The Sports World’s New Champion: Beacons

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) –There’s a new champion driving sports fans wild. According to a report prepared by BI Intelligence, beacons—small, inexpensive pieces of hardware that communicate with smartphone apps via Bluetooth based on location—are helping sports teams enhance loyalty, gather data about attendees and provide an entry point for fans to become more digitally engaged.

As BI reports, beacons are resulting in a lift in app engagement and team sales. For example, 93 percent of all Major League Baseball stadiums in the U.S. have deployed beacons, along with 75 percent of all National Football League stadiums, 53 percent of all National Basketball Association arenas and 47 percent of all National Hockey League arenas. In its first season using beacons, the 2014-2015 Golden State Warriors saw average transaction volume rise 87 percent from the prior season, The Orlando Magic, another NBA team, experienced an added $1 million in ticket sales due to beacons during the 2014-2015 season.

“The popularity of beacons among sports fans is providing brands with a gateway for influencing shopper behavior and sales during sporting events,” says Chris Stabile, Vice President of Business Development at Digital Social Retail, a company that has developed a beacon management platform that is revolutionizing the relationship between customers and brands. “Going forward, brands that leverage beacon engagement are likely to see even higher sales.”

The Social Retail® digital convergence platform developed by Digital Social Retail works seamlessly with mobile screen messaging triggered by BLE beacons communicating with iOS and Android devices running Bluetooth. The platform has proven itself in a wide variety of applications to date.

For example, in October 2015, 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.

“The more that brands connect with fans at sporting events, the stronger the ties they are bound to forge—and that’s a victory for the home team,” adds Stabile.

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