University of Sussex spinout TribeHive have announced partnerships with several football clubs around the country, as well as an official tie-in with the Football League to use the latest scores supplied by Opta.
TribeHive's app, which solves the problem of poor WiFi and phone signal during matches by creating a network between phones in the stadium to share bandwidth, is now available at Loftus Road, the home of newly-promoted Premier League team Queens Park Rangers. As revealed in a recent article in Stuff magazine, tailored apps are also being trialled at the grounds of several Football League clubs including Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Middlesbrough and Watford.
The apps provide real-time information on other key games, league table stats and travel information. Fans can also take part in Twitter debates and competitions such as Rate the Ref while watching the game, while a live ticker feed delivers the latest news, views and special offers from the club.
The technology was developed by a team led by Dr Ian Wakeman, Senior Lecturer in Software Systems at the University of Sussex. It has been on trial for over a year at the American Express Community Stadium, home of Brighton and Hove Albion - just across the road from the Centre and the University campus.
Many football clubs want to develop better contact with fans during matches using digital technology, but the cost of equipping a stadium with the necessary WiFi infrastructure is around £400,000. TribeHive's technology provides a cost-effective solution that is proving a big hit with clubs and supporters. Over 30,000 fans are now regularly using the app up and down the country each weekend, with overwhelmingly positive feedback.