There are reportedly 40 schools around the country that use the FanMaker app, but Alabama is taking it t othe next level fro what they are about to do.
The Crimson Tide wants student fans to stay at the stadium throughout the duration of football games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, but most games are pretty much over by the second or 3rd quarter, so large sections of the student area tend to empty out early.
Head coach Nick Saban has become increasingly annoyed at fans leaving early, as it happened yet again after Saturday’s contest when he called out the fan base.
The school has partnered with app FanMaker, which has built incentive structures for a number of other schools to help generate fan support. Bama took it to another level by adding in geotracking to see which students attend games, and stay for the fourth quarter.
Alabama awards points that will be used to determine which students get improved access to big games like the College Football Playoff.
The student tracking aspect is not going over well.
Via The New York Times:
“It’s kind of like Big Brother,” said Allison Isidore, a graduate student in religious studies from Montclair, N.J.
…Adam Schwartz, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy watchdog, said it was “very alarming” that a public university — an arm of the government — was tracking its students’ whereabouts.
“Why should packing the stadium in the fourth quarter be the last time the government wants to know where students are?” Schwartz said, adding that it was “inappropriate” to offer an incentive for students to give up their privacy. “A public university is a teacher, telling students what is proper in a democratic society.”
Athletic director Greg Byrne addressed those tracking concerns, stating the app does not collect data outside the stadium.
“Students who download the Tide Loyalty Points app will be tracked only inside the stadium, he said, and they can close the app — or delete it — once they leave the stadium. “If anybody has a phone, unless you’re in airplane mode or have it off, the cellular companies know where you are,” he said.”
Some students have stated that beer sales or scheduling better opponents would drastically help. Bama’s non-conference lineup in 2019 is not good once again.