NFL’s New UXD Strategy: Touchdown or Penalty?

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ChargersAs this season’s football season “kicks-off,” the NFL is trying new and interesting ways to get more people into the stands. As technology advances, NFL fans are become more and more inclined to stay home to watch the game. And why wouldn’t they? For free, they can have the best seats in the house, pause the game when needed, and keep track of their Fantasy Football stats, all while lounging in pajamas. The NFL ended up being a victim of its own endeavors. Network TV continuously adds more coverage of each game, with ever increasing camera angles and replayability, further inclining individuals to enjoy the game from home. And one would think that the NFL would be the greatest benefactor of increased NFL coverage, but one would be wrong. The greatest winners in increased TV viewers of football are the league’s TV partners in the form of NBC, FOX, CBS, ESPN, and the NFL Network. Each of these networks charge advertisers millions for an ad spot during the game. Another winning group are the sponsors of the games, including big names like General Motors and Procter & Gamble. Not to say the NFL is hard-pressed for cash, but the decrease in stadium attendance is an area of concern. To combat this area for improvement, NFL teams are getting creative with their marketing. Let’s take a look at some of the most creative ways the NFL is targeting stadium attendees. Through the help of Grey Advertising, the NFL is creating TV ads that will feature actual season ticket holders. The league is also fixing up their stadiums and enhancing stadium-goer’s experience by cracking down on the league’s “Fan Code of Conduct.” If someone is going to spend an average of $81.54 per ticket, it should be expected that the facilities are at least clean and safe. The Atlanta Falcons are targeting existing season ticket holders by offering them one-of-a-kind stadium “memories.” The NFL wants to offer experiences that cannot be obtained by TV watchers. The Dallas Cowboys will also be joining the Falcons and 11 other NFL teams who will be using the Experience app this season. The season ticket holders use the free Experience app to rack up “memory points,” which can be redeemed for experience upgrades. Some of these upgrades include a visit from a team cheerleader, a spot on the field during player introductions, or upgraded seats. The app allows attendee’s access to perks that were once only available to VIP guests. The San Francisco 49ers take advantage of the popularity of Fantasy Football. They are offering luxury suites that feature the Yahoo-sponsored Fantasy Football lounge. In a further effort to accommodate NFL fans who are also Fantasy Football fans, the NFL is increasing WiFi capabilities in their stadiums so that fans can more easily connect with their smartphones. The NFL recognizes that there is an opportunity to increase attendance and engagement at the stadium. Season ticket holders are their “bread and butter” and the league is going through great lengths to show their fans appreciation and encourage attendance. By recognizing popular trends and then adapting, the NFL will most definitely see stadium attendance success.