The recent Beyonce concert (aka the Super Bowl 50 match between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers) was every bit the sporting/entertainment extravaganza we’ve come to expect, reaching a TV audience of just shy of 112 million viewers worldwide.  On top of this the match also broke the record for streaming, with just under 4 million people able to watch on CBS’s live stream.

One of the most interesting statistics, to our mind, relates to the WiFi network at the Levi Stadium in San Francisco, where the game was held. The 71,000 fans in attendance on the day used the Wifi network to transfer over 10 Terabytes of data – data that could prove an invaluable resource for advertisers in the Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) space.


Comcast provided the infrastructure at Levi Stadium offering up dual 10 Gigabit data links to allow fans to connect to more than 1,200 access points including equal numbers of bluetooth beacons (at it’s peak users of the WiFi network were using around 3.6Gbps with 18,000 concurrent users).

Such large-scale connectedness is good news for DOOH. We’ve already seen WiFi and Bluetooth beacons used programmatically to trigger content but generally this has been small-scale, one-off projects. Imagine how a new or refurbished sporting venue or exhibition space could utilise WiFi, Bluetooth beacons, ticket sales, weather, food consumption, footfall, social media and demographics to drive really dynamic, tailored content to hundreds of thousands of fans…

Looking ahead, the upcoming Olympics in Rio will be an occasion of similar scale and worldwide interest. Assuming capable Wifi infrastructures are installed in the stadiums, a sportswear brand, for example, could trigger content on trackside screens based on when a requisite number of consumers are heading into the stadiums (knowledge garnered by the number of people connected to the WiFi network at the time). And of course they could adjust the ads when data tells them consumers have disconnected and are heading away from the stadium.

With good access to WiFi data, ads could be set to activate on a more granular set of rules, their content adjusting to fit the demographics, which entrance fans enter through or the apps users are detected to have on their devices at the time. Ads could be triggered when one or even a combination of data rules are met, giving brands the chance to broadcast messages with greater meaning and relevance to the audience at any given time.

All this empowers brands to communicate better with different audience mindsets in real-time, as well as literally take the games to those further afield who couldn’t make it on the day (automatically, using data), along with those on their way to/from the stadium.

At mega events brands have only a limited TV opportunity (with 30sec commercials costing $4m to air on average), so typically they resort to reactive platforms like social. But state-of-the-art Wifi-networks such as the one in operation in San Francisco, give brands an opportunity to communicate with a wider audience, before an event (live countdowns to the start of the games, social buzz), during an event (match updates, what’s on now/next, real-time stats, UGC), and after an event (celebrating the best content with the fans on their way home).

Taking data from games is quickly being recognised as commercially valuable to brands. Jaguar gave it a good go with their ‘Feel Wimbledon’ campaign last summer. It’s a great time for brands to get involved. The opportunities to make more meaningful connections with consumers is right there but only the more agile and tech-embracing brands will get to score the touchdowns.