CIODigital Disruption

3 Tips Learned from the NFL about Digital Transformation

NFL games are expensive, nobody is happy about their concussions-ruining-lives issue, and TVs are super high-quality now. These are high barriers for the NFL to overcome in keeping people physically attending games, yet they are doing it. In an article for ZDNet, Jason Hiner extracts three lessons from the NFL’s digital transformation practices that we can be mindful of in our own situations:

  1. Stay out in front of demographic changes.
  2. Empower your customers with data.
  3. Don’t be afraid to replace sacred temples.

Tech Touchdown

Two years ago, the NFL was sweating that Millennials were not coming to stadiums, but game attendance levels have now bounced back to pre-Great Recession levels. One way they did this was by reacting when they realized Millennials were not happy with the game-going experience. The NFL invested in social media and Wi-Fi and mobile apps for stadiums, creating an experience that is subsequently becoming appreciated by all demographics. The NFL is now at the front of trends, which would not have been possible if they had doubled down on their existing agreeable demographics and ignored the Millennials.

Another thing the NFL has done is use its collection of data to give customers more options. Apps can now tell them how long the bathroom wait will be, alert them to possibilities to upgrade their seats, and enable them to order refreshments from their seats. Frankly, these are capabilities we sometimes wish we had at home.

Lastly, the NFL has demonstrated a willingness to break from tradition and build new stadiums that can better accommodate technological changes:

AT&T Stadium in Dallas broke new ground in gigantic high definition displays and the team leads the NFL in attendance with 91,000 spectators per game. The 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium has set new standards in Wi-Fi and creating a connected experience for fans, as detailed in the new TechRepublic feature. One of the toughest decisions to make in any business is knowing when to leave a strong legacy behind and build on it to make a stronger future. NFL teams offer great examples of how and when to get it done.

Now the NFL just has to figure out that whole concussions-ruining-lives part. You can view the original article here:

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