A pilot program tapping RFID technology to improve fan and corporate sponsor experiences at PGA TOUR events will extend to the 2011 Northern Trust Open, from Feb. 15 to 20, through a partnership between Avery Dennison, Stark RFID and the PGA TOUR.
As part of the evolving pilot program, which organizers began investigating in 2010 at PGA TOUR events, some entrance tickets to the popular tournament at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades will be equipped with RFID inlays to enhance access on the grounds, personalize engagements between corporate sponsors and VIP guests and better track how tournament offerings are being utilized.
“Our goals in pursuing and expanding this RFID technology pilot are simple: to improve the fan experience at our events and deliver added value to our corporate sponsors,’’ said Jack Tyson, PGA TOUR director of ticketing operations. “With the participation of Avery Dennison and Stark RFID, we’ll learn firsthand at the Northern Trust Open how important corporate sponsors maximize real-time data collection to personalize and improve their hosting engagements with VIP guests.’’
Unlike barcoding, RFID technology has no line-of-sight restrictions and improves data collection and accuracy, reducing queues for patrons and also reducing the number of tournament personnel. Smart badges or tickets have unique IDs, which expand data collection opportunities limited to the event location and promote personalized experiences. In one example at the Northern Trust Open, guests with the special RFID tickets will see personalized greetings flash up on a big screen TV as they enter the Avery Dennison hosting tent.
“We believe RFID will play a key role in the event management space in the coming years,’’ said Maggie Bidlingmaier, global director of sales and marketing, Avery Dennison RFID. “The applications will go far beyond access control. It will not only be used in multiple areas within the event operations, it will ultimately be seamless to the attendee and improve his or her experience. In conjunction with the PGA TOUR and Stark RFID, we are proving just how successful RFID technology can be when applied to event management applications.”
Lance Burnett, president and CEO of Stark RFID, an integrator and converter offering customized RFID solutions, said the Stark EM software and hardware in use at Tour events is scalable, and its event management solutions represent one of the fastest growing aspects of its business. “We’ve had interest within event management related to other professional sports groups and recreational companies, all of whom are eager to learn more about the capabilities RFID enables in event management.’’