The Fan Ecosystem

An integrated digital ecosystem that drives an improvement into the overall fan experience

Sport is about more than any one game. It is a social event driven by passion, where fans actively participate in the creation of the overall spectacle. Seeing this, we realized that sporting leagues could deepen their connection with fans through the unprecedented levels of access that technology now enables.

We asked
What would a league that is fully connected to it’s teams, players, coaches, and fan network look like? And how could this level of connection be delivered and designed so intuitively that it becomes an invisible, yet impactful part of sporting occasions?

Rationale execution
The Fan Ecosystem is comprised of three key features that give fans access to real-time data and analysis through a dashboard designed for an app, tablet, or webpage.

Our prototype Smart Helmet contains a tiny camera that gives fans the chance to watch replays from the player’s perspective; a tracking device that is accurate to within 10 cm; and an Inertial Measurement Unit, which determines the direction a player’s head is facing—opening up the possibility of creating an Augmented Reality view.
We also created a Live Field Map that uses the positional data from the helmet and from a chip in the ball to map team formations and the overall shape of the game.
This is fed into a Smart Analytics system that gives detailed analytics on a vast array of factors such as pass force, hit force and location, and running speeds.

Our findings
Over the course of the project we were able to pinpoint the importance of data in delivering a connected fan experience. Accessing more data would open up additional avenues for leagues to explore, as well as fan loyalty. The Fan Ecosystem also has the potential to engage and educate fans. However, we discovered that it is imperative that the ecosystem is designed specifically to complement the game, otherwise the features can distract from the event and detract from the overall experience. To ensure that future iterations met the requirements of the sport they are designed for it would be necessary to delve deeper into fan research and uncover insights around the overall fan experience through CX strategists.

Departure questions
Q: How can leagues create a game experience that is enjoyable by all types of fans, from the traditional AM radio listener, to the statistic super fan?
Q: What human barriers will need to be overcome for players to feel comfortable wearing equipment that are lined with technology?
Q: How can this technology be leveraged to bring in people who are traditionally isolated from experiencing sport as a fan?
Q: Can this technology be used to track the health of athletes to lessen the likelihood of serious injury?

4 weeks

Project Tags
Experience Design, 3D Printing, Tangible Media, Data-Sequencing