New and Elevated Demands Surrounding Live Sports

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The future of live sporting events has unquestionably changed, elevating existing demands and introducing a new set of demands for sports teams and their venues moving forward.

Mobile Payment and Contactless Payments: An Essential Requirement for Sports Venues
In the ‘new normal’ of live sports, venue operations will need to reconfigure their supporting teams and systems to achieve the critical digital competencies enabling safe, efficient, secure events. A value-add before, supporting and offering secure contactless payments in-venue is a must-have for the future of live sports. Contactless payments offer a range of benefits for both fans and businesses, including:

  • Reduce Physical Contact: with contactless payments, whether through a mobile device or another form, helps reduce the number of physical touchpoints in venue environments. Fans no longer need to touch keypads, exchange money with concessions staff, or sign printed receipts.
  • Seamless Experiences and Faster Payments: while attending a live sporting event, no fan wants to wait in a congested line - then exchange credit card/cash back and forth. Contactless payments streamline the payment process by utilizing a single action to complete the transaction. This increases fan satisfaction and convenience, allowing them to get back to why they came in the first place: enjoying the event.
  • Generate More Revenue: processing payments and servicing fans faster businesses will naturally drive more invenue purchases in volume alone. Studies also have shown if fans are satisfied with the payment process, they’re more willing to make return visits/purchases as well as spend more money collectively.
  • Support Data Security: contactless payment methods remove the need to carry cash or credit cards, both of which can be lost, stolen, and used to purchase goods by someone else. It’s much more challenging for a thief to run up charges if a fan can pay through their mobile devices, facial recognition, biometric screening, etc.
  • Integrate with Mobile Platforms & Apps: contactless payments align with fans’ mobile-centric, digitalized behaviors and preferences. For teams with a gameday app, mobile payment options can be integrated into these platforms to offer even more convenience for fans as well as help teams increase adoption and usage of the mobile tools they invested in.

Technology Requirements to Enable Contactless Payments
How venues deploy and support contactless payments is nearly as important as the use case itself. Without the right technologies to enable it the benefits of touchless transactions will not be realized, leaving fans and staff frustrated with the experience.

To successfully support contactless payments, venues must leverage an IT networking solution. A purposely designed and deployed in-venue network provides:

  • Wired and Wireless Connectivity: for any contactless payment use cases to operate effectively connectivity is critical; connectivity for fan’s devices and for wired/ wireless point of sale systems. Utilizing the latest Wi-Fi standard (Wi-Fi 6) with outdoor and weatherproof APs (IP67 rated) delivers an optimal experience and prevents any disruption or drop in service. APs with integrated BLE technology create micro-location analytics and fan activation opportunities for personalized engagements. Lastly, of equal importance, installed APs should maintain the aesthetics of the venue with a ‘hide-in-plain-sight’ look and feel.
  • End-to-End Network Visibility & Management: centralized wired and wireless network management provides venuewide visibility and control of all connected users and devices. This simplifies and augments the task of guaranteeing service delivery during peak hours of operation during a game or event, maintaining critical uptime for POS devices/payment systems and identifying any connection disruptions for fans.
  • Policy-Based Network Provisioning: policy-based networking equips sports venues with seamless onboarding and appropriate network access/privileges for all guest and business users/devices, alleviating the burden of network administration and allowing venues to prioritize access for certain users, devices, and applications – including POS devices and supporting venue staff.
  • Seamless Roaming in Full Venue Deployments: for venues outfitted with a comprehensive network deployment across its environment, the ability to roam without a drop in network connection delivers a better, more convenient experience to fans; seamless roaming also delivers greater operational flexibility and efficiency to venues from POS perspective, and how it ties in with concessions, retail, etc.

Why Work with Extreme Networks Extreme Networks’ dedicated Sports and Public Venues business unit has a laser focus on designing and deploying IT network solutions to meet the specific demands of venue environments, now and in the future. We work with customers across professional sports, collegiate athletics, racing venues - forming true partnerships with our customers to enable their critical use cases like contactless payments.