CollectID is a company from Goldach based in the canton of St.Gallen that specializes in near-field communication (NFC) tags in the Internet of Things (IoT) that are compatible with smartphones. Together with the Californian IoT security company Identiv, it has gained the Bundesliga club 1. FC Köln as a customer. Fans of the football club who bought a special ticket for its home match against AC Milan on July 15, called “Innovation Game”, received a team scarf with an embedded NFC tag. CollectID has linked this to a blockchain solution to prevent product counterfeiting. This technology, which is presented in a short video, is used in sports merchandising, among other things.
CollectID Co-Founder David Geisser commented in a press release from Identiv: “The interactive scarf is not just practical, as no printed ticket or cell phone needs to be shown at the entrance, it also means that 1. FC Köln can ensure that fans appear in the traditional club colors.” Additionally, these digital scarves can provide users with access to exclusive digital real-time content, offers, and rewards during the game.
For instance, fans of the Cologne-based club were offered a free pretzel during the second half. After the first goal made by their team, when buying a new-season jersey, fans were given the option of having it printed with the name of their player of choice free of charge. According to Geisser, the feedback from fans of 1. FC Köln was “so positive that similar initiatives will be held in future too.”