The bond between a fan and their team is very, very strong. Creative agency, Octagon, is demonstrating this with a project for Cisco created in partnership with Manchester City and City Football Group called The Connected Scarf.
The scarf was conceived by Octagon and produced by Unit 9 over four months. It is fitted with an open-source device of biometric sensors integrated into the fabric, anonymously capturing bio-signals coming from a series of skin conductance sensors. The Connected Scarf accurately tracks and records fans’ emotional, physiological, and movement data throughout a match. The sensors are also able to capture four separate data streams throughout the match:
- Heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration, oxygen saturation and hydration.
- Sympathetic nervous system responses that are driven by cognitive and emotional arousal.
- Movements, activity, gesture, rotation, and cardinal direction.
- Temperature that can be used to assess health as well as emotional reactions
When worn by a fan watching their team, the feedback is remarkably accurate with fascinating nuances, capturing both positive and negative reactions to goals, tackles, and refereeing decisions.
“In our work with Manchester City over the past few years, we’ve continuously looked for ways to connect fans to the sport they love, on another level,” stated Ashley Marusak, global sports marketing manager for Cisco. “The Connected Scarf is such an exciting project for us to pilot together, as we seek to better understand and measure the ups and downs of football fandom and how the game impacts supporters not only emotionally, but physically as well.”
“Being a fan of any club is an emotional rollercoaster. Thanks to the Connected Scarf we’re now able to understand the physiological emotions fans go through during a game,” said Ryan Shaw, creative director at Octagon UK. “Creating this technology from scratch has been an incredible journey, there’s so much this scarf can teach us about fans and club culture, watch this space.”
The scarf is part of Cisco’s efforts to produce a more inclusive future and drive innovation, in this case also enhancing globally the connection between fans and the clubs and players they love.
A two-minute film was created to launch the project, featuring Manchester City men’s players, Jack Grealish and Aymeric Laporte. It documents the development of The Connected Scarf as fans throughout the stadium tested the new technology during the team’s victory over Newcastle in the Premier League title run.