CES 2015: How technology is redefining the live experience

Ensuring emerging technologies do not interfere with the "special" experience of live events requires a "delicate balance" to be struck, according to the president of the American Football team San Francisco 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers stadium app: live events meet tech
San Francisco 49ers stadium app: live events meet tech

Speaking yesterday on a panel about technology and live events at OMD Oasis, part of CES International 2015, Paraag Marathe discussed some of the technological innovations introduced by the NFL team, such as an app that (among other functions) delivers visitors' food and drink orders to their seats in its stadium.

He said: "No matter what, there will forever be something romantic about being at a live sporting event.

"Everything we try to do with technology is to make the experience better and not clutter […] because the live event is still special."

Marthe said the 49ers were encouraging its fans to recognise new ways to interact with the stadium. Once their behaviour changes, the team then begins to integrate its advertising partners.

The panel discussed the rise of real-time marketing and how brands can capitalise on engagement during live events in a way that is organic and authentic. 

Ross Hoffman, director of brand strategy at Twitter, said real-time marketing "starts and stops with legal departments". He said it is vital for marketers to have the organisation’s attorney on-side.

He also stressed the importance of being "prepared to be spontaneous", creating content ahead of time and on the fly, even though 75% of it likely won’t get seen.

He said: "It is about being nimble and ready."

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