Aiming for Enhancement in Profitability and Re-Investment in Fan Service Aim of Promoting ‘Smart Stadium’
Last July, a high-density Wi-Fi network ‘ANTLERS Wi-Fi’ was installed at Kashima Soccer Stadium. This was part of the J.League’s ‘smart stadium promotion project’, under which Kashima Stadium and Yurtec Stadium Sendai, the home of Vegalta Sendai, became start-up venues.

‘ANTLERS Wi-Fi’ was launched on the day of the Meiji Yasuda Seimei J.League World Challenge game against Sevilla, with a total number of 455 access points (AP) now installed in the stadium. In the first floor stand, which tends to have a higher density of spectators, there is one AP installed per 70 seats, while the second floor stand has one AP per 200 seats, enabling comfortable internet communication even at games attended by over 30,000 supporters. Furthermore, we optimised the traffic capacity for video streaming and prepared a hassle-free environment to watch games.
We took one step towards creating a ‘smart stadium’ by installing ‘ANTLERS Wi-Fi’, but high-density Wi-Fi alone is not enough to accomplish that aim. The worldwide trend towards ‘smart stadiums’ demands improvement in profitability through digitalisation and also re-investment in fan services. Along with this trend, we have taken measures to utilise the high-density Wi-Fi available since the installation of ‘ANTLERS Wi-Fi’ at Kashima Stadium.

To get these measures up and running, we opened the private portal-site ‘ANTLERS Wi-Fi PORTAL’ at the same time as the game against Sevilla. As the club’s digital information streaming tool, we provide things such as a stadium map and gourmet information online. In addition to this practical information we also make limited video content available, such as immediately-before-the-match commentary, which can only be viewed here. A prize draw for visitors, ‘Shika BIG’, can also be entered from this portal-site and is another popular feature. This stadium activity was carried out previously as well, but after the installment of ‘ANTLERS Wi-Fi’ the application procedure was simplified by automatically acknowledging the Wi-Fi users as visitors. Due to this measure, the ‘Shika BIG’ average participation rate has remained at 10% of the ratio of visitors since July, and almost half of Wi-Fi users enter ‘Shika BIG’.

Also, to enhance the value of experience for visitors, the photo spot activity, ‘ANTLERS PHOTO PROJECT’ (APP) was carried out at every home league game. As part of APP, a photo booth has been installed, which furthers enjoyment of the commemorative pictures taken from stadium opening until kick-off by enabling them to be shared on users’ own social media pages. Moreover, we have regularly carried out events using AR technology, but from this season we plan to have more visitors spread and share their experiences by incorporating a hash-tag campaign.

There is also scope to consider the online delivery of digital coupons which could be used inside and outside the stadium, as well as potential for a delivery system from stalls. With regards to digital coupons, we already co-operate with the club’s official sponsor Mercari on one such initiative, but it is vital we continue to proactively take such measures which enhance the experience value for visitors. Enhancement in profitability and re-investment in fan service; the smooth circulation of this cycle is without doubt the aim of making Kashima Stadium a ‘smart stadium’.