Flipping The WiFi Data Funnel – NFL Style

Remember when download speed used to be the most important aspect of your internet connection? We were far more concerned with how fast we could pull files and data from other web properties than we were with upload speed. We didn’t upload anything! That’s why most home and even some business ISP plans still reflect a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio of download to upload speed.

But mobile has won, and that former precept has been flipped on its head. Now the content that we are most concerned with is our content, and we’re pushing it up to “the cloud” as fast as we can create it. What does that mean for public use WiFi? Let’s take the example of an NFL Football Stadium on game day.

The NFL reports more than 4 TB of data uploaded PER GAME in this most recent football season. For any WiFi network, sustainable speeds with 40,000, 50,000, or 60,000+ potential users on the network at the same time for 3 – 5 hours is an incredible challenge. In fact, many NFL facilities are debating whether or not they should even provide WiFi for attendees to use. What’s the point when the carrier (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) can provide LTE connections far more efficiently?

In addition, there’s a legal question to answer. If you connect to an NFL WiFi network and upload content via their network, who owns that content? Organizations like the NFL are making a case that they own the content that their ticketholders create and share via their WiFi networks.

Of course, the goal of providing Wifi at these professional sports stadiums is customer engagement via the WiFi. If you attract fifty-thousand people and get most of them to join your WiFi network, shouldn’t there be some value in that, aside from the convenience and speed of WiFi and avoiding cellular data usage? But the question remains: How do you garner real customer engagement via WiFi?

Requiring users to download a temporary app has not been successful. A branded app such as that is not sticky, causes too much user friction, and the app is immediately deleted because it’s worthless when the user is not at an event at the facility. Handing over all those connections to the carriers, even if more convenient, seems like giving up on face to face customer contact.

What if these facilities could ensure direct engagement via the wifi? What if the facility’s marketing technology team could interact with users based on contextual awareness of the users’ geographical location within the facility as well as the users’ demographics?

The simple answer is, they can. Click here to arrange a demo.