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How Smart Calendars Connected Fans at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

How Smart Calendars Connected Fans at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

(fifg/Shutterstock, courtesy of Stanza)

Connecting people from around the world in a month-long event that has everyone’s eyes glued to a television on a daily basis. That’s what the World Cup can do, bring us all together. As the football (soccer) world recovers from its World Cup hangover, how do you think Russia 2018 ranks among more recent summer tournaments?

New trends and advancements in technology are present every four years. Adidas gives us a newly designed World Cup match ball and major cleat manufacturers unveil new designs and colors to reflect fans’ nations, or players, of choice. But, this year was especially interesting in terms of technological advancement.

So what was the major difference in 2018?

This was the second World Cup to use goal-line technology, which aims to ensure goals are allowed correctly, but this tournament’s biggest change was the introduction of the video assistant referee. VAR allows several referees in a review room to monitor plays from multiple angles and directly relay that information to the center official.

“Technology brings transparency and quality and it provides a positive outcome for teams who decide to attack and take risks,” said Diego Maradona in an interview with last year. Maradona won the World Cup as a player with Argentina in 1986.

Outside the stadiums a significant technology trend was the rise in streaming and other digital services. Stanza, the smart calendar platform, connected fans from around the world to all of the games by providing them with information on when and how to watch. Depending on a user’s level of soccer fandom, some added every single game to their personal calendar, others just the individual nations they wanted to support.

“To us, the World Cup was all about bringing the world together,” said Stanza CEO Smita Saxena. ”We’re here to help people connect before, throughout, and after the tournament. Ensuring that they can follow and support the teams or players dearest to them.”

By subscribing to Stanza’s 2018 World Cup calendars, fans from around the globe had matches saved in their personal calendars, helping ensure they were always aware of when to tune in. When utilizing the calendar notification feature, links could be sent directly to a user’s device with streaming platform options, so no one had an excuse to miss a match. Connecting people with what they want to follow is paramount to the success of live sports events. A taped game just isn’t quite the same.

Stanza continues to grow within the European soccer market. Currently, Stanza operates with the majority of the NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAA in the U.S., but is also seeing dramatic results with its expansion into European soccer. The company brought Manchester City, FC Barcelona, and Juventus on board within the last year. Each of those teams was a winner of its respective domestic league, and each team’s roster accounted for a large number of the players that reached the latter rounds of the World Cup.

Teams are becoming more dedicated to ensuring fan bases have all the tools they need to stay engaged. With the 2018 World Cup already a month in the past, the world’s eyes are now turning to the future. Everyone is eagerly awaiting what new features and gadgets will be ready a little more than four years from now.

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