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Fan Experience

Tech Stack: 49ers, Bengals and more

Featured image credit: Naveen Venkatesan on Unsplash

Our weekly tech round-up from the stadium and arena sector…

The San Francisco 49ers is offering new fan engagement avenues via digitally connected clothing technology at Levi’s Stadium.

Avery Dennison has become the official embellishment partner of the NFL team and will introduce digital connectivity into select 49ers Fanatics merchandise in the form of smart embellishments and digital labels. The deal marks the first major foray into American football for Embelex, Avery Dennison’s solution for on-garment branding that provides digitally-connected and sustainable options for personalization.

The tech will debut at a game next month in tandem with the 49ers’ plans to honour newly inducted Pro Football Hall of Famer Bryant Young at halftime. Avery Dennison will digitally enable a special edition garment that provides exclusive opportunities to those who purchase.

“No matter where you travel, there’s always a good chance you will see someone wearing 49ers merchandise,” said Kevin Hilton, the 49ers’ vice-president of corporate partnerships. “Avery Dennison will strengthen our already powerful retail business by opening a new world of possibility through technology. We look forward to collaborating on ideas that can serve as a blueprint for global sports franchises seeking ways to interact with their fans in this digital age.”

The NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals is aiming to divert more than 150,000 pieces of plastic waste from being landfilled or flowing into waterways during this season’s home games through a partnership with PureCycle Technologies.

PureCycle’s PureZero program enables the recycling of No. 5 plastic (polypropylene) which often goes to landfill because it is difficult and costly to recycle. Through a processing technology, developed by Procter & Gamble, PureCycle removes impurities from items such as souvenir stadium cups and food containers to create an ultra-pure recycled (UPR) plastic.

Brian Sells, vice-president and chief marketing officer, said: “We are proud to work with PureCycle on the PureZero program to help reduce plastic waste pollution and keep our region beautiful. With their purification facility located in Ohio, we can help them tackle the plastic waste issues within our own backyard.”

SAP Center is to deploy Patriot One Technologies’ SmartGateway patron screening solution and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Platform to secure all entrances at the 18,000-seat home of the San Jose Sharks.

The technology will be deployed for all non-NHL events, and will also be used at Tech CU Arena, the new 4,200-seat home of the San Jose Barracuda at Sharks Ice at San Jose.

“It was important for us to find a security screening solution that was flexible enough to meet the varied configurations for our different events, while protecting our fans and staff and enabling a safe, but convenient guest experience,” said Mike McCarroll, vice-president of guest experience at SAP Center. “We want to make sure SAP Center and Tech CU Arena’s security technology is the best on the market and meets the highest industry standards, while allowing us to enhance the guest experience.”

Australian firm Snackr is bringing its in-venue ordering technology to the UK.

Snackr, which launched at the KFC Big Bash League at Blundstone Arena in December 2020, said it will be rolling out its service to stadiums across the UK from October onwards. It has partnered with Trippant, the communications consultancy, ahead of its UK launch.

Matthew Lim, Snackr co-founder, said: “We are looking forward to bringing our services to fans around the country and with the help of Trippant we know that Snackr will be available to thousands of fans across the country before too long.”