team to have a “hands on” experience with fans as to identify the requirements to enhance fan's satisfaction at games. A limitation of the strategy is that the The stadiums visited are smaller than those in Germany. The smaller stadiums present different conditions which fans may not find as challenging as compared to larger stadiums. A fair selection of the interviewees represented a challenge for the customer development team. There were fewer women interviewed than men and there was also a big gap between the age groups. Interviews were done with fans in queues waiting outside the stadium to purchase tickets, to withdraw money at the cash machines and to buy food and drinks. The interaction with these different fans provided various perspectives, which allowed the team to analyse whether the current features of the product appealed to the fans and addressed stadium issues. Being present at the games also allowed the development team to identify the fans perspective on the idea. It enhanced personal reflections which give the team a better understanding of the challenges faced by football fans. These personal reflections were also compared to the general feedback of other fans which increased the accuracy of the customer development analysis.
The online surveys and interviews were focused on learning about the target market and how the customers' needs can be satisfied in order to encourage the purchase of the product. They were designed by the development team to find out the likes and dislikes of customers regarding the product. The identification of the likes and dislikes of the customers are the key factors to improve the design and to adjust the product features. These strategies allow the development team to learn more about its current customer demographics to allow the product to be marketed more effectively to the target audience as well as to other stakeholders. Surveys and interviews represent efficient and effective market research tools to gather customer’s opinions and take steps from this information to ensure their needs are met.
The selected strategies help to gather more understanding of consumers' preferences, attitudes, and behaviours. The questions in the online survey were designed in a way to receive a clear feedback on customer’s needs by avoiding any assumptions held by the development team. It is very important for the online survey and the face to face interviews not to contain any bias in order to enable the team to know what is really required to satisfy the customer needs. This helps to analyse whether the product is fulfilling customer’s satisfaction or if any changes are required.
The correct structure and implementation of the strategies assists the team to formulate a viable marketing plan and highlights whether the current plan is likely to bring success. The accuracy of the results is important because they would be utilised by the team when making future marketing decisions. The design of the strategies were structured to provide the management with in-depth information regarding crucial factors that will impact the target market and decide the appropriate marketing mix. The correct implementation of the selected strategies allows the development team to make the necessary changes for better results through adopting a proactive approach.
The accuracy of the online survey and interviews will help drive positive changes to the product and the business. The reason for this is without improvements, the business would not be able to grow or even maintain its position in the market. The accuracy of the data gathered will determine the success or failure of the business idea. Both strategies implemented in the customer development phase were effective tools to gather necessary data. They both had limitations, but their unique dimensions allowed them to reduce the limitations of each other. The online survey was helpful in presenting a quantitative analysis of the customer development plan. While the face to face interaction during the interviews along with the personal experience of being at the game provided the development team with relevant qualitative data. The combination of the quantitative and qualitative data ensures that a very extensive analysis of the target market to be produced. This ensures that the development team makes the required changes, if necessary, to the product and develop a robust marketing plan which will enhance the chance of success for the business idea.
Weekly Report on Customer Development
|Football Game 1||1||30||Time, Crowds|
|Football Game 2||2||28||Time, Convenience|
|Cricket Game||3||40||Convenience, E-Ticket|
Customer Development Evaluation
Initially, the customer development plan was based on face to face interviews before and during one football game at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The number of interviews was aimed at 50. This part is focusing on the end-users of the Ticket Wristband. Regarding the Partners such as the professional football clubs and the German football league the aim was to contact them via e-mail and telephone.
There were a few changes made regarding the initial customer development plan. The decision was made to also attend a cricket test match in Brisbane (Australia versus South Africa) as there would be a larger number of spectators and the crowd would be more similar to them of the target market in Germany. This was realised to simulate the number of fans that would be present in German football stadiums. Further, the inclusion of the visitors of the cricket game also resulted in a greater number of persons being interviewed and provided a better and broader feedback on the business idea.
