Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

This week I want to focus on what is often called the “next generation fan.” And what is the next generation fan? It’s the sports fan who consumes sports in a much different manner than the traditional fan. The “traditional fan” would primarily go to watch the action on the field, court, ice or arena. But the “next generation” fan consumes sports in a very different way. Instead of just watching the on-field action, the “next generation fan’ is constantly multi-tasking. They are also watching the big scoreboard/big screen as well as using their smart phone to text, Tweet, take photos, check-in, post to Facebook, etc.

Jimmy Lynn for iStrategy
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In the past two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend sporting events in two of the greatest sports venues in the world. In late 2009, I went to the famed Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro (one of the three greatest soccer venues in history) to watch Flamengo play a league match. And, in the spring 2010, I went to see Arsenal play Porto in a Championship League match at their new beautiful Emirates Stadium. The passion of the fans at both venues was remarkable and bone-chilling. But, it was