With its hometown in the heart of Silicon Valley, the San Francisco 49ers serve as a best-in-class example of how sports teams and other rightsholders can work with companies in the technology category.

The team’s approach to the category is straightforward: product integration must enhance the fan experience.

“Having technology for technology’s sake isn’t what we’re collectively looking for. It’s how we use our partners’ technology to make it authentic and relevant to our fan base,” said Brent Schoeb, the San Francisco 49ers’ director of corporate partnerships.

Schoeb points to Intel as an example. The semiconductor giant plans to leverage the upcoming NFL season to showcase motion-detecting camera technology. Intel will demonstrate the technology via three on-site stations where fans can make a virtual pass, catch or kick from the perspective of a 49er player on a digital screen.

“Intel has a ton of microprocessors. How do we find a product that makes sense and showcases technology that is relevant to 49ers fans?”

To ensure sponsors make the most of activation, the 49ers have created a “creative counsel” to keep programs on track. The counsel is comprised of a cross-section of internal and external stakeholders including sponsors and 49ers’ sponsorship, marketing and stadium operations personnel.

“The creative council signs off to make sure each activation is authentic and relevant to fans.”

Below, two new technology-centric activation programs for the 2015 NFL season.

Esurance and Faithful 49. The direct-to-consumer insurer is exploring several different activation programs for the 2015 season.  One idea under consideration: Supporting its presenting sponsorship of the team’s Faithful 49 fan engagement program.

Esurance will reward consumers who visit the brand’s on-site activation area with “yards” (the program’s digital currency). Fans can redeem yards for tickets, the opportunity to meet players and other perks.

The insurer last year activated the 49ers with a virtual reality program in which consumers could visit the team’s locker room, walk on the field and participate in a huddle.

SAP and the SAP Tower. Looking to leverage its official partnership with the National Football League and the 2016 Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium, SAP plans to showcase real-time stats and analytics from action on the field via a digital pylon in the SAP Tower.

SAP may also outfit suites with virtual reality technology to allow guests to view statistics as they happen.