The first iBeacon stadium tour in the Premier League


St. James’ Park welcomes eager fans on a daily basis wanting to immerse themselves in all things Newcastle United on the popular stadium tours. 

The club wanted to redesign the tour, using every corner of St. James’ Park to celebrate their rich history- from little-know stories to their greatest victories, using technology to enrich the experience.

We created an engaging mobile app to make the quality more consistent when touring in larger groups.

The guides' content was augmeneted with additional insights and anecdotes triggered by iBeacons throughout the stadium for a winning visitor experience.

The Challenge

The club contacted Shout to find out the possibilities of improving the customer experience and engagement – on the stadium tour, whilst:

  • Taking care not to detract attention from the tour guides.
  • Offer fans an immersive experience, showcasing the rich history and heritage of the football club.
  • Incorporate technology to further improve user experience and increase user engagement.

To understand the challenges and reveal any opportunities the project might present, the Shout team took the stadium tours.

Our research revealed:

  • Different sized tour groups, ranging in size from ten to 40 people, affected the speed at which we moved through the experience.
  • Moving more quickly in a smaller group meant that it was difficult to digest all the statistics and information provided by our tour guides.
  • The speed of movement through the tour affected our ability to read and absorb all the information displayed on the stadium’s walls.

The Solution

The app platform we provided focused on the intersection of customer experience and technology. It includes content from the original tour and blends visitor interactions with the tour guides’ commentary. 

Layers of additional, location-specific material are unlocked as guests progress through the stadium, via Bluetooth iBeacon technology for both Android and iOS smartphones.

A Bluetooth iBeacon, located outside the ground, unlocks content about Sir Bobby Robson as visitors approach his statue at the stadium’s Milburn reception.

By introducing digital – and using technology to include an additional, fan-focused dimension, we overhauled and augmented the whole tour experience at St James’ Park.

Today, visitors can download the app before they arrive at the stadium and explore what's on offer before they enter the ground. Upon arrival, the app immerses guests in the rich history and heritage of the football club, which they can explore in tandem with their guide's introduction to the stadium.

A significant benefit, which has helped improve long-term customer experience, is that all the content that visitors unlock during the tour remains on their phone. This wealth of information creates a souvenir of the experience that visitors can explore in full after their trip has come to an end.

The Outcome

The project was a customer experience success, enabling members to entirely self - service

We introduced digital to transform the St James' Park stadium tours, improve the user experience and increase user engagement, 
We delivered the app on time, to budget and expectation – working for six months from the initial consultation to delivery.

The project also saw us accelerating the development of our existing platform, Shout Canopy to meet the client’s specific needs.

The NUFC tour provides

  • The ability to update content each season
  • The potential to add B2B functionality for conferencing and meetings
  • An augmented tour experience
  • The first iBeacon tour installation in a Premier League stadium

Book a call with our team.

Whether you want us to respond to a brief, or just a chat about where your roadmap could take you. 

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