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World cup fever: Don´t forget to bring your mobile device

By: Francisco Fernandes, Solutions Architect, Hewlett Packard Company (Brazil)

 

soccer ball mobile phone.jpgThe World Cup happens every four years and it´s the main soccer event in the world. Brazil (my home country) is hosting the games and with it comes a broad range of technology that can literally put everyone into the arena. Even in countries where soccer is not the most popular sport, the attention has been amazing. And the feeling here in Brazil is that the World Cup is everywhere. It´s World Cup fever – and it is very infectious!

 

Everywhere around the world, information is available and everyone is connected and informed. However, soccer fans attending the World Cup are having a different experience, powered by technology. I am not talking about TV broadcasts (which also have a lot of new features to engage their audience), but rather new types of interaction that everyone is experiencing. But if you are still planning to attend the World Cup and want the full experience, don´t forget to bring your mobile device. If you are already here and forgot to bring it, you should have already bought a new one.

 

The mobile experience – it’s not an option, it’s a requirement

Being far from home doesn´t mean you have to be disconnected from your daily life. Now your daily life comes with you in your pocket. Services and products are now expecting you to be anywhere. It’s no different for the World Cup. From grabbing a taxi to accessing an airport flight schedule, being connected allows anyone to get support and services on demand, exactly when needed. Don´t worry if you don´t speak Portuguese. Reliable translation apps are quite common and help everyone communicate.

 

Tickets to the matches were really hard to get. FIFA used an online system to sell tickets, most of them in advance, and by a random drawing. There are also last minute tickets being sold, but none of them are purchased in a store. You need to be online to get them. If you think you can get a ticket at the stadiums or through a ticketing center, you are wrong. If you are offline, there is no way to get a ticket.

 

If you are following your national team, you know that most of the breaking news is coming from the web or social media – here’s where you will get updates first (not via TV or other traditional media). If you would like to hear from your favourite player, you better follow him on a social media channel. Content is being added as you read this, and some of them quickly go viral, like when Neymar Jr, the best Brazilian player, was injured during the match against Colombia and could no longer compete in the World Cup.

 

Many companies created specific apps for the World Cup. Some of those apps just keep track of what is going on, but many create interesting levels of entertainment and interaction with soccer fans. Augmented reality and gamification was largely used to create different experiences, often playing off the natural competition between soccer fans. Many apps were created to allow groups of people to play against each other just for fun. A new TV app invited people who scored more points in a guessing game to attend a live TV show with soccer players. Another TV channel gave away a brand new TV to the viewer who scored more points per round in the same guessing game.

 

The way businesses understand what their audience is thinking has also changed. Throughout social medial, companies are closely following what their customers are saying and doing during the World Cup. Capturing hot discussions is guiding the agenda of live sports programs. Trending topics on Twitter are having a greater impact than live interviews. Simply put, people are becoming more informed via social media than by watching TV.

 

When the group competition phase ended, emotions escalated. Entire nations got in front of the TV to watch their team reach the next round. For the first time, sentiment analysis was used to understand how people demonstrated their feelings before, during and after decisive matches. A striking example was the scene after Brazil´s games against Colombia. James Rodrigues, a young and talented player from Colombia, was crying after losing the game and was... This one event received more than 1.5 million “likes” in just hours. It was a beautiful scene and an example of respect and fair play that was shared by hundreds of thousands through social media.

 

If you’re not clear on the role of social media, analytics and mobility you might find yourself opening a store where almost no one will show up. Your customers will still be there, but they will be using different channels to shop and consume services. Products and services will be customized and personalized to be client specific and will reach them wherever they are, instead of waiting for them to come to your store. Large events like the World Cup make it clear that this is a one-way street to the future – there is no turning back. I’ll talk about brick-and-mortar vs. online storefronts in a future blog.

 

And we’ll see you (virtually) in 2016 for the Olympic games in Rio!

 

Previous blogs by Francisco Fernandes:

 

Related links:

About the author 

 

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Francisco Fernandes, Solution Architect, Hewlett Packard Company (Brazil)

Francisco is a solutions architect and an applications modernization expert with more than 20 years of experience working on applications in multiple industries including banking, financial services, telecom, media & entertainment and healthcare. He joined HP in 2002 and is located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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About the Author
Solutions Architect working at HP since 2002 with focus on Applications Modernization, located at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


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