Week 1 and 2 (Football Games)
At the A-League games, the questions posed to the interviewees were generally centered around football game visits. There were a total number of 60 fans interviewed at both football games which were attended in Brisbane. The most recognised problems were identified in the field of time management (long lines) and convenience (big crowds). Especcially, the long lines and the time to be invested while waiting to go to the bathroom or to get a drink during the half time break were major problems to be identified. It was also established that fans do lose their tickets sometimes which causes major problems as they are required to re-enter the different parts and the seat areas. Another issue focused on the ticket purchasing process. The interviewees mentioned that in most cases they buy their tickets online. The will to use technology around a football match could also be observed as well as many fans using smart phones during their stadium visits. The long lines in front of the stadium’s cash machines highlighted to the Ticket Wristband team that the idea of a cash free paying method is brilliant in order to solve this problem. Soccer fans tend to be more active in their support for their teams and the rivalries at games are intense. This results that some fans identified safety and security as an important issue.
Week 3 (Cricket Game)
At the cricket game visit, contrary to the football games, the questions were focused on sport in general and problems occuring during a match attendance. There was a much larger crowd at the cricket game and although fans faced similar problems to those at the football games. However, some different issues were identified as well. The customer development team was able to interview 40 fans at this cricket match. As a day of test cricket is much longer than a football match, fans were not as worried about time consuming queues as they were at the football game. However, there were numerous fans that stated losing the ticket in the crowd is one of the major issues. Due to the length of the stadium attendance at a cricket test match, the lack of sufficient cash at the game was mentioned as well. This was reinforced by the fact that the accessibility of online payment provided by the product will indeed satisfy customers needs. The cricket match allowed the customer development team to get a different perspective from fans in order to create a product that will fulfill the needs not only of football fans but of supporters at major sporting events in general. This information will create a plaftform which will enable a market expansion for the product if desired.
During the interviews at the games, the management team realised that the product could reach a wider demographic such as kids (special sizes). Some people also mentioned the idea of customising the product in order to express their identification with the team. In terms of a broader audience it can be said that this business idea could easily be adjusted to other sports which will enable the product to be expanded. The use of online surveys were ideal to reach German football fans which were the initial target audience. It also provided a global feedback as the online survey was also presented to other football fans worldwide. The survey was distributed through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and E-mail in order to get a broad feedback. The use of social media resulted in about 60 persons visiting the product website and 40 of them participated at the online survey of the product. The biggest surprise while analysing the survey was the women's interest in the product. This fact is important as the number of female visitors of football games, especcially in Europe, is increasing. This fact, motivated the team to provide Ticket Wristbands which were designed to satisfy the needs of female football fans. They also expressed their interest in a customisation of the product as there is big identification of fans with their favourite football clubs.
To conclude, it can be observed that the initial ideas for the product were good and would mostly satisfy customer needs. However, it was highlighted that a few enhancements have to be made to the product such as customisation and targeting a wider demographic (inclusion of kids and women wristbands). Both strategies increased the team’s confidence that the final product would not only satisfy customer needs, but would also reach profitability in a little amount of time. Additionally, the product has the ability to expand to reach a wider market for other events all over the world. The convenience and safety that the product provides would be the major selling points for the Ticket Wristband.
Adjustments on the Business Model CANVAS
Based on the customer development it was highlighted that the end-users want to participate at the product design and development process in order to customise the wristbands. Specified customisation such as names on the wristbands and team colors which were among just a few suggestions that highlighted this customers need. This creates a platform where customer loyalty to their teams can be used as a means of product promotion. It also suggests that customers want to use their wristbands to associate their affiliation with the team they support. This issue was adjusted by the planning of a customization tool on the Ticket Wristband website, where customers can freely participate at the customization of the product.
Consideration of different demographics
In many of the interviews, the need for wristbands for children was highlighted by parents. This is due to the fact that sporting events are created to accommodate each member of a family and is therefore considered as a family activity. To adjust this issue, products will now be created for a broader demographic, such as children sizes and colours for women. The potential design of these products can be seen on the Ticket Wristband website.
The visit to the cricket match during the customer development phase highlighted that this product is not just valuable to football games but also to different sporting events. At the visited games, interviewees suggested the idea of creating this product for events such as music concerts. This reveals that the product has the ability to extend beyond sporting events and could be introduced into other events with high attendances.
The initial ideas of the Ticket Wristband were good and adds value to customers as well as fulfilling their needs. However, the customer development stage highlighted that there were a few adjusments that were need to enhance the product’s value. The ability of the product to fulfill customer needs guarantees that it will profitable. The product will also generate quick profits as the research highlights there is a wider market than was initially anticipated. The product’s ability to extent beyond sport events suggest that the product has a great potential to expand. This will generate a great return on investment for the investing partners.