For those who have experienced matches live from a stadium, you would’ve been spontaneously sucked into a whirlpool of emotion, engulfed in an electrifying experience while cheering for our favorite teams with all your might.
Sounds exciting at these times right? Damn, how much I miss that!!
But, when Bundesliga restarted some days back behind closed doors, there was something unsettling about it, with stadiums filled with echoes & air, rather than noise & life.
Football’s concept of crowd being the 12th man has been taken off the equation completely, and there is absolutely no difference between a home or an away match.
Empty Stadiums, Zero Chants or booes, no crowd to distract the penalty taker, everything looks just like a practice match.
With Zoom emerging as everyone’s favourite pandemic meeting app, they’ve unlocked yet another achievement, that too in the field of sports.
A Virtual Grandstand for around 10,000 fans via the digital platform for the match between AGF Aarhus and Randers in Denmark’s top-flight Superliga.
The faces of 1000s of supporters who joined the call were shown on giant screens that ran along one side of the field, with fans inside their living rooms, sporting jerseys & scarves, clenching their fists in joy when their team scored
Fans also had the opportunity to decorate the grandstands, dropping off placards & flags at the stadium ahead of the game & outside in the car park, fans could watch the match on a big screen from their cars, just like a drive-in theatre.
With the pandemic still causing chaos, the classic drive-in’s & virtual grandstand looks like temporary, but innovative fixes to engage fans & live viewers.
With dire need to reinvent business models & resuscitate revenues, we could soon see more innovative immersive viewing experiments.
What are your thoughts on these, let me know in the comments below!