Research launched today by Vodafone, reveals that more than three quarters of business leaders from sports organisations see improving fan engagement – and delivering new and innovative fan experiences – as key to future success.  The research suggests that 5G, more than any other technology, will drive change and enable such experiences.

The research – released at the official opening of the Vodafone Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena, home of Wasps Rugby and Netball Club’s in Coventry – sought the views of business decision-makers in the sports sector across the UK. Over three quarters (76 per cent) confirm their organisation will use 5G as a platform for innovation, with 74 per cent believing it will underpin efforts to meet rising fan expectations.

It went on to reveal that 76 per cent believe 5G will have a bigger impact on fan experiences than 4G.  The same proportion suggest 5G will enable them to improve fan engagement with applications such as live-streaming video, mixed reality experiences and real-time access to information reinventing the fan experience both for those at the event or watching elsewhere.

Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business UK, said: “Sport is an area where 5G technology will have a huge impact. It has the potential to transform the fan experience; change the way sports organisations operate, open up new revenue opportunities; and help athletes improve their fitness and training programmes. 

Our holographic call with Steph Houghton last year was a great example of how technology can be used to bring fans closer to the action and give them experiences that were previously out of reach.”

Alongside fan experiences, sports leaders highlight innovation (30 per cent), player performance (30 per cent) and talent (27 per cent) as their key concerns. However, while 78 per cent believe the sports sector drives incredible innovation, 70 per cent believe it is behind other industry sectors in adopting new technology.

Anne added: “It is hugely encouraging that a remarkable 80 per cent of sports organisations believe 5G will underpin how they run their companies. We want to help organisations understand the potential of 5G and benefit from its speed, responsiveness and reliability. We think this technology is a game-changer for businesses, the economy and the UK as a whole.”

The Vodafone Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry is an innovation space to give businesses in the West Midlands access to digital expertise and an opportunity to experience the latest technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and high-speed fibre. This news is part of Vodafone’s ongoing commitment to creating technology centres across the UK – including the recently opened Digital Innovation Hub in MediaCityUK, Salford – and its multi-billion network investment in 5G.

For further resources and information on 5G, please visit: https://www.vodafone.co.uk/business/5g

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