(DGIwire) – Professional sports are as popular as ever—but the game has changed in terms of how fans are consuming their favorite pastimes. The explosion of smartphone adoption and the demand for mobile connectivity are hard to ignore: according to a report from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, 70 percent of consumers who bring their mobile devices with them to sporting venues expect to use them during the game.
That’s one reason it makes sense for sports organizations to leverage digital interactions between user devices and beacons installed throughout the facility. These points of interface do more than put a bevy of information and payment options at the user’s fingertips—allowing attendees to track the box score and purchase tickets from their smartphones helps turn the stadium visit into one big interactive experience. Beacons can also facilitate concession sales, from streamlining food lines with wireless ordering to minimizing congestion by redirecting customers to shorter lines. Device-based ordering can also prompt customers to join a team’s loyalty program.
“With visitors already locked into their social media experience from the time they show up to the game, venues can take advantage by using beacons to interface with fans,” says Chris Stabile, Vice President of Business Development at Digital Social Retail, a New York-based proximity marketing firm. “Utilizing a robust content management system such as those we provide makes it easy for organizations to deploy an eye-catching social media campaign.”
In October 2015, the company’s cloud-based platform, Social Retail®, made history at the Edmund de Rothschild Israel Masters golf tournament in Israel. Each golfer’s bag was equipped with a Social Retail beacon. Spectators were able to download the Social Retail app and as they moved around the course, the real-time scores and stats of each player were available as the spectator arrived in the vicinity of the player. Notifications pushed via the Social Retail bundle enabled the viewers to track the players in a way not possible before. There were also beacons around the venue—providing information such as timely weather updates and specials for restaurants, hotels and other amenities for spectators.
Speaking of golf, content management systems such as those developed by Digital Social Retail can also be used to automatically display player and course information on screens as visitors move from one hole to the next. By collecting player performance data from digital scorecards, screens can even display up-to-date information on turn order and course availability. Player stats and tournament updates can be scheduled to broadcast on digital displays throughout the competition. And by analyzing player performance and previous purchases made through a golf course pro shop’s loyalty program, personalized suggestions can be delivered on gear and accessories that could improve the player’s game.
“Beacon notifications give the phrase ‘take me out to the ball game’ a new and exciting meaning in the 21st century,” Stabile adds.