The San Francisco Deltas are employing a startup attitude to improve their fan experience. The newest entrant to the North American Soccer League (NASL) has partnered with Verizon to solve an issue they believe others have ignored for too long.
Home games at the historic Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park lack one major convenience modern fans are accustomed to – a video screen. In order to solve this problem, the team has begun development of an augmented reality Jumbotron that fans will be able to access through the SF Deltas app on their smartphones.
The earliest version of the Jumbotron is triggered by a target image recognized by the smartphone’s camera. In a test earlier this year, fans were given cards with a Deltas logo that triggered live video feeds of the game superimposed onto the field. Based on early feedback, the team is working on creating a version that functions without the need of a target image in order to make the action more natural.
Regardless, the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive and has spurred fans to think of the future potential. According to Bryant Harrison, Director of Product Management for the Deltas, “People associate other experiences they’ve had in other stadiums with video screens and they immediately get it and understand why it’s important and are excited to see that come to fruition in the future.”
Currently the AR Jumbotron features mostly live video content from the match, but Harrison can imagine it one day being interactive with fans. “We have a fan base that is tech savvy. People in the Bay Area are early adopters of technology, so they’re willing to try things out. It’s a perfect culmination for trying to push technology into sports.”
The app is not yet live, but the Deltas hope to release it to everyone some time this season.