Technology is Changing the Way We Watch Basketball
Imagine pulling into the parking garage before an NBA game. You flash a barcode pass for garage entry, which also notifies officials that you’ve arrived at the game. After a quick and easy entry, you get a message on your smartphone that offers you 20 percent off of youth hats at the team store because the store knows you purchased two youth jerseys last week. During the game, you watch instant replays and exclusive content on your phone. During the 3rd quarter, you get a BOGO offer from the hot dog stand because they have too many hot dogs and they know that you sometimes buy them.
Does this sound like a scene from Minority Report? It’s actually the real-life vision of Vivek Ranadive, a major player in a software company called Tibico that specializes in sorting mountains of data and delivering results quickly. Ranadive, for the record, is also a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors.
The NBA is no stranger to digital media. In 2011, according to the LA Times, the NBA stated that 1.9 billion people had viewed streaming video on NBA.com. Also, more than 100 million people follow the NBA or its players on Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter. The number of fans who “liked” the NBA’s Facebook page was 8.2 million, up from 2 million in 2010. NBA League Pass Broadband streams game videos to computers, while NBA League Pass Mobile plays live games, streams NBA video and offers live scores and standings.
Some people, however, object to all of the technology that is infiltrating games. Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, stated in his blog that, “the only time I want you to look down [during the game] is when you pick up the soda or beer you set down under your seat.” Cuban advocates selling fun and unique experiences, not just basketball. He likens an enjoyable NBA game to “a great wedding.”
It’s a good bet that Cuban wouldn’t like the NBA Game Time mobile app. Instead of getting on their feet during the commercial breaks, fans can sit in their seats and watch highlights from around the league while reading Twitter (News - Alert) updates from NBA players. With NBA Turnstile, fans can “check in” at arenas, a la Foursquare, or check in to virtual locations, such as televised games.
With the NBA season shortened thanks to the player lockout, the game schedule is more packed than ever before. Current mobile technology allows fans to keep up even while they’re at their favorite games. Pretty soon, as mobile capabilities continue to evolve, desktop and smartphone technology may be able to deliver a whole lot more.
Unfortunately, you’ll still have to get out of your seat to get your BOGO hot dog. But with your smartphone in hand, you won’t miss any of the action.
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Jacqueline Lee is a TMCnet contributor who produces web content, blogs and articles for numerous websites including wikiHow.com. Her background is in business and education.
Edited by Jennifer Russell