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Smart Phones And Tablets: A Franchise Revenue Opportunity In The Making

The juice was loose at the recent conference I attended. Mainly because smart phones have become such a necessary tool in the business and daily life of every person, that running out of battery life has now become the norm.

A key way to use this to the advantage of any stadium or arena is by adding cell phone charging stations to their concourses. These kiosks not only provide a new signage opportunity (sponsored by Nokia), but they also present a way for customers to achieve value at your venue beyond the game itself.

Smart phones soak up a lot of battery juice. It’s not just texting or making a phone call anymore. It’s about Facebook status updates, tweets, check-ins of locations, Vine 6-second videos or Instagram photos. All of this comes at a cost of battery life, which means that a cell phone charging station could be a lifeline to retaining a fan to the end of the actual game, simply because the franchise offered such an easy to use amenity.

After the convention, I went to the airport and discovered cell phone charging plug-ins at every seat in the airline waiting area. Every sports venue upgrading their facility or building a new one has to consider whether this is an option that may have to be considered: the idea of providing patrons with free energy to recharge their smart phones or tablet devices from their seat, while watching the game.

Conversely, a discussion has to take place whether this is actually an added value, a branding opportunity, or a revenue generation component in the making.

Image a ticket sales staff team promoting a season ticket location with “charged” seats, where fans could simply plug in their smart phones while watching the games. That could present a higher added value to the product, as well as push more patrons to purchase in this areas. All for the price of a wall socket and some energy being put down in those sections of seats.

The game is changing with what people want and what they use. The cell phone used to be a product to call another person on. Now it is utilized as a hub for social media, email, texts, photos, videos and everything else.

This could present itself as another revenue opportunity: The ability to access a higher-speed WiFi system for a small charge.

Airports and airlines use this system, why not a sports stadium?

This goes back to a basic strategy of discovering the wants, needs and desires of the customer. If it adds value in order to provide a service, it may not show an ROI by itself, but overall, it may end up being the difference-maker in whether someone purchases your product.

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