Almost half the world tuned in to watch this summer’s World Cup. And over 100,000 fans purchased the Telstar 18, the official World Cup ball, designed and sold by Adidas. In the spirit of global connectivity, the ball is named after the Telstar 1 satellite that made the worldwide telecast of the World Cup possible back in 1970. The ball pays homage not only in name, but in capabilities – it’s equipped with a thin, flexible Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled RFID tag.
When fans purchase the ball, they are able to activate information and interactive content simply by tapping their smart phone near the ball. In addition, Adidas is able to use the tag to collect data about the ball’s location and share that data with other users to enhance the customer experience.
The ball wasn’t the only way RFID technology was utilized during 2018’s World Cup in the Russian Federation. Using the RFID technology also helped validate ticket authenticity and cut down on counterfeiting. A scan of High Frequency RFID-enabled tickets upon entering the stadium admitted the ticket holder into the main gate and again into their designated seating section, while NFC provided attendees with information regarding the stadium, games and teams upon app download.
The RFID ticket scan also collected data that the specific ticket holder had arrived onsite, enabling them to use the technology at in-stadium food kiosks or souvenir stores…where they could purchase the Telstar 18, for instance.
For more information about the use of RFID technology during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, click here.