Sports stadiums sell tickets by giving you a few hours of action-packed excitement, but when the athletes have to take a time-out, spectators are left to watch the grass grow, or maybe be distracted by a silly dancing mascot. But it’s 2013, and it seems the last big technological innovation in fan entertainment was the t-shirt cannon. We were due for a company like Uplause to come around and bring to stadiums’ jumbotron screens what’s already been happening in people’s pockets.
The Helsinki-based company provides fan-entertainment products that leverage a stadium’s main screen, and plugs into visual or audio inputs for fans to collectively control the screen. Like in the video below, one half of the stadium can compete against the other by trying to make the most noise. Other games allow fans to play Angry Birds, for example, by leaning their arms.
So far Uplause has rolled out in 19 different countries, and hit Japan just recently with a champion’s league football event. But when it comes to live sports, there’s no better market than the U.S. where professional baseball, football, basketball, and hockey are a way of life. Uplause has just signed a deal with the Mets, as shown below.
Like the Mets example, Uplause partners directly with the baseball clubs, allowing their solution to be used in the 80+ home games a year at Citi field. They also claim to have partnered with a few other clubs, but nothing is public at the moment.
Baseball isn’t the only sport Uplause is focused on. The Rangers have their first home playoff game today, and are using Uplause’s solution in Madison Square Gardens. Its an important milestone for Uplause CEO Veli-Pekka Marin – the Garden is one of the most famous stadiums in the world. Getting their foot in the door with the Rangers will also open them up to the 360 events that happen at the venue every year.
And closer to home, Upplause will also be used at Helsinki’s Hartwell Arena for the Ice Hockey World Championships.
“We’re going to roll out Uplause to every stadium and every arena in the U.S., and its’s going to be the de facto live entertainment. That’s our goal,” says Marin.