Proximity marketing driven by Bluetooth-based beacons has seen massive adoption among US sports and events stadiums, with 93 per cent of Major League Baseball stadiums leveraging the technology to help with visitor engagement.
Figures are also promising in other sports arenas, with 47 per cent of NFL and NHL stadiums and 53 per cent of NBA stadiums using beacons to tap into their audience and open up new revenue streams.
The figures come from proximity marketing specialists Proxbook, which reports that beacon deployment grew 33 per cent year-on-year, with 8.27m proximity sensors deployed as of Q2 2016.
Beacons are being put to a variety of uses in stadiums, enabling owners to track fan footpaths, encourage attendees to upgrade seating and connect sponsors with visitors both during and after games.
Basketball teams the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors reported that beacons directly accounted for around 10 per cent of all seat upgrades during the season, while the Warriors generated $185,000 (£141,000) in incremental revenue from a beacon-only advertised item. The teams were able to recoup the installation costs for the beacons from seat-upgrade revenues alone by halfway through the season.
Sports teams have also seen considerable boosts to app adoption thanks to the additional utility that beacons offer. The Orlando Magic’s official app has adoption rates of 30 per cent among home crowds, compared to five per cent industry standard, and was able to generate $500,000 in in-app sponsorship revenue from this high adoption rate.
The beacons also provide the sports arenas with a wealth of first-party data which can be sold on to nearby retailers (with user consent), creating a new revenue stream for teams and building ties with brands and the local community.
“We have create a remote control for the fan experience in our venue; an app that coalesces all of the platforms that we utilise for the fan experience into one location,” said Alex Martins, CEO of Orlando Magic.
“The biggest complaints in our business centred 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. Also, our app generate enormous amounts of data which helps us to tailor a customer experience to each individual.”