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Loftus Road Stadium, home of QPR, first to feature matchday hashtag on dugouts

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Fans visiting Loftus Road now see the club’s matchday hashtag embedded onto the home dugout. Starting with last weekend’s Sky Bet Championship home match against Derby County, the plan is to increase fan engagement between R’s supporters who use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ on a matchday, and is the latest in a series of social media initiatives launched by the club over the past two years.

The R’s have used dedicated matchday hashtags since the start of last season and have found the move popular in engaging with the QPR fans pre, during and post-match. Adam Hulme, QPR’s Multi-Media Officer, said:

We are always looking for new and innovate ways to engage with our fans through social media. We understand that communication with our fans is crucial and our social media channels allow us to experiment with new technologies to help engage with our fans.

In becoming the first club to add our matchday hashtag to our home dugout we hope to show our growing fanbase how to interact with each other to hopefully add an extra dimension to their matchday experience.

The R’s social media presence has grown significantly over the past two years with over 147,000 followers on Twitter, as well as almost 230,000 Facebook fans – 108% growth during the 2012/13 season.

Alex Trickett, Head of Sport at Twitter UK, said:

Twitter brings people closer to the things they care about and for many in the UK, that means football.

We are excited to see QPR thinking of new ways to use our platform to connect fans with the team and players.

Last season, QPR was the first Premier League side to stream live pre-match press conferences through the social media channel Ustream. Rangers also used their highly-popular Ustream channel to stream pre-season games in Austria, with fans able to watch a live football match within a tweet.

During the previous transfer window, the R’s have been praised for their innovative ways of announcing new signings though Twitter’s short video service, Vine, including the arrival of Loic Remy and Danny Simpson.

Celtic Park launches fan app on wi-fi

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Celtic Park fans will soon be able to download a stadium app.

Celtic Park fans will soon be able to download a stadium app.

Celtic Park has embarked on a technology upgrade to provide wi-fi and a club fan app to its supporters.

Peter Lawell, CEO, Celtic Football Club said:

Wi-fi enabled football stadia have been talked about before, but no-one has yet done it on a scale and with the capacity to truly unlock what we see as tremendous potential. We are committed to delivering matchday experiences of the highest standard for our supporters and commercial partners and that requires us to be at the forefront of developing technology. We are delighted to be bringing true high density wi-fi to our entire ground. Our partnership with Sports Revolution and Cisco means we will be developing our services with the best in the business and that the match day experience at Celtic Park will be second to none.

Cisco’s installation covers the corporate facilities, concourses and stadium bowl seats, providing an opportunity to offer fans fully-enabled social media and rich mobile applications.

Sports Revolution is working with Celtic to develop an exclusive app called CelticLive that fans will be able to download to their smartphones from early in the 2013/14 season. The app, built on Sports Revolution’s StadiumLive platform, will give users the ability to view and interact with a wide range of relevant and engaging club content, specifically designed to enhance match day at Celtic Park.

Social Media Promotion Boosts UEFA U21 Championship Ticket Sales

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The UEFA U21 Championship kicked off in Israel with two opening matches played in front of full stadiums. It was no big surprise that host team Israel played against Norway sold out the 14,000 Netanya stadium, but the 12,000 fans who came to watch England vs. Italy in Bloomfield Stadium showed that the local organizing tournament committee is doing something right.

On the eve of the tournament UEFA announced that 100,000 tickets were sold before the first match. In comparison, the 2011 UEFA U21 Championship held in Denmark sold 50,000 tickets throughout the whole tournament.

The Israeli Football Association (IFA) which is organizing the championship has invested heavily in its social media activity, promotions and advertising to promote the tournament. Facebook adds campaigns and viral youtube clips in the weeks leading to the tournament boosted the U21 Championship buzz and exposure in the local social networks.

Last month the IFA launched a facebook ticketing application for purchasing tickets in facebook and which enables fans to see where their friends are sitting. The SitNearMe application was developed by Evento Social Promotion, which works with the IFA and other sports teams across Europe.

Evento’s Marketing Director, Yair Scher explained:

In the last two years the IFA has constantly worked to professionalise and improve its social media activities and they are looking into cutting edge tools and practices.

A comparison of the medium-sized UEFA federations’ official facebook pages shows that the IFA is getting it right.

06 u21 ticket sales stats