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Realife Tech: Prioritising fan safety for venues

As we navigate our way out of lockdown, one of the challenges for stadiums is fan safety, for the successful reopening of fans to venues.

As we slowly navigate our way out of lockdown, one of the challenges for stadiums is fan safety, ensuring that it’s implemented for sports reopening past COVID-19. 

It’s a key consideration for venues and would see some differences compared to before the pandemic hit. Brent Kocher, Chief Revenue Officer at Realife Tech, believes that increased fan engagement will be pivotal as spectators and venues work together to see new safety solutions used to its full potential. 

Collectively, the majority of sports fans would love for the games to continue despite restrictions on fan attendance – a June 2020 study by ESPN showed that 78 per cent of fans were in favour of play being resumed. It was a double-digit increase on a previous poll back in April. 

Australian sporting codes Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) have already welcomed sports fans back for their respective Grand Finals albeit in a limited capacity, so other venues both here and overseas will be sure to follow suit as spectators are eased back soon. 

For it to be successful, discussions need to be had about some COVID safety measures to be included and the joint effort by stadiums and visitors to hold key events for enjoyment with health the main focus. 

While we still don’t know the full answers about if and when we get back to full capacity, the slow return of fans in partial attendance will serve as testing opportunities for policies and procedures in the future. Technology solutions can be used during this process as fans make the transition back to sporting grounds. Fan engagement allows not only them to be informed, but engaged in an active role to keep themselves safe, as well as players, staff and teams.

Technology solutions have been created so it becomes a more seamless and stress-free experience for fans who are the focus of increased engagement, factoring in their safety to lessen the potential health risks both inside and outside the venue. 

Going to a game used to be a carefree experience, but nowadays it is a completely different story. Before, all the spectators had to worry about was finding their ticketed seats and snacks or drinks they would like to buy. Now, it has become a case of spectators considering what time slot they’re scheduled to enter through the gate, where their seats are uniquely allocated and how far they would be, nominating a time to go and grab something to eat or drink, and a chosen time they wish to exit. 

 

Realife Tech aims to create the best possible experience for fans adhering to COVID guidelines. 

“At Realife Tech, we’ve developed a “Covid Safety Hub”, a range of mobile-based features that guide fans through new venue policies and procedures, with messaging delivered before, during, and after events.” Chief Revenue Officer Brent Kocher said. 

“The tech features location-based safety alerts that share real-time information with fans, helping to control high traffic areas, reduce lines at entries and exits, and loosen crowd congestion.  

“Fans who engage with this platform can adjust their actions depending on social distancing needs around them; for example, if the area they’d like to visit within the stadium is reaching capacity, or if the bathroom near them has a long line that would make distancing from others difficult, they can choose to avoid those areas and take another route to their desired destination.”  

Venues will need to adapt to contactless changes for matchday between staff and fans entering the venue. It means usual interactions will be limited, including touch-free ticketing scanning and contactless ordering and click-and-collect type process of getting food, beverage and merchandise items.  

Stadiums and venues can look into the single view of the customer across their journey, making this a significant learning opportunity for data collection – from multiple platforms and systems, including apps, ticketing, Wi-Fi, point-of-sale, digital advertising screens and access control points. 

Delving into the customer journey can assist venues with their future offerings and communications to provide a more extensive experience that will become seamless moving forward. It addresses both the current challenges and customer needs.  

With fan engagement at the forefront, it means there will be consistent communication between spectators about the right processes, through dedicated technology solutions. They can then feel more empowered to make decisions and be a key difference as part of their daily lives. It means that while we’re still a while off fully-packed crowds, it doesn’t mean we have to settle with empty stadiums. 

To see what Realife Tech has to offer, you can find out more here.

Liam Watson is the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Football Queensland’s 2022 State Referee Conference announced

Football Queensland has outlined details for the 2022 State Referee Conference, which will be held at the Logan Entertainment Centre.

Football Queensland (FQ) has outlined details for the 2022 State Referee Conference, which will be held at the Logan Entertainment Centre on Saturday, February 5 and Sunday, February 6 next year. 

In a two-day event, the conference will welcome a variety of referees covering all levels of the game, and will feature an Assessor Seminar as a main focus for the second day.

“Football Queensland is delighted to invite match officials from across the state to join us for the upcoming State Referee Conference, which is always a highlight of the football calendar for all Queensland referees,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said. 

“Regardless of whether you’re just starting out on your refereeing journey or an established match official in the NPL Queensland, the conference is a great development opportunity and a chance to socialise with the wider refereeing community. 

“The 2021 State Referee Conference saw referees from all levels of the game come together ahead of the season to hear from guest presenters including Football Australia Head of Referees Nathan Magill. 

“Next year’s event will follow a similar structure, with guest presenters joining us for sessions on day one before the Assessor Seminar on day two will welcome assessors and any referees who wish to mentor in 2022. 

“We look forward to seeing match officials from across Queensland join us for next year’s State Referee Conference ahead of the 2022 season.” 

Further information on guest speakers and topics will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Register for the 2022 State Referee Conference here. 

Football Queensland’s digital broadcast continues to grow

FQ

Football Queensland have continued to go from strength to strength in 2021 with more than 390,000 unique viewers confirmed to have tuned into 711 games broadcast live and on-demand.

The number of unique viewers increased by 180 percent in 2021 as fans flocked to FQ channels to engage with local football content.

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci outlined the investment in broadcasting has generated enormous value to players, coaches and clubs throughout the state.

“We have seen huge growth in viewership of Queensland competitions, which creates fantastic visibility for our products,” Cavallucci said.

“FQ made a strategic decision to broadcast more women’s games in 2021 and we are pleased to have seen a 187 percent increase in viewership for the NPL Queensland Women’s competition.

“Players, coaches and clubs are all benefiting from FQ’s commitment to broadcasting games live and on-demand.

“High-quality broadcasts allow players to review their games and create highlights packages which can be used for identification purposes.

“We have also received great feedback from coaches who use the on-demand and highlights packages for match analysis.

“Clubs are also using the platform to advertise their sponsors which helps to grow the Queensland football economy.

“This year alone, FQ broadcast hundreds of games in the NPL and FQPL competitions as well as FFA Cup, Kappa Women’s Super Cup, F-League, community tournaments and exhibition games.

“These competitions were boosted by live calls from our fantastic team of commentators. One of these commentators, Campbell Johnson, has since been recruited to call A-Leagues games for Paramount+.

“We will continue to create value for the Queensland football community by boosting the visibility of talented individuals working in our pathways.”

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