How do you watch sporting events?
Maybe you fall into your favorite recliner, crack open a beverage, and eye-lock your big screen without the slightest desire to move a muscle.
Maybe you drive many miles to sit in a cramped stadium seat amid thousands of strangers to watch your team compete. If they win, you’re pleased, if they lose, you’re disappointed, but either way, your connection with the team, the event, and fellow fans is limited because you’re watching rather than participating.
Today, that’s changing–how we watch, and experience sporting events and the nature of fandom itself is undergoing an evolution set in motion by the global COVID pandemic and the resulting norm of remote living. Sporting events kept pace with the remote shift, creating avenues to view remotely, and with today’s interactive audience engagement options being a fan now involves far more than just watching.
Interactive audience engagement technology like the XEO platform gives today’s fans the option to take an active role in their viewing experience–and how we watch sporting events may never be the same.
Remember when phones had to be turned off at events to not disturb the viewing enjoyment of the crowd?
How times have changed as a new age of sports spectating and fandom is upon us, centered around a new relationship with technology. Tech devices are no longer viewed as disturbances, but rather as mediums providing an enhanced viewing experience. Phones and other mobile devices now serve as pathways connecting us to numerous options for participation, interaction, and social connection during and around events.
Keep in mind the majority of today’s fans aren’t overwhelmed by multiple devices, screens, and stimuli. The second-screen feature provided by the XEO platform draws in the neighborhood of one million viewers weekly, proving today’s audiences welcome the opportunity to engage with multiple touchpoints.
Just like most modern consumers, sports spectators desire customization and the latest audience engagement technology gives fans the ability to create their own unique spectating experience.
After all, next to suiting up and running onto the field yourself, what’s better than personalizing how you view and experience an event based on your desire for participation, interaction, and socialization?
The popularity of interactive audience engagement technology continues to grow as more people discover the fun of participating in the activities and social networks surrounding live events.
For example, the XEO feature Arcade Weekly saw over one million users by October 2021, and its popularity looks to maintain this upward trend.
Why is interactive audience engagement becoming so popular?
Below are some significant reasons why modern fans embrace the opportunity to be more interactive when watching a sporting event.
1. It’s personal. Audience engagement activities such as trivia contests, surveys, games, and predictions engage our minds and senses, involving us personally and providing a stronger connection to the event. When an event crosses over and becomes personal, the reward is greater when our team wins as we feel more included in the success.
2. Us against the world. Audience engagement fosters social connections bringing fans together and creating a sense of community and belonging around an event, team, or cause.
3. Everybody likes rewards. Who doesn’t like being rewarded either with material prizes or non-material benefits like recognition, friendship, and the sense of belonging to a community in support of a common goal?
Brad Neathery, who has spent over a decade as a creative brand strategist and is the co-founder and CMO of Oak and Eden Whiskey, explains the science, “The human brain dumps dopamine into our bodies when we receive a reward. This biological process helps explain why higher employee engagement leads to better performance, why customers are more likely to buy from a company with interactive media, and why slow-loading homepages have higher bounce rates.”
“When our actions seemingly influence the outcome of an activity, we experience this dopamine dump and feel rewarded through our participation,” he continues. “This process is at the heart of marketing strategy for most businesses today.”
Now that we understand the science behind the enjoyment of participation, it’s easy to see how the XEO platform makes the spectator experience more fun through interaction.
Ready for your first dopamine dump?
XEO interactive audience engagement technology starts by putting you in control of your viewing experience from start to finish. You can customize the amount of interaction desired, so watching an event becomes your unique experience.
Does a bit of friendly competition make your experience more exciting?
Scratch your competitive itch by playing Turbo Trivia, Scratch and Win, or Predictive Game Play with XEO’s non-intrusive second-screen technology before, during, or after the big event.
Want more competition? Hang out in the XEO Arcade anytime and watch your name climb the XEO Leaderboard as you perfect your interactive gaming skills.
How about actual rewards for winning? Yes, here comes some more of everyone’s favorite feel-good brain chemical as the XEO platform provides real-world value prizes, including food, clothes, and watches.
Do you want to connect with other fans, build camaraderie, feel part of the Your Team Nation community, or receive recognition (more dopamine, thank you) for your interactive gaming excellence? The XEO platform provides a social wall connected to all major social sites and an XEO chat feature to keep you as socially connected as you want to be.
As the nature of sports spectating evolves and audiences demand more interaction, Versus’ XEO technology will continue to make watching events more fun because the platform makes the experience all about the fan–and really, what’s more fun than that?