One of the biggest and most successful football clubs in the World is changing the fan experience.
I've had my fair share of blog posts about the international soccer scene; in large part because sponsorship plays such a large role in the sport. The jersey sponsors are more visible than the team logo and often become synonymous with the team altogether. However, the powerful soccer clubs around the world are often at the forefront of sponsorship innovation.
It was just announced that Bayern Munich has partnered with Apple Pay to offer payment alternatives for tickets, concessions, merchandise, and more. Apple and Bayern Munich already have a partnership with Apple's streaming service: Apple Music. In that deal, Apple Music has created custom playlists for fans and players as well as videos.
This deal will extend the relationship between the two companies to the fan experience in a more general sense. Fans will now be able to load their tickets onto their phone using Apple Wallet which will help continue to phase out paper tickets.
Additionally, fans inside Allianz Stadium will now be able to pay for concessions and merchandise using Apple Pay. With the continued increased cost of attendance for sporting events, fans will not have to carry a few hundred dollars in cash or even bring in their big wallet.
Don't be surprised if you see more teams doing this in the future. In my neck of the woods, the Detroit Lions switched over this year to completely paperless tickets. The new Red Wings and Pistons arena, Little Caesars Arena, also offers the same option without requiring it.
Teams and leagues around the world are embracing technology and are constantly trying to make the fan experience better. Especially in this day and age where TV's and cell phones provide fans the opportunity to watch games in clarity from wherever they are.
1.) Paper tickets will soon be extinct and the exchange of hard money will continue to decrease at sporting events around the world.
2.) This presents a huge opportunity for banks and credit card companies around the the world. We've already seen Visa get involved with UEFA.
3.) The good news is the possibility of forgetting your tickets at home will go away, but on the other hand you won't be able to hang up the tickets to memorable or historic games you've been to.
Written by: James Campbell
James Campbell is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan with his B.A. in Sport Management. Throughout his time at Michigan, he has worked with Detroit City FC, MiLife Sport & Social Club, and USA Hockey. - @Jimmy10Campbell