High Tech

UCF football team is trading jersey numbers for QR codes

This spring, the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) football team will don QR codes instead of numbers on the back of their jerseys (via SportsLogos.net). The team showed off their new garb on Twitter, sporting large, custom QR codes beneath their last names that you can scan to access players’ biographies on UCF’s website.

In a video posted by UCF coach Gus Malzahn (who also has a QR code stamped on his team polo shirt) you can see how exactly the feature actually works. Judging by the video, it looks like UCF will display players’ QR codes on its home stadium’s jumbotron as well.

Last year, the UCF Knights kept the numbers on the back of their jerseys but swapped their last names for Twitter handles. It’s probably best that the team kept their last names this time around, as I could see how it might be frustrating for fans to search for a player’s Twitter handle — or jersey number — just to find out their full name (if it isn’t already in their handle).

You may not associate modern technology with a team named after a medieval soldier, but it’s certainly a creative use of the QR code and a clever way to promote players. I’m just not sure how well it will work when you’re actually watching the game, though.

If you’re in the stands, are you supposed to zoom in extremely far on your phone while attempting to track a QR code that’s attached to a player sprinting across a field? And if you’re watching a broadcast or replay, will you just have to wait for a close-up? Of course, it is enough to attract media attention, and maybe get potential recruits to move the school up their list.

Update 3:45PM ET: Clarified this change is just for today’s spring game.

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