Title:
Sporting event logistics system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sporting event logistics system for use by a spectator in connection with attendance at a sporting event, the system comprising a map of a sporting event venue with predetermined rendezvous locations provided thereon, a personalized pace schedule cross-referencing predicted sporting event times with the predetermined rendezvous locations, a personalized event schedule listing information relating to the sporting event and the spectator, a personalized crew contact schedule listing contact information for crew members, and a carrying device adapted to carry the map, personalized pace schedule, personalized event schedule, and personalized crew contact schedule.



Inventors:
Mcgregor, Susan (Washington, DC, US)
Garnett, Donna L. (Washington, DC, US)
Application Number:
10/833060
Publication Date:
12/08/2005
Filing Date:
04/28/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
434/255
International Classes:
A63F9/24; G06Q10/00; (IPC1-7): A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KELLEY DRYE & WARREN LLP (One Jefferson Road, Parsippany, NJ, 07091, US)
Claims:
1. A sporting event logistics system for use by a spectator in connection with attendance at a sporting event, the system comprising: a map of a sporting event venue with predetermined rendezvous locations provided thereon; a personalized pace schedule cross-referencing predicted sporting event times with the predetermined rendezvous locations; a personalized event schedule listing information relating to the sporting event and the spectator; a personalized crew contact schedule listing contact information for crew members; and a carrying device adapted to carry the map, personalized pace schedule, personalized event schedule, and personalized crew contact schedule.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the personalized pace schedule is color-coded to indicate particular predetermined rendezvous locations for particular crew members.

3. The system of claim 1 further comprising one or more tickets relating to the sporting event.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein the personalized event schedule lists pre-event or post-event activities relative to the sporting event.

5. The system of claim 1 further comprising a photograph of a sporting event participant.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein the predetermined rendezvous locations are determined based on one or more factors selected from the group consisting of: the pace of a specified participant in the sporting event, the proximity of the rendezvous locations to each other, the proximity of the rendezvous locations to public transportation, the time required for the spectator to reach successive rendezvous locations, and facilities available near rendezvous locations.

7. The system of claim 1 wherein the schedules collectively provide information selected from the list consisting of: names of other spectators, contact information of other spectators, public transportation information, lodging information, food service information, and itinerary information.

8. The system of claim 1 further comprising a tether attached to the carrying device, said tether being adapted to hang around a spectator's neck.

9. The system of claim 1 wherein the sporting event is a running event.

10. The system of claim 1 wherein one or more of said schedules are provided on the screen of a portable electronic device.

11. The system of claim 1 wherein one or more said spectators are provided with a unique identifying attire.

12. A running event logistics system for use by a spectator in connection with observing a participant in the running event, the system comprising: a map of a running event venue with predetermined rendezvous locations for the participant and spectator provided thereon; a personalized pace schedule cross-referencing times with the predetermined rendezvous locations, wherein the predetermined rendezvous locations are determined based on historical pace data for the participant and the predicted time required for the spectator to reach successive rendezvous locations; a personalized event schedule listing personalized information relating to the running event and the spectator; a personalized crew contact schedule listing contact information for crew members; and a carrying device adapted to carry the map, personalized pace schedule, personalized event schedule, and personalized crew contact schedule.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the predetermined rendezvous locations are further based on the proximity of the rendezvous locations to each other, the proximity of the rendezvous locations to public transportation, or the facilities available near rendezvous locations.

14. The system of claim 12 wherein the personalized pace schedule is color-coded to indicate particular predetermined rendezvous locations for particular crew members.

15. The system of claim 12 further comprising one or more tickets relating to the running event.

16. The system of claim 12 wherein the personalized event schedule lists pre-event and post-event activities relative to the running event.

17. The system of claim 12 further comprising a photograph of the participant.

18. The system of claim 12 wherein the schedules collectively provide information selected from the list consisting of: names of other spectators, contact information of other spectators, public transportation information, lodging information, food service information, and itinerary information.

19. The system of claim 12 further comprising a tether attached to the carrying device, said tether being adapted to hang around a spectator's neck.

20. The system of claim 12 wherein the running event is a marathon.

21. The system of claim 12 wherein one or more of said schedules are provided on printed cards.

22. The system of claim 12 wherein one or more said spectators are provided with a unique identifying attire.

23. A method of communicating to a sporting event spectator, potential locations and times for rendezvous with a sporting event participant, the method comprising the steps of: receiving historical pace data for a participant; predicting a participant pace for the sporting event based on the historical pace data; predicting a spectator pace for the sporting event; determining a plurality of possible rendezvous locations based on the sporting event venue layout; determining rendezvous locations and times based on the predicted participant pace, the predicted spectator pace, and the possible rendezvous locations; and communicating the determined rendezvous locations and times to the spectator using a map and textual information.

24. The method of claim 23 wherein the step of determining rendezvous locations and times is further based on one or more factors selected from the group consisting of: the availability of public transportation, the proximity of public transportation to the sporting event, the proximity of restrooms to the sporting event, and the proximity of food service to the sporting event.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to systems and methods for increasing spectator convenience, support, and overall enjoyment at a sporting event, as well as providing logistic support for a participant in the sporting event.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Sporting events, such as but not limited to, marathon races are often confusing affairs for both participants and spectators alike. This confusion is often enhanced for spectators who are unaware and uneducated in the intricacies of the relevant venue. This may result in spectators becoming lost or confused, and therefore they may miss their actual goal of the event—to provide support and cheer for those they wish to.

The element of support, from both friends and strangers alike, is generally seen as a contributing factor in the success of long distance and marathon runners. Often, having a familiar face cheering for the runner may provide enough motivation and support for the runner to continue, despite any discomfort the runner may feel.

This impact of support on the participants often leads to spectators attempting to cheer on a particular participant in as many places along the course route as possible. However, confusion and lack of knowledge of the course route and the course venue often results in missed rendezvous, thereby depriving the participant of much needed support.

The confusion that often results in these missed rendezvous may be generated by an unfamiliarity with the course, a lack of relevant and necessary information in order for more than one spectator to coordinate their efforts, and/or a lack of knowledge of a specific participant's pace and therefore the best areas in which to cheer them on. Similarly, many long distance race venues have predetermined areas with elevated stands and/or seats from which to cheer the participants on. Each of these factors, unless informed to the spectator, may deprive the participant of the expected, and often much needed support.

Since spectators may be unfamiliar with the race venue, they may furthermore be unaware of information desirable to provide not only coordinated cheering and support efforts, but also to improve their overall enjoyment of the event. Such information may include, but is not limited to, information corresponding to restrooms, automated teller machines (ATMs), and/or road or walkway closures. The lack of such information may often lead a spectator to become disoriented in their surroundings, and therefore inadvertently miss a chance to cheer for a participant.

Similarly, there are often more than one spectator who wishes to cheer for and support a particular participant. Attempts to coordinate the efforts of the group may often result in confusion, and a lack of direction. Information regarding the contact information for each spectator (i.e. cellular or mobile telephone numbers, channels to be used for two-way radios, etc) may be helpful in coordinating these efforts.

As each race venue is different, spectators are often unaware where they may best support and cheer on the participants. The determination of where the optimal position for this rendezvous depends not only on the relevant race route, but on the pace at which the participant(s) run. The difficulty in the harmonization of these two factors may also result in missed chances for providing support and encouragement to the participants.

Even when spectators are equipped with information necessary in which to further and enhance their enjoyment of such a sporting event, the convenience of examining each of these piece of information may be lacking.

Thus, there is a need for a system and method in which a spectator may become familiar with the race venue and its intricacies (i.e., a map of the area indicating the race route, and road and walkway closures, as well as indications of notable landmarks such as restrooms, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)), may be provided with the relevant information relating to both fellow spectators (i.e. cellular or mobile telephone numbers), and/or may be provided with predetermined rendezvous areas based upon the participant's general pace.

There is also a need for a logistic supply system, which may allow the sporting event participant to be provided with the proper supplies in the proper time sequence and at the proper locations of the sporting event venue.

There is also a need for a system which may provide the above described information in an organized and convenient manner. A system which may compile and organize some or all of the above described information may also be used by the spectator and/or the participant as a memento from the sporting event.

Various embodiments of the present invention may meet one or more of the aforementioned needs and provide other benefits as well.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A sporting event logistics system for use by a spectator in connection with attendance at a sporting event, the system comprising a map of a sporting event venue with predetermined rendezvous locations provided thereon, a personalized pace schedule cross-referencing predicted sporting event times with the predetermined rendezvous locations, a personalized event schedule listing information relating to the sporting event and the spectator, a personalized crew contact schedule listing contact information for crew members, and a carrying device adapted to carry the map, personalized pace schedule, personalized event schedule, and personalized crew contact schedule.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only, and are not restrictive of the invention as claimed. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein by reference, and which constitute a part of the specification, illustrate certain embodiments of the invention and, together with the detailed description, serve to explain the principles of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to assist in the understanding of the invention, reference will now be made to the appended drawings, in which like reference characters refer to like elements. The drawings are explanatory only, and should not be construed as limiting the invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a sporting event logistics system according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates the various components of a sporting event logistics system according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 depicts an example of a map of a sporting event venue in accordance with the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4A illustrates text and graphics that may be on side one of a printed card included in a sporting event logistics system in accordance with the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4B illustrates a particular pace chart for a particular participant in a particular sporting event that may be on side two of a printed card included in a sporting event logistics system in accordance with the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5A illustrates text and graphics that may be on side one of a printed card included in a sporting event logistics system in accordance with the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5B depicts a list of names and corresponding phone numbers of particular spectators included in a sporting event logistics system in accordance with the first embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to embodiments of the system and method of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. An embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1 as a sporting event logistics system 10 for use by a spectator in connection with attendance at a sporting event. The sporting event logistics system 10 comprises an enclosed carrying device 100 and a variety of informational pieces 300.

The enclosed carrying device 100 may be formed from a clear material, including, but not limited to, a plastic. The exterior surface of the enclosed carrying device 100 may be imprinted to enhance its visual appeal. The enclosed carrying device 100 may include three (3) sealed sides, and one (1) unsealed side, positioned on the top, which may form an opening 105. The opening 105 may allow a user access to an internal cavity 110.

The tether 200 may be formed from various materials, including, but not limited to cloth, cord, plastic, ribbon, leather, and/or string. The tether 200 may be of any color, and may also be multicolored. The length of the tether 200 may be variable, but may at a minimum be of a length such that it may be placed over a user's head and neck.

The tether 200 may be attached to the enclosed carrying device 100 by several methods, including, but not limited to, attaching the tether 200 at the top right corner 210 and top left corner 211 of the enclosed carrying device and the top left corner 211 of the enclosed carrying device 100 and/or by attaching the tether 200 to a central location 212 on the enclosed carrying device 100.

With reference to FIG. 2, the informational pieces 300 may include, but are not limited to, a map of a sporting event venue with predetermined rendezvous locations provided thereon 310, a personalized pace schedule cross-referencing predicted sporting event times with the predetermined rendezvous locations 325, a personalized event schedule listing information relating to the sporting event and the spectator 321, a personalized crew contact schedule listing contact information for crew members 335, a cover sheet identifying the event and date 331, and/or a miscellaneous informational sheet 340.

With reference to FIG. 3, the map of the sporting venue 310 may be provided to the user so that the user can acquire some familiarity with the venue, in order to increase the user's comfort level, as well as enjoyment level. The map of the sporting venue 310 may include references to public transportation 311 and/or locations of predetermined rendezvous locations 312.

The map of the sporting venue 310 with predetermined rendezvous locations 312 marked may be provided so that the user is informed when and where to cheer and support a specified participant. The predetermined rendezvous locations 312 are determined with reference to a specific participant's speed or pace, the rate at which the spectator can travel from rendezvous location to rendezvous location, and the availability of viewing locations. The rendezvous locations may also be determined with reference to the availability of public transportation, the proximity of public transportation to the rendezvous locations, the proximity of restrooms and other facilities, and the course between rendezvous locations.

In general, these rendezvous locations may be selected such that the spectator has as many opportunities as possible to cheer for and support a particular participant, in locations that are amicable to such cheering and support. These rendezvous locations may be clearly marked, and may include directions from one location to the next, on the map of the sporting venue 310.

With reference to FIG. 4A, the sporting event logistics system 10 may also include a two-sided preprinted card 320. FIG. 4A illustrates the identification and logistic support side 321, containing information of supplies that the sporting event participant may wish to be provided with at particular locations. The identification and logistic support side 321 may also contain an identification of the sporting event and the particular participant the sporting event system is supplied for. Two-sided preprinted card 320 is designed to be folded in half along line 322.

With reference to FIG. 4B the pace chart 325 may be printed on two-sided preprinted card 320 opposite the identification and logistic support side 321. The pace chart 325 may be included in the spectator enjoyment enhancement system 10 and located in the accessible internal cavity 110 of the enclosed carrying device 100. The pace chart 325 may list the approximate times that one or more specified sporting event participants will be at various locations of the sporting event venue. This chart may enable the spectator to not only determine the time at which to be present at the predetermined rendezvous locations, but also to give the spectator a sense of generally where the specified one or more participants are in the venue.

With reference to FIGS. 5A and 5B, a second two-sided preprinted card 330 may be included in the sporting event logistics system 10. As FIG. 5A illustrates, the first side of the second two-sided preprinted card 330 may be printed with cover page 331, identifying the sporting event title and the date of the sporting event. The second side of the two-sided preprinted card 330 may include a list of contact information 335.

The contact information 335 may also be included in the internal cavity 110 of the enclosed carrying device 100. The contact information 335 may include the cellular or mobile telephone numbers of other spectators, and/or of one or more participants. The contact information may allow one or more spectators to coordinate their movement between predetermined rendezvous locations, to allow one or more spectators to contact one or more participants prior to or following the sporting event, and/or provide the information necessary for communication for multiple other reasons.

The miscellaneous information 340 may also be included in the internal cavity 110 of the enclosed carrying device 100. The miscellaneous information may include but is not limited to, information regarding hotels and lodging, information regarding restaurants and eateries in the area, and/or information regarding transportation. This information may be included in the sporting event logistics system 10 in order to supply the spectator with relevant information regarding his or her surroundings, such that the comfort level, and thus the enjoyment level, of the spectator may be enhanced.

Additionally, in order to aid the sporting event participant in identifying the spectators specific to that participant, unique attire and/or an identifying theme may be provided for the spectators. Such attire and and/or theme may be known to the sporting event participant prior to the start of the sporting event, and may thus aid the participant in recognizing specific spectators, thereby increasing the feeling of support and thus perhaps motivation of the participant. Moreover, particular spectators may be designated to supply the participant with particular logistic support during the event. The interaction of the participant and the spectator must often be quick, and thus recognition of a specific spectator assigned a specific logistic support duty must also be quick. Such unique attire and/or identifying theme may aid in enhance and expedite this recognition.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the construction, configuration, and/or operation of the present invention without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.