Shot Callers: James Giglio, CEO, MVP Interactive

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(Citrin Cooperman is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

The digital age has drastically changed the world of fan engagement even on the concourses of big stadiums.

FOS Editor Ian Thomas chats with MVP Interactive CEO James Giglio about the brand’s unique experimental technology and what it adds to the atmosphere of sporting events.

Edited highlights appear below:

On the beginnings of the company (1:34)

Giglio: “It was the winter of 2012 and the Tampa Bay Rays’ Brian Killingsworth took my call. I told them I was in town for a short amount of time and I went in and pitched what now is MVP Interactive. He gave me enough market validation and confidence that there was something to this idea that I spent the next couple of months really prioritizing, doing some more due diligence pretty much divesting any level of savings and finances that I had and really took the plunge in. So I incorporated in May 2012. Mark Tatum, who is now the assistant commissioner took my meeting… he saw something and introduced me to his marketing team…They said, ‘you know what, we host a jam session all star weekend, every season and this would be a great touch point for you to come.’ Almost quite literally on the spot. We signed BBVA compass to a multi-team deal as a result of the showcase there. And so that’s really the pivot point of our company where we became real.”

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On how AR fan engagement is changing within the industry (3:14)

Giglio: “I think that the big industry movement has been the adoption for the properties. Six, seven years ago, when properties and ownership where talking about fan experience, it really meant the new jumbotrons or maybe the new LEDs within the bowl. So I think from a sponsorship activation, we were a little bit ahead of the curve. Properties and corporate sponsorship folks weren’t really thinking about this type of leveraging technology as engagement. So it’s been nice to see the evolution of the industry in itself sort of catch up to say this is a new way, a new form of media and advertising where the antiquated towel handouts and credit card applications are no more where brands and properties are underwriting these experiences that create a really unique memorable experience for fans.”

On getting leads/fan information from AR activations (5:26)

Giglio: “One of the things that we like to say is not only are we able to create that front end fun experience, we are providing a lot of thought and technology into the ROI of that data…Because we are leveraging facial detection capabilities, we’re able from a traditional media standpoint, to show how many impressions our touch points are gathering…as well as demographic information. So when we package that in a very digestible dashboard that both the team and the brand can log in and say, ‘Okay, great. We’re seeing peak performance during weekend games and here’s the user data that’s been extrapolated there’ and they can pipe that into their CRM.”

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On incorporating AR elements into and around new stadiums (7:20)
Giglio: “We’ve also deployed some other really cool mobile experiences outside of the stadiums. We worked with Atlanta United and we created a really cool AR scavenger hunt throughout the city of Atlanta where fans were tasked to, inside the Atlanta United mobile app, find AR stickers throughout the city and scan them, try to collect as many coins and as markers as possible. The reward was a new team jersey…then you can bring that right back into the at-home experience as well as the in-venue too.”