Many of our class discussions and readings have centered around the idea that a company or brand that creates an app needs to create an app for some other reason than to simply “have an app.” It must provide value in some way to the user and it’s been really interesting learning about some of the technology that has been created in order to accomplish this goal. For instance, we have discussed in class and read about in our book, Mobile Marketing: How Mobile Technology is Revolutionizing Marketing, Communications, and Advertising, beacon technology.
I’m a huge sports fan and I have a ton of apps for my favorite sports teams on my phone, but I rarely physically attend games. But as I researched more about beacons, I discovered how prevalent they are becoming in sports arenas and with sports teams, in order to enhance the fan experience.
Beacons are small, wireless transmitters that use low-energy Bluetooth technology to send signals to other smart devices nearby, are one of the latest developments in locations technology and proximity marketing, and are becoming increasingly popular (“5 Things You,” 2019). Global Market Insights predicts that the “beacon technology market is set to surpass $25 billion by 2024” (“5 Things You,” 2019).
Regarding sports teams, beacon technology is helping sports teams “enhance loyalty, gather data about attendees, and provide an entry point to fans to become more digitally engaged” (“Beacons are Thriving,” 2016). Beacons have and continue to result in a lift in app engagement and team sales because they help teams and stadiums to collect data on the fans and to create a more personalized experience. Many arenas/stadiums within major sports leagues have deployed beacons.
Beacons are being used during live games to promote merchandise or food sales and to sell seat upgrades within arenas, by using beacon-driven push notifications to team app users. For the Golden State Warriors, beacons accounted for 9% of seat upgrades during the season and for the Atlanta Hawks, accounted for 11% of all seat upgrades during the season (Stirling, 2016). Beacons also help teams and stadiums to collect data on the fans. Location data lets stadium staff know where fans are at any time and helps them to determine the most-trafficked areas, which helps fans because the app can direct them to the “nearest bathroom” or to their “parking spot”from their seat, thus improving the experience for the fan (by potentially cutting down wait-times) (Berthene, 2016). Beacons can also offer fans promotions, offers, and loyalty programs specific to their interests (Mallik, 2018)
Sports teams have reported the following metrics, since deploying beacons, demonstrating their various measurements of success:
Beacon technology has many uses and it continues to grow and to evolve in accordance to user’s responses and its successes in various situations and industries!
I’m curious as to whether any of your companies use beacon technology? Have you experienced it in any way? What are your thoughts on it? Do you like it or do you find it intrusive?
Mobile marketing: how mobile technology is revolutionizing marketing, communications and advertising (2nd ed.)