By Zeynep Ayden and Vanessa Campbell
Live entertainment has been dramatically altered by shelter-in-place mandates, and for the foreseeable future, federal and provincial governments will limit the extent of public gatherings. In the best of scenarios, this means a reduced audience, if not the total absence of one. All performance arts, as well as sports, are now faced with the awkwardness and challenges of performing in this diminished environment.
We have chosen to focus on the challenge of spectator-less spectator sports in Canada.
So far, our series of articles on this topic has applied our versatile team’s different lenses on this challenge:
With a tightly defined set of requirements provided by the above disciplines, the stage is set for Generative Design Research. Therefore, in this piece we will discuss analogous inspiration from around the world.
What are some early attempts to reinject a sense of normalcy into live entertainment? And to what extent have each of those delivered on the needs we have identified?
Before we dive into the examples, we want to point to another layer of the challenge for sports. It is obvious that removing the background din from sports games makes it harder for players to get into the zone, and it impacts the enjoyment of fans watching sports on TV, as it becomes difficult to tell a real game from a practice game.
There are also some secondary, less obvious consequences: A broadcast from an empty arena brings out elements of the game that would usually go largely unheard. There is nothing left to conceal the private team conversations or sometimes profane trash talk that spectators are not supposed to hear.
All the more reason to send live entertainment organizers and broadcasters around the world scrambling for solutions.
We have come across a few noteworthy attempts:
However, none of the above can replicate the atmosphere of a stadium full of loud fans with genuine, real time reactions to the game. The social interaction that has traditionally been the lifeblood of spectator sports is still lacking.
It seems that some technologies have come of age just in time for this crisis.
Some of these technologies can be used to improve the enjoyment of sport even in times of heightened security measures. And other low-tech, high touch solutions are serving as a source for inspiration.
Now imagine a plot of land allocated to fans’ cars as an outdoor gathering place, like the Raptors’ Jurassic Park, but made for cars. The tailgate party becomes the main event… Could honking horns and flashing headlights replace cheering or heckling? What if the gathering of cars was right outside the stadium, or the action outside was broadcast back into the basketball court? Could this become the source of encouragement that players need?
Source: LinkedIn Pulse
Zeynep Ayden is Associate Vice Present at Research Strategy Group. Vanessa Campbell is Vice President of Design Research at Research Group. Read more over here.
© Marketing Research and Intelligence Association