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IoT brings better communications to sports fans

Steve Rogerson
June 29, 2017

The IoT can help sports fans and their teams keep in touch thanks to a development by New York technology company Qwasi Media.
The company has launched qLoyalty, an IoT enabled service to manage fan communications. It aims to help brands and sports teams communicate with fans using real-time data to personalise loyalty and VIP experiences. The system uses digital listening posts such as NFC, wifi and beacons to create mobile experiences without fans having to download an app.
QLoyalty sends reminders to fans about upcoming games, then welcomes them by name as they walk into events, and rewards them with points that can be redeemed for merchandise such as game-worn jerseys.
Additionally, development teams are able to collect donations over mobile, advertisers can see RoI on their sponsorship messaging, and fans gain the ability to text security personnel if they see suspicious activity.
"We are excited to use new mobile technologies to elevate the fan experience, create a new type of profit centre for universities, and keep fans safer as they attend events," said founder Lara Hanson. "Today, most organisations rely solely on email and social media to drive engagement, and are not tapping into the one thing everyone has with them at all times – their mobile devices. As a former basketball player at Fordham University, I understand the challenges organisations face around fan engagement, and the opportunities mobile technology provides."
Fordham Athletics, celebrated in the sports world as the home of famed gridiron coach Vince Lombardi, revered Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, and home to the legendary Rose Hill gym, had been exploring ways to increase student attendance.
With qLoyalty, Fordham was able to launch a programme called Ram Rewards, which in year one, increased fan engagement by 290%.
"We wanted to develop a new and exciting way to engage our student fan base," said Mary Alice Limperopulos, ticket manager and assistant director of marketing at Fordham University. “Students are always on their phones, so it was only natural for us to find a more relevant way to communicate with fans on their phones.”
Upon launching qLoyalty, Fordham's fan database quadrupled, it saw a 98% retention rate and only a two per cent opt out. Advertisers saw an average 12% conversion on their marketing initiatives, and for the first time Fordham was able to offer mobile inventory to its sponsors. 
"QLoyalty gives us metrics to analyse our fan base, attendance habits and, more specifically, the type of fans attending our sporting events," said Limperopulos. “It was great to see these changes and watch our attendance grow exponentially.”
After three years in incubation, Qwasi Media has released qLoyalty enabling brands to communicate better with their fans.