A recent blog talked about Generation C, also known as our time’s Digital Natives. These are the folks who wouldn’t think twice about trying out a new social platform or using a mobile device as their first choice when deciding where to go, what to buy, and what’s happening in their world.
They are the leading edge of the next great technology wave, the move to a digital customer experience that is personal, connected and social. Sports fans were already social long before now, as tailgate parties, fantasy leagues and sports bars attest. That’s why a digitally native sports fan is the leading edge of the leading edge… a great place to showcase the future.
At TUCON 2012, the Main Stage gave us that showcase. Presenters included Rick Welts, President and COO of the Golden State Warriors. Rick is a passionate basketball fan and was ahead of most of the NBA in moving forward with creation of a mobile app to connect fans with the team.
Rick worked with Vivek Ranadivé, part owner of the Warriors and CEO of TIBCO, to develop the Golden State Warriors app, chosen by TechNow! as the App of the Week a few months ago.
The app provides fans with news, stats, video and offers that are unique to using their mobile device. Even more clever, it embeds the tibbr social platform that allows posting and taking feeds from Facebook and Twitter, as well as connection to the Fan Zone, the Warriors loyalty program.
It becomes very easy to see what comes next as apps like this can be used to provide arena information, take feedback on services, suggestions for improved experiences, buying concessions courtside and a host of other capabilities that allow the fan and the team to become more connected. The road forward is pretty clear.
Beyond the NBA
While basketball may be the easiest place to find fans, this highlights a trend that will continue across other industries as enterprises wake up to the potential that social, mobile and loyalty bring in combination.
And it isn’t something done with a few clever app developers. To get where the market needs to be, there has to be an investment in fast, flexible infrastructure that can “backend” the analytics, event processing and business process that goes into making it all seamless and a great experience for the consumer.
Every great technology leap creates winners and losers. The Golden State Warriors app is a reminder that anyone who isn’t getting ready for the digital customer experience is already behind the curve.
There’s hope, though. It has never been easier to pull together the key pieces of technology, including Cloud, and to begin building out the framework that will serve not only this kind of app, but whatever comes as the next logical step beyond what we can see right now.
The key is to get ready in a way that leaves options open and doesn’t wed the organization to limiting tools, like proprietary hardware and software that limits access and flexibility.