This spring, the University of Central Florida (UCF) football team will be donning QR codes instead of numbers on the back of their jerseys (via SportsLogos.net). The team unveiled their new kit on Twitteremblazoned with large custom QR codes under their last names that you can scan to access player bios on the UCF 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 exactly how the feature actually works. Judging from the video, it looks like UCF will also display players’ QR codes on their stadium’s jumbotron.
Last year, the UCF Knights kept the numbers on the back of their jerseys, but exchanged surnames for Twitter handles. It’s probably best for the team to keep their last name this time around, because I could see how frustrating it could be for fans to search for a player’s Twitter handle – or shirt number – just to know their full name (if it’s not already up their sleeve).
You might 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. However, I don’t know if it will work well when you actually watch the game.
If you’re in the stands, are you supposed to zoom extremely far on your phone while trying to follow a QR code attached to a player sprinting across a pitch? And if you watch a show or a replay, will you just have to wait for a close-up? Of course, that’s enough to get some media attention, and possibly get potential recruits to move the school up their roster.
Update at 3:45 p.m. ET: Clarified this change is just for today’s spring game.