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Le Parc des Princes, Paris Le Parc des Princes, Paris

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Homefans E1: The Parisian fan experience with Alex

Alex, a parisian soccer fan tells us how he created a travelling experience around PSG for international PSG fans.

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Here is the first episode of a series dedicated to the best fan experience in the world with Homefans. Welcome to Paris and the Parisian experience.

 

Let’s start the first episode of our partnership with Homefans with an immersion in Paris at the Parc des Princes with Alex!
Just back from the United States, Alex rediscovered the perks of living in Paris, the city of his favorite team: Paris Saint-Germain. After many experiences of sports travels in America and Europe, the born and raised parisian wants to make travellers discover the capital through sports.

From the Parc des Princes to Montmartre via the Eiffel Tower, Alex offers the most beautiful visit of Paris for soccer fans. Thanks to Homefans, he earns money by sharing his passion for Paris Saint-Germain. Indeed, Alex offers PSG fans from all over the world the opportunity to experience a game day like a true local.

The Parc des Princes: a stadium with an atmosphere like no other

Alex has been supporting the PSG since he was a child. His best memory of the Parc des Princes is simply his first game. Chance made that moment even more special as his favorite song, I Feel Good by James Brown, came in the speakers as he entered the stadium. Since then, Alex has returned to the stadium with the same passion and above all the desire to share emotions with other fans.

“I go to the stadium first and foremost because I know I’m going to experience great emotions there. My best memories at the Parc are the turnarounds, good and bad. That’s what makes me want to go back game after game.”

Alex, host Homefans PSG

After living in the United States for a while, Alex realized the beauty of European stadiums. The fervor of our fans is miles away from what can be seen elsewhere. On their own, European soccer fans organize themselves to lighten up the games and make themselves heard. This is not something you find in many other sports or in many other stadiums. For him it is the big asset of our European stadiums.

supporter-psg-bvb@PSG

PSG fans behind the Parc des Princes

Sharing his passion for Paris Saint-Germain with Homefans

Going to live a sports experience abroad is an unforgettable moment. But it’s even better when you fully discover a club and its environment by visiting the best places and going to the best bars around the stadium with local fans.

This is what Alex missed when he went to see a Tottenham game in London. Traveling to London to see a game was a dream. Having local fans with him would have been an opportunity to be fully immersed and to experience the game like a real Londoner. This is what motivated him to join Homefans: to share his passion for Paris, the club and the city. Homefans is the perfect way for him to do that. Homefans is the best marketplace for sports travel. It allows local supporters from the most beautiful sports cities to host game day experiences for sports fans who travel from all over the world. If you want to discover what a game day among a group of Parisians feel like, then Alex’s PSG experience is for you!

La PSG Experience avec Fanstriker@Fanstriker

La PSG Experience avec Fanstriker

Experiencing PSG games like a local Parisian

Soccer fans from all over the world can book a day with Alex to go to the Parc des Princes and discover the city of Paris. It starts with a visit of the most beautiful places in the capital. Then, the PSG fan group will be able to taste the best parisian and french specialities before going to the game. But if the fans use Homefans, it’s above all for pre- and post-game rituals.
According to Alex, the formula for a successful game day is very simple. He only needs a group of friends, a win and a kebab after the game. He is still looking for the best Greek in Paris to add to his list of attractions!

“This is really a dream job! I can share my passion for PSG and Paris with like-minded sports fans. I get to show them the best spot in the city for a sports fan.”

Alex, local host on Homefans

Alex has been a fan of the PSG since a long time before his recent successes. Still he appreciates all the sporting richness that Paris SG has to offer. From Paris FC to Paris Basketball, via the PSG Experience, the capital city is full of exciting sporting events.

Like many cities in France, the parisian sports landscape is rich. It attracts thousands of tourists and enthusiasts every year. You too can offer the most beautiful sports experience in your city. Homefans is a unique opportunity for you to get paid by accompanying foreign fans to your favorite stadium. Just like Alex, you can have become a local host and build a sports experience around your city. This is your chance to get your dream job ! If you want to know more and join the community, just click here! 

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In english

How to manage crowds in stadiums after the COVID-19 break with Zack KLIMA (WaitTime)

How can we organise the return of fans to stadiums while encouraging social distancing? Zack Klima and WaitTime offers a solution to master crowd management during the post COVID-19 era.

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Since the beginning of May, several sports leagues have resumed without any fans within the stands post Covid-19. As teams and leagues are preparing for a new season, there is a lot of debate about the return of fans in stadiums.

How could we make sure that fans are able to social distance at sports events post Covid-19? Zack Klima answered that question by presenting WaitTime in our podcast.

“WaitTime’s state-of-the-art, patented artificial intelligence leverages both a guest platform and an operator’s platform to observe, measure, and maximize the impact of the WaitTime system using real-time data and historical analysis.” – WaitTime website

Allow fans to enjoy the game at its fullest

Have you ever missed an important play because you left your place and were waiting in line at the food court. Zack Klima has! After that happened to him, he decided to create WaitTime: an AI-based solution that allows fans to see in realtime how crowded the food court, the restrooms or any area of the stadium is. Not only does WaitTime allow fans to enjoy more of the game but it also allow venues to improve their service.

Facilitate social distancing and make fans feel safe

The idea of bringing fans back in stadiums drives many questions. Will fans feel safe enough to go back to gatherings like sports events? How can make sure fans practice social distancing in stadiums? What if fans don’t stroll in the hallways of the stadium as they used to?

“WaitTime went from being a nice-to-have solution to a must-have” – Zack Klima, Founder of WaitTime

WaitTime tackles all of those problems. Before the COVID-19 crisis, allowing the audience to track busy places in real-time was a nice thing to do. It has now become a must.

After encountering much success in sports venues since 2014, WaitTime’s technology is now being used in major mainstream common areas like train stations and restaurants.

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In english

Podcast: Gudjon Gudjonsson, CEO of OZ Sports

OZ Arena is an augmented reality solution for sports broadcasting to make fans any game look like the World Cup’s Final.

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OZ Sports

On today’s podcast, I am joined by Gudjon Gudjonsson to talk about an augmented experience for games in empty stadiums.

Interview Gudjon Gudjonsson, CEO of OZ Sports

Hello Gudjon, thank you very much for joining us today on the podcast. How are you doing today?

I am doing very good! Thank you for having me.

Could you please introduce yourself to the listener?

Yes. I am Gudjon GUDJONSSON, it is an icelandic name. I was born in Island but I have mostly lived in Europe and the US. I am currently running a company named OZ Sports.

You’re the CEO of a sports tech company named OZ Sports. Your main produt is the OZ Connected Stadium. Tell us more about what it does and who it is targeted to.

The Connected Stadium is mostly for soccer leagues but we can work with most stadium-based sports from fooball to basketball and ice hocker. When we start to work with leagues, they usually have 10 to 14 teams. What we do is that we install our system as a one-time set up at these stadiums. When we started the development of this solution in 2016, the philosophy was giving youth leagues the same experience as we can see in premium leagues.

The innovators at the companies are made of a lot of interesting developers including PhDs specialized on players and ball tracking, robotics. I gave the team a challenge: let a small youth league look like the World Cup Final. Over time we developped technologies relying on robotics and AI to make it possible. In the end, when we looked at these matches, we realized that the spectators were needed on these youth matches. So we built a technology to augment these games. We did some tests a few years ago with COMMEBOL, on the Copa America Feminine before the FIFA Women’s World Cup. We gave the women league an augmented experience that made it look like they were playing with as many spectators as the men’s World Cup Final.

This Augmented Reality solution is called OZ Arena. The main goal of that product is to recreate a visual environment that looks like the stadium is full and the crowd is cheering. Considering that most leagues will resume in empty stadium, OZ Arena could bring more energy to broadcasts.

With the pandemic, we decided to act. The rights holders and the broadcasters that have these rights but the experience is not the same in terms of making the experience appealing for sponsors and for the fans at home. We are offering rights holders to improve the exprience by offering fans to join in.

Fans sign up, they pick their seating area in the stadium and they pick their avatar. They can customize their avatar with the colors and the jersey of the club. Then they can appear in the stadium in the broadcast. The challenge in the broadcast is to start to augment it in a way that is as authentic as it can. We offer the fans at home to control their avatar and appear in the broadcast so that when you watch the game you can still have to 4,000 to 5,000 spectators in the broadcast. Fans can participate by shaking their phones and making the broadcast experience look great.

Fans can participate trought visual effects thank to their avatars. Can they be heard as well?

Yes, they can open up their mic on the phone. They can do their shouting and participate in the fan fair that way. We mix audio on our side to integrate it inthe broadcast when appropriate.

It is very interesting to know that they can react in real time to what happens in the stadium. It is the real added value compared to the use of recordings of past chants. How do you make fans join the experience? Do they come from a broadcaster’s website? From a team’s website? Or do they arrive directly on your portal?

When we work with a broadcaster, we offer them a very simple landing page that we install on the sub domain of the broadcaster. Before the match, the broadcaster will preset the augmented version and offer the fans to sign up and pick the seating and join in on the broadcast. We are more of a company behind the curtain. We supply the magic to make this happening. It is actually the broadcasters that present this to the fans.

It could happen that more fans try to connect than there are seats available in the stadium. How do you deal with that?

The capacity is limited. We are working on a first come first served basis. This is all about simulating reality and making the experience as authentic as possible. Even post pandemic, when fans come back to stadiums, we are still going to be using this technology in low-end leagues where we need to fill the stadiums. The interesting part with this new generation of the platform is that now we are augmented the avatars in the exisiting stadium whereas before we had a full stadium replacement solution. It is more authentic when you can appear in your favorite seat inside your favorite stadium, where you are used to go.

Who are you currently partnering with?

We are working with several partners but we have not announced them yet. We have a lot of new partners these days. Those are very busy times.

I can only imagine! Especially now that most leagues are discussing imminent resuming of competition. How does the OZ Arena lives on after fans are allowed back inside of stadiums?

We are all about servicing second divisions and women’s leagues to give them the same experience as premium leagues. What we are doing now with the arenas is to really focus on the most premium leagues. After the pandemic, we will roll out those premium features to the second division. Our goal is really to make a youth tournament look like the Champions League. That’s our purpose as a company: bringing amazing technology to every leagues.

That brings a lot of added value. It makes games much more attractive to sponsors by making fans at home more engaged.

Thank you very much for joining us today Gudjon. Where can the listenners find our more about you and OZ Sports after this podcast?

Leagues and rights holders that have an interest in working with us can access us very easily through our website oz.com. We have more information there if leagues are interested to do something about the situation.

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Check out more content about augmented fan experience: Hear Me Cheer: Bringing the Noise in Arenas
Check out more content in English.

 

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