TECH TALK: Interview with Jason Thomas, Global CEO, Tappit
In this latest ‘Tech Talk’ interview, we hear from Jason Thomas, Global CEO at Tappit, who discusses their latest multi-year partnership with Super Bowl LIV Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, which will see Arrowhead Stadium become completely cashless, and how technology looks set to evolve across the sports and live entertainment landscape moving forward.
The recently announced partnership between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tappit will bring safe and seamless contactless mobile payment technology to fans as they return to Arrowhead Stadium to watch the Chiefs during the 2020 season.
We originally started the discussion with the Kansas City Chiefs as a consultancy piece. We have various cashless solutions, whether RFID related, that can link to season tickets, or mobile solutions that link to the app, in the end, the Chiefs went with us as their official in-app mobile payment provider.
The idea behind this is that their fans can effectively make purchases via their mobile phone, or via the Chiefs app, at the pro shop or at their F&B outlets in the stadium. The important thing for the Chiefs is that they will then receive the data of the fan, which we then hook up with ticketing and other data so they get one view of the fan and their behaviour. They can use this to incentivise fans to increase their spend, all while improving the fan experience and ensuring operations are as efficient as possible.
In terms of their other work, geographical reach and the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Jason said:
Tappit has always been a global business. We’ve worked in the Middle East, South East Asia and Europe, predominantly working in the Middle East and Europe. We started getting enquires from the US about 9-10 months ago, and it became very clear that the way the fan experience works in the US is very different to sports organisations and even events organisations in other parts of the world. The main difference being that they don’t deal with consumables in the same way as say sporting organisations do in Europe, and what I mean by that is they don’t deal with physical tickets in the same way. There’s been a big move in the last 2-3 years for most organisations to have mobile ticketing, so most of the fans at Arrowhead use the app already to gain entry.
It became apparent for us that launching a mobile solution was key. We’ve seen significant interest from the US over the last 9 months, particularly because of COVID-19. Two things are happening: 1) Organisations that were thinking of going cashless are going cashless and 2) Organisations that had decided to go cashless pre-COVID but that were considering a more traditional route, have now decided to obligate completely cashless environments. We’ve now got a US base in Texas and have been growing the team over there for the last six months.
Speaking about how technology will evolve across the sports and live entertainment landscape moving forward, Jason commented:
I think innovation now seems to be at the forefront of many organisations minds. What’s become really apparent is that when fans aren’t physically within their stadiums or their environments, unless they’ve taken the time to really take data seriously and really had an understanding of their fans, it’s become a challenge for them to really keep the correspondence/communication with fans really valid. Going forward, really understanding the behaviour of fans and understanding the importance of data is set. I don’t think we’ll ever go back to using cash in the same way and I think clubs, organisations and event owners who are not really looking to innovate, are going to struggle going forward.
For the full interview, make sure to watch the video interview.
#Chiefs #cashless #fanengagement #fanexperience #sportsbiz #sportstech #stadia
The 2020 edition of ALSD International – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector, focused on increasing revenue via new builds, renovations, service expansions & technology – will be a hybrid affair, with the physical event, being hosted at Premier League champions, Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium, October 12-13, to be virtualised to ensure no one misses out!
ALSD International 2020 will be a hybrid event featuring a high-level conference that will be streamed, an exhibition hall (physical & virtual), behind-the-scenes tours of Anfield, Goodison Park and M&S Bank Arena (physical & virtual), as well as numerous networking events (physical & virtual), ensuring optimised opportunities to knowledge-share, network and do business, whether there in person or virtually.
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