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Is beacon technology the next billion-dollar idea in sports?
For sports teams, beacons can be used to communicate with a user’s mobile device to track footpaths, encourage stadium seating upgrades and push sponsorship ads during and after the game. These location trackers have been growing in size across major sports leagues, and are already present in 93% of MLB parks and more than half of NBA arenas.
“Proximity technologies and beacons in particular are not only helping to sell more tickets, they are redefining how sports teams communicate with fans, increasing revenue from merchant sales as well as seat upgrades,” Thomas Walle, co-founder & CEO of Unacast, said in a statement. “Proximity technology also opens up brand new revenue streams by enabling sponsors to interact with fans and monetize hyper-accurate visitor segments through advertising. We also expect that a number of NBA teams will be leveraging retargeting as an additional solution in the 2016–2017 season.”
The Orlando Magic saw a $1 million increase in ticket sales last season thanks, in part, to beacon technology. Along with that, the Magic received a 30% app download increase, which is 25% higher than the industry standard.
“We attribute the use of proximity technologies to our dramatic increase in fan engagement, ticket sales and season ticket holder renewal rates,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said in a statement. “The biggest complaints in our business centered around the long lines at the concessions and the fact that you had to miss a good portion of games because you were in that line. Now, we were able to eliminate that problem and look forward to utilizing the enormous amount of data to provide the best possible fan experience in our venue for our customers.”
Other teams have gotten on board with deploy beacons. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks have all opened up their stadiums to proximity solutions through the use of sponsored content.
According to the report, in 2015 unsold tickets resulted in $184 million in terms of lost revenue for the NBA, NHL and NFL. The MLB’s tale is even greater, as it reached $955 million lost in 2015.
You see empty bleachers and lack of attendance across the professional leagues. With beacons becoming more popular, the major sports leagues will work to edge out obstacles faced along the way with attendance numbers.