New Research from Oracle Highlights Sports Technology Trends for 2021

While 2020 sent the industry into a period of uncertainty regarding live sports, new research from Oracle shows fans are eager to return to the electric atmosphere of in-person games.

Live events have made a big return this year, but some arenas are finding that the return of fans comes with new expectations. Oracle’s new Back in the Arena: A.U., U.K. and U.S. consumer trends report highlights how consumer expectations for their gameday experience have shifted and what stadium operators can do to prepare.

Oracle Food and Beverage Senior Vice President and General Manager Simon de Montfort Walker sees the industry forever changed, “From season ticket holders to casual fans, consumers are looking forward to the return of in-person events, but like so many industries, sports and entertainment won’t return to the status quo for some time, if ever.”

Survey respondents agree that expectations are high after more than a year away from the buzz and atmosphere of in-person sports. Industry leaders are looking to invest in cloud–based technology stacks as part of the solution. These integrated experiences are not only great for streamlining back-of-house operations, but trends also show that fans are willing to pay extra for premium amenities:

>67% of people would buy more if they could pre-order and avoid the line, and 56% would like to schedule their orders so it will be ready at a set time.
>57% would love a “fast pass” system to gain priority access to food, shops, and facilities – most popular with families with 62% rating this option as “awesome”.
>51% would like to plan their itineraries in advance, so they can visit concessions and stores at set times to avoid the lines.
>59% of consumers said they would enjoy receiving personalized offers and promotions for nearby restaurants/bars to go out at before or after the event.

Cloud-enabled point-of-sale technology is allowing stadium operators to expand their concession offerings to include contactless engagement through self-service kiosks, in-seat mobile ordering, and more. Additional research from Oracle supports this idea – with trends showing that consumers are planning to rely more on mobile devices and online payment options than cash moving forward.

>73% of consumers plan to reduce their use of cash at restaurants moving forward.
>49% of consumers would like to minimize human interaction by reserving tables, ordering, and paying through a mobile device.
>46% of people surveyed said they want to settle the bill on a mobile app.
>39% of consumers prefer to order ahead on their device to reduce wait times.
>37% of survey respondents said they would like to track the status of their order through a mobile app.

“Operators have worked hard during the shutdown to create better, safer experiences that customers not only want but have come to expect,” concludes de Montfort Walker. “Technology will play a key role in the evolution of the 360-degree fan experience.”

Keeping a pulse on consumer trends and sentiment gives us important insight into which changes fans are looking for when choosing their next gameday excursion. Read the full Back in the Arena: A.U., U.K. and U.S. consumer trends report to learn more about which emerging technology trends will have the greatest impact on fan retention, gameday sales, and more.

This venue solution was published in partnership with Oracle Food and Beverage.

About Oracle Food and Beverage

Oracle Food and Beverage is the leading provider of point-of-sale systems to restaurants and sports and entertainment venues worldwide. Oracle can help you connect every guest interaction to your back-of-house operations, so you can deliver better business performance and exceptional customer experiences.

Register for the next ALSD Webinar, featuring Bret Harley, Senior Solutions Engineer at Oracle Food and Beverage, and Josh Pell, Vice President of Hospitality for the San Diego Padres.