Research by cashless solutions company tappit has found that poor aspects of the match-day experience risk ruining fans’ enjoyment of sporting events.

The company has surveyed over 1,000 UK-based fans across football, rugby, cricket and motorsports, with results showing that the atmosphere is the best aspect of attending events.

However, 73 per cent of football fans quizzed stated that long queues at food and drinks stands are the worst part of attending matches. This figure was 62 per cent for rugby fans, 54 per cent for cricket and 49 per cent for motorsports.

The survey also found that marketing from clubs and venues “does not do enough to foster loyalty”. Many respondents felt that they were being sent generic offers, with 57 per cent of motorsports fans saying they would prefer to receive personalised marketing content based on their previous behaviour.

Fifty-three per cent of cricket fans and 48 per cent of football fans surveyed said that making purchases of food, drink or merchandise could be made more convenient, with the majority stating they would prefer to use contactless, NFC or prepaid cards or wristbands when spending money at a match. Fifty-two per cent of rugby fans also showed a preference for tap-and-go methods.

Jason Thomas, chief executive of tappit, said: “Our research shows that fans are clearly expecting more from their live sports experience. And while sectors like retail and hospitality are forging ahead with ways to enhance consumer experience, there’s still more that sports clubs and venues can do. With more and more competition for people’s attention and spend, hopefully this will be the wake-up call that the sports industry needs to ensure fans keep coming back for more.”

Tappit’s cashless RFID systems are used for entry into venues and for purchasing food, drinks and merchandise. In March it partnered with Formula One’s Australian Grand Prix, adding to a portfolio of clients which also includes Manchester City, Birmingham City, Bestival, Dubai Rugby 7s, Creamfields, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the World Surf League.

Image: Cléria De Souza