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Sports Applications Technology

Ericsson to Provide Mobile Device Support for 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships

March 13, 2014


Ericsson (News - Alert) recently announced that it has become a partner in the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. As a result of the agreement, it will provide various mobile, interactive apps that spectators can use to locate venues and view real-time stats from the various competitions.

Based in Oberhofen am Thunersee, Switzerland, the International Ski Federation (FIS) is the global governing body for various skiing sports like ski jumping, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, and alpine skiing.

The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships have been held since 1925 and cover the disciplines of cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined, a combination of the two into one competition.

Throughout its history, the event has been held in different timeframes, sometimes annually or every four years. Under the current format, in place since 1985, the Championships take place every other year in odd numbered years. The 2015 Championships will be held in Falun, Sweden, which was also the site of the championships in 1954, 1973, and 1993.

Event data will be presented in real-time under the framework of what Ericsson calls a ‘virtual interactive arena.’ This will allow fans who are not only onsite at the Championships to get up-to-the-minute results, but also fans around the world.

The 2015 Championships are another example of sporting events that widely support mobile technology. While anyone can attend these events without a smartphone or tablet, it’s at the point where not bringing these devices seems like it’s missing out on the overall fan experience.

Stats in and of themselves are probably not going to differentiate an app in the eyes of the fans. It’s because they’re nothing new. Sites like ESPN (News - Alert) have provided stats online for years. What will make these apps compelling is how well they make attending these events an enjoyable experience.

This means providing exclusive content that’s not available on sites like ESPN’s. Interviews, replays and analysis will be a required part of these apps, but that only satisfies the stat-geeks. Helping fans locate concessions, viewing areas, parking and transportation will greatly reduce the aggravation factor. Special promotions available by scanning QR codes at the event will be greatly appreciated by those questioning why they spent so much at the event. This is before any concept of social media that allows the event to be about the fans is taken into consideration.

It is Ericsson’s goal of a ‘Networked Society’ that anything that can benefit from being connected should be connected. As fast as the world is adopting mobile technology, it’s likely that this vision is taking place without regard to Ericsson’s vision. One unfortunate consequence of this technology is that it may become bigger than the sports it’s showcased in. Hopefully, for the sake of the tradition of many sports, that does not happen.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker