As a pioneer and innovator for smart stadium solutions, NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced that with the use of its MIFARE products, it brings secure, contactless ticketing to the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ matches including the final game. The NXP contactless chip solution inside the match tickets provides fans with fast, hassle-free and safe access to Russia’s spectacular World Cup stadiums. Additionally, the company’s NTAG NFC technology was chosen to enable all new connected experiences with the Official Match Ball, the adidas Telstar 18. As the most innovative FIFA World Cup™ ball to date, the NFC technology allows the ball to interact with smartphones to display specific details of each ball and provides access to challenges, which users can enter in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup™. Across the globe, smart stadiums are embracing NXP’s connectivity solutions and the IoT to bring fans captivating, personalized and more convenient experiences.

With 64 matches in total, the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia is one of the largest and most important sports events worldwide. More than three million spectators are expected to attend the matches, with the average attendance of games to date being 97 percent of the total capacity of the stadium. This also attracts scammers, with big live events being a major target through the high demand of tickets. In a recent announcement, FIFA has highlighted the need to fight against the secondary ticketing market to increase safety and security for fans, and providing a fair ticketing price scheme for everyone involved.

Improved Fraud Prevention with RFID Technology

To prevent illicit trading and ticket fraud, and increase overall event security, all official 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ tickets are equipped with NXP’s MIFARE Ultralight EV1 contactless IC, a smart RFID chip featuring an authenticity check through a special originality signature. Embedded inside each ticket, the IC stores information about the admission and the ticket’s originality, thus protecting spectators from counterfeits while also providing the FIFA World Cup™ organizers greater visibility into these grey markets.

All visitors of the World Cup games benefit from convenient access to the venues through the ticket’s tap-and-go nature. Compared to barcode or QR-Code tickets, the contactless RFID solution works faster to enable swift access to the stadiums as visitors only need to tap their ticket to a contactless reader at the entrance to validate. The same MIFARE product-based, electronic ticketing solution delighted fans at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia as result of its ease-of-use and ability to detect cloned tickets.

“We are committed to continuing a long legacy of enabling convenient ticketing and secure payment experiences for events around the world,” said Markus Staeblein, vice president and general manager of Secure Mobility and Retail at NXP. “By selecting our field-proven MIFARE products once again, the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ continues to entrust NXP with supporting their seamless fan experience while also protecting the fans and organizers from targeted counterfeiting.”

New Connected Fan Experience

For the first time, the official match ball of the FIFA World Cup™ features embedded NFC technology for exciting new interactivity. Leveraging NXP’s NTAG® NFC solution, fans are able to interact with the new adidas Telstar 18 ball with a tap of their smartphone. Each ball generates a unique identifier, unlocking exclusive content and information for the consumer. The personalized and location-aware experience displays specific details of each ball and provides access to challenges which consumers can enter in the run-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. NXP’s leading NTAG NFC technology thus provides direct-to-consumer communication to attract, entertain and retain fans.

Leader in Smart Stadium Technology Solutions

NXP leads the revolution of smart stadium technology, empowering stadiums since 2004 and continues to be the trusted provider for important global sports events across Vienna, Taipei and Turkey. By using RFID and contactless solutions for access control, micropayments or consumer engagement, event owners gain valuable data about visitors and get accurate attendee profiling. These results can be used to improve operations, and offer a more personalized fan experience, boosting revenue of events. NXP is committed to help stadium operators achieve their goals with innovative and secure connectivity solutions:

  • Contactless event ticketing for quick and convenient access to sports venues, VIP areas, training centers and athlete residences
  • Cashless micropayments enabling fast and secure in-stadium purchases
  • NFC-enabled merchandize articles delivering personalized and more engaging customer experiences, while securely protecting against counterfeits
  • RAIN RFID technology for tracking attendee movements and enabling hands-free access to event facilities
  • High performance RF-power devices for cellular infrastructures