49ERS END STADIUM-WIDE FOOD-DELIVERY SERVICE
The San Francisco 49ers have ended a stadium-wide, in-seat, food delivery service that failed to catch on with fans at Levi’s Stadium. While the team has yet to comment on the decision, it does not make sense to continue staffing a service that was failing to gain traction or generate a profit. Fans sitting in premium sections will continue to have access to the service. It is worth noting that VenueNext (platform that powers the service) does not have another client that offers stadium-wide in-seat concession delivery, as Grubhub (GRUB) and competing food delivery companies look to enter the space.
Howie Long-Short: VenueNext, originally formed in 2013 to help the 49ers develop the mobile application for their new stadium, raised a $9 million Series A round in January 2015. Live Nation Entertainment (LYV) and Twitter Ventures (TWTR) participated in the round. The company raised an additional $15 million in October 2016 to expand its offerings beyond sports & entertainment, having since added clientele within the hospitality and healthcare verticals, and into Europe.
Fan Marino: VenueNext isn’t just a platform to support a food delivery service, but a way for teams to enhance the in-stadium fan experience. Fans can find parking help, their way around the building, mobile ticketing, exclusive team content and merchandise within a team’s custom app. Teams will market these apps as a way to enhance the fan experience, but call them for what they are, a way to gather data on attendees so they can turn around and market to them.