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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Teams and Brands Turn to NFC Technology to Drive Engagement

The relatively new technology has allowed companies like Digitize Your Brand to create unique activations.

TFanBands depicted at the University of Texas Coors Light activation. Bands are brand reflective, and Stein says people generally like them. (Image via Rich Stein)


Attending events, interacting and learning about a specific brand have always been important to a company’s success. Imagine a technology that allows full personalization and brand solidification while at the event — and at home.

Digitize Your Brand, an interactive merchandising agency, has accomplished just that.

Designed to transform how clients interact with brands, their mission is to cultivate that experience from the physical event to the digital realm.

Digitize Your Brand and CEO Rich Stein are leveraging Near Field Communication to cultivate these experiences.

NFC technology, as it is more widely known, is the backbone of mobile payment, and has been included in many Android and Apple products. While it handles secure information like payments, it is also capable of personalizing with the user.

In Digitize Your Brand’s case, this is accomplished through tagged, one-time activated wristbands, connected to tablets or phones at the venue and or 1:1 between the fan and their own device.

“Engagements are achieved through FanBands,” said Stein. “Interactive wristbands for digital fan engagements.”

FanBands are flexible to fit multiple objectives, and serve multiple purposes, benefiting all parties involved.

“Fans want to wear them, they’re team/venue branded and they function at the venue and with your own phone. It makes interactions easier,” said Stein.

Working with brands such as Kawasaki, Coors Light/University of Texas and for the St. Jude annual marathon, Digitize Your Brand has been able to capitalize on this new technology to increase interactions for brand partners.

Digitize Your Brand’s staple product: the fanBand at a University of Texas activation. (Image via Rich Stein)

For Kawasaki’s 50th anniversary, Digitize Your Brand delivered wristbands, a selfie booth and full activation of a resort in Palm Springs.

Through a personalized FanPage, fans were able to access their own content, and keep pace with the event in real-time.

“Fans activated their FanPage at a selfie booth and engaged in over 15 plus touch points throughout the week,” said Stein.

The immersive experience culminated with an integrated selfie spin-wheel where Kawasaki gave away motorcycles and other merchandise.

“This spin wheel was integrated into the database of attendees and only fully engaged attendees had a chance of winning,” said Stein.

The digitized map dealers followed at the Kawasaki activation. (Image via Rich Stein)

With all inclusive metric and data analysis, the Kawasaki event garnered more than 20,000 views to the users’ FanPages and over 10,000 kiosk visits throughout the event.

Beyond giving fans their own content to share on social platforms through the FanPages, FanBands also create opportunities to get to know fans who will want to provide their information for engagement.

After season ticket holders, it is hard to know who is at the games, and with “Eighty to ninety percent of the stadium” being anonymous according to Stein, being able to find creative ways to provide value for sponsors and data to help increase the fan experience is crucial.

As NFC technology continues to expand its reach into the sports world, activations like these will continue to help drive traffic and awareness to brand partners across the industry.


This piece has been presented to you by SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management.


Front Office Sports is a leading multi-platform publication and industry resource that covers the intersection of business and sports.

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