If You’re Still Not Willing to Get Serious About Getting Outside the Four Walls of Your Venue

The old-fashioned mindset of “protecting” the live experience by making it as unavailable to anybody not present in the building at the time of the event doesn’t work. What it does is prevent people from being able to participate, which prevents them from caring, which prevents them from being a fan or supporter.

This isn’t a theory. The sports guys know this. Imagine a world where you could only see an NBA game live. It’s been demonstrated by the National Theatre in the UK that making broadcasts of plays more widely available does nothing to ticket sales except perhaps increase them. And if you don’t believe me, just reflect on the fact that years ago, the publishers wanted the sale of recorded music (old-timey breakable records) to be illegal because it would kill sales of sheet music.

You don’t want to be that guy 100 years later.

But if you’re still not with me on this, I’d invite you to watch the video below. A Korean baseball team, the Hanwha Eagles, have created fanbots. These humanoid robots “sit” in the stadium and cheer on your behalf. You can upload your face onto their screens and watch the game on your mobile phone. All the while, you’re giving the robot instructions on how much to cheer. Sometimes the robots coordinate their actions to lead the human crowd in cheers and songs.

It’s obviously still pretty crude, but if you can’t see the places where this kind of thing can go, or if you’re dismissing out of hand the interest that people might have in an experience of this kind … you’re just not paying attention to the world right now.

Recently, I talked about “disruption.” It’s always best to self-disrupt rather than have it come from outside. I’m not surprised it’s a sports team that’s doing this, but I think everyone should have a look.

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