Author Suzanna Bezyan, University of San Francisco

Posted: November 17, 2016

Tagged: value

Gillette Stadium started using gigapixel photography. The Fancam took a high-definition photo of the stadium and fans were able to shortly view it online and interact with the photo, by zooming in, finding themselves and tag themselves on social media.  They not only capture selfies of fans, but also important moments in the game that create lasting memories for fans.  Fancam co-founder and CEO Tinus le Roux said, “We’ve been successful because people are Patriots fans, and as long as they remain Patriots fans, there is more than enough narrative in the season and within each game. We let the sport tell the story; we’re there to capture it” (Thomas, 2016, p. 14). By implementing this feature, they are able to create and deliver value to their fans by adding a personal experience, social factor, and build a relationship with their fans.

“Experience variables focus directly on personal engagement.” (McCarville and Stinson, 2014, p. 53).  Personal engagement is anything that is intended to immerse rather than remove the fan from the setting; therefore the photo. They’re in the setting and get to personally engage in a personal photo of themselves, across their personal social media account. After the photo is taken, they go online and post it in their social media platforms, where it goes from an event experience to a personal one. Le Roux says that, “fans like pictures of themselves, like pictures of themselves at places they care about and if it’s a cool photo of course they’re going to take part in the personal experience” (Thomas, 2016, p.14). Le Roux said these factors are enough to create that personal experience, “That’s three checkmarks” (Thomas, 2016, p. 14).

The Fancam also creates a social factor which plays a big role in sports today. Le Roux said, “My interest was based on the fundamentals of sociology” (Thomas, 2016, p. 14). The Fancam creates a visual representation of the event fans attended and the moment of history they were a part of; the big goal, championship game, etc. This type of technology that captures everyone allows fans to showcase to others that they were part of that moment at that specific game. It takes the social interaction past just being at the game and allows the conversations to go on days past on their social media. They are socially involved in the event they attended. “Social factors are those stimuli related to people that are present within the environment during a service encounter” (Hightower, 2014, p. 145). Essentially, if there is a throwback uniform or contest to post your photo and win a prize, which also plays a part of the social factor. They’re not just enjoying the game as a social event, but taking it one level further and socially interacting during and after the event.

Brands tend to spend millions of dollars on fan engagement and still not achieve building that relationship with their fans. Fancam is something that successful helps organizations. Le Roux said, “It quickly becomes clear that 60,00 branded selfies will outperform digital banner ads, stadium signage, and almost all other available fan engagement tools any day of the week” (Thomas, 2016, p. 14). As a sport product you need to build a connection between you and your client, and in recent years nothing has been proven to be greater than directly engaging with your clients via social media. Building these connections with fans helps increase their personal commitment with the team and emotional involvement. The more they engage the more they want to be involved, and sharing a photo gives the team a chance to comment or like it and engage with the fan. The fan is more likely to return to the arena and post more photos, because they have built that connection. “The marketer can gain access to deep-seated values and beliefs…it is the connections that create value, and value helps strengthen the connection. It is the connections that enhance the experience for the consumer…building a connection is the heart of the sport marketing enterprise” (McCarville and Stinson, 2014, p. 62).



Hightower, R. (2014). Leveraging sport brands with the servicescape. In M. P. Pritchard and J.L. Stinson (Eds.). Leveraging Brands in Sport Business (pp. 142-156). New York, NY: Routledge.

McCarville, R., & Stinson, J. (2014). Creating value as part of sport marketing. In M.P. Pritchard and J.L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging Brands in Sport Business (pp. 51-65). New York, NY: Routledge.

Thomas. I. (2016, September 19). Fancam finds that a high-res picture is worth a thousand views. SportBusiness Journal, 19(23). Retrieved from


About Suzanna Bezyan, University of San Francisco

Suzanna is a graduate student at the University of San Francisco studying Sport Management and a California State University Northridge, Journalism alumni. She is a winner of  the 2013 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award for Best Radio Sports Reporting and has previous experience as a sport reporter for television and radio broadcasts at KCSN news and Valley View News. Currently, Suzanna is a writer for the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers at Sports Media 101. This is an edited version of a paper prepared for Dr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

IImage from Fancam,