Vodafone: 5G will revolutionise fan experience and the sports industry

Former England Rugby player James Haskell takes a Virtual Reality dropkick at the opening of the Vodafone Business Lounge, Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

More than three-quarters of sports organisations see improving fan engagement and delivering innovative fan experiences as key to their future success and that 5G, more than any other technology, will enable such experiences.

Those are the findings of a piece of research published this week (8 October 2019) by the mobile phone company Vodafone.

The research sought the views of 250 business decision-makers in the sports sector across the UK.

76% of the respondents said that their organisation will use 5G as a platform for innovation, with 74% believing it will underpin efforts to meet rising fan expectations.

The research also revealed that 76% believe 5G will have a bigger impact on fan experiences than 4G has.

The same proportion of respondents suggest 5G will enable them to improve fan engagement with applications such as live-streaming video, mixed reality experiences and real-time access to information reinventing the fan experience both for those at the event or watching elsewhere.

Anne Sheehan, director of Vodafone Business UK, discussing the findings, said: “Sport is an area where 5G technology will have a huge impact. It has the potential to transform the fan experience; change the way sports organisations operate, open up new revenue opportunities; and help athletes improve their fitness and training programmes.

Alongside fan experiences, sports leaders highlight innovation (30%), player performance (30%) and talent (27% as their key concerns.

However, while 78% believe the sports sector drives incredible innovation, 70% believe it is behind other industry sectors in adopting new technology.

Sheehan added: “It is hugely encouraging that a remarkable 80% of sports organisations believe 5G will underpin how they run their companies. We think this technology is a game-changer for businesses, the economy and the UK as a whole.”

The survey was conducted by independent consultancy Censuswide on behalf of Vodafone in September 2019. 250 sports sector business decision-makers in the UK were surveyed.

SVG Europe’s FutureSport 2019 conference at Chelsea FC on 26 November will include a panel session discussion on the potential impact of 5G on sports broadcasting and media. To find out more and to register for the event visit: https://www.svgeurope.org/future-sport-2019/

The Vodafone research was released at the official opening of the Vodafone Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena, home of the Wasps Rugby and Wasps Netball clubs in Coventry (pictured). 


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