Liverpool FC to give fans Wi-Fi access as it encourages social media use

LIverpool FC's Anfield stadium to get Wi-Fi networkLiverpool Football Club is to begin the rollout of a wireless network at its Anfield ground so that fans can get online on during match days.

As any football fan will know, Premier League or otherwise, getting access via 3G networks when watching your team play can be a nightmare.  While many top clubs do great things digitally, including the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, it is a different story when it comes to using smartphones in the ground.

Manchester City for one asks its fans to text their tweets because of this issue and also displays tweets on a big screen.

That won’t be a problem for Liverpool fans starting this week as it deploys a wireless network beginning first with the two-tier, 12,000-seat Centenary Stand and adjoining corporate facilities.

The Wi-Fi network will be available to Liverpool fans for the first time for the home game against West Ham on Sunday 7 April.

Liverpool are hoping that by offering Wi-Fi to its fans, it will not only improve their overall match day experience but will encourage them to share online via social networks.

You could imagine Vine could become quite big if fans could access it and begin sharing their Vines.

The move will also allow Liverpool to capture data from fans as the network requires a one time sign-up where the club can ask fans their likes and dislikes.

Liverpool will provide fans with in-match stats, food and drink offers, access to online retail and betting in partnership with Paddy Power.

Andrew Robinson, head of digital media and technology at Liverpool Football Club, said: “The added reliability and performance of high capacity Wi-Fi over 3G connections will encourage our fans to use social networks like Twitter and Facebook to share their experiences with fans unable to make it to the game.

“A massive driver for this new network is that we can gain more insight into our fans than ever before. Sign-in will be via a one-time registration process using an email address and fans will be encouraged to tell us their likes and dislikes. The technology will allow us to find out what devices fans like to connect with the Club on so we can invest in digital platforms accordingly. We will also find out more about how fans use the stadium and its facilities so we can adapt these to better serve them,” he said.

The network is being installed by Xirrus.