The Georgia Bulldogs may not yet be No. 1 in the college football rankings, but opening day this past Saturday did put the team in a league of its own in one respect.
The University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium became the first college football venue in the country to deploy a Finnish technology aimed at gauging real-time customer feedback.
HappyOrNot’s push-button terminals use four simple, emoji-like faces in shades of red and green to allow fans to express a range of four different emotions about their experience in places like bathrooms and concessions stands.
The UGA Athletic Association made the call to install the terminals around the 100 level (bottom level) at the football stadium after they came in handy on a smaller scale during a trial last year at Foley Field, the university’s baseball stadium.
The idea behind the technology is that the data help facilities managers pinpoint and quickly fix problems, leading to increased fan satisfaction.
“The near real-time nature of the technology will allow our team to physically go to that particular stand or restroom, determine the cause of the problem and correct it faster than ever before,” said UGA Deputy Athletic Director for Operations Josh Brooks in a news release.
HappyOrNot was founded by Heikki Väänäen and Ville Levaniemi in Finland, where it is based today. The company’s customers include airlines, airports, tech companies like LinkedIn and sports teams like the San Francisco 49ers. HappyOrNot was recently named a top WIRED startup in Finland, which has exported major tech companies like Nokia. A spokesperson did not say whether the company has plans for an Atlanta office, only that the company is “always on the lookout for new talent and places for satellite offices.”
Incidentally, Georgia fans must have been pretty happy overall with opening weekend’s result, a 45-0 victory over Austin Peay State University.