As stadiums and other event centers closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier last year, one company rooted in the entertainment industry successfully adapted its course and continued to grow.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Digital Seat Media is a hardware and software hybrid seeking to make it easier for fans to engage with entertainment venues. The technology allows those in attendance to scan their Digital Seat tag’s unique QR code with their smartphone and instantly enter a digital portal where they can access team scores and stats, find coupons, order concessions to their seats, report incidents, discover social media filters, and more — without first having to download an app or using Wi-Fi.

The Digital Seat platform combines multiple technologies, including near-field communication and QR codes, to enable carefully crafted experiences for every user depending on their location within the event venue.

Digital Seat Media developed its first prototype in 2018, launched in university stadiums across the nation early last year (including the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Southern Methodist University), and was on the brink of even greater expansion.

Then, the pandemic hit, pressing the company to shift gears.

“When this was first happening, we said, ‘Let’s try to spin this off and gain some traction that way,’” co-founder Cameron Fowler said in an interview. “We set out, and we spun off something we call ‘safety scans,’ which works around the same logic of our Digital Seat tags. You scan it, and it tells you the last time an area was sanitized.”

Digital Seat Media differentiates itself from competitors through its module-based platform, and the latest addition to its library is a contact tracing module offering users the option to contribute to contact tracing efforts by public health officials.

In addition to being on track to install Digital Seat tags in almost 50 stadiums by the end of this year with the anticipated return of live sporting events, Digital Seat Media is expanding into other arenas of the entertainment industry as well, including broadcast and social media.

“We think instant engagements are the future of the way fans are going to connect, and they want to do it in a seamless manner,” Fowler said.

More information on Digital Seat Media can be found at digitalseat.com.