Beacons have already proven their ability to enhance the fan experience on game day. Last year, the MLB validated the technology at a handful of ballparks around the country, giving app users access to fan trivia, videos, automatic check-in, store coupons, and more. This year, the NFL followed the MLB’s lead, and installed wireless transmitters throughout New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowl, as well as around Times Square. NFL mobile app users received tailored, contextually-sensitive news broadcasts and discounts in the days leading up to the Game. Not to be outdone, the MLB announced a 20 stadium-wide rollout of beacon technology to begin this spring. Beacons will be deployed again at the Met’s Citi Field, where the technology debuted last year. According to the app’s iTunes description, the At the Ballpark app “perfectly complements and personalizes your trip with mobile check-in, social media, offers, rewards, and exclusive content. Select MLB ballparks also offer mobile food ordering and seat and experience upgrade components.”
As zealous fans ourselves (Go Hawks!), we think beacons could have a much greater impact in sports, creating experiences for fans not only just on game day, but also, as the NFL has demonstrated, beyond the location of the game itself. The NFL’s Super Bowl experiment showed how beacons can build an elaborate fan experience around a single event, reaching fans proximate to Times Square with context-sensitive information at any time of day. With beacon deployment on a greater scale (as we imagine it), the NFL could have had an even greater impact — helping fans navigate the first “mass transit” Superbowl, and extending the festivities beyond the bounds of Times Square.
New York City is home to a great variety of popular sporting events and venues, and tens of thousands of passionate fans. Sports teams and commissions, venues, and events could all build stronger relationships with their fans, relay critical information, and greatly extend their marketing reach and revenue generating capabilities through intelligent embrace of beacon technology.
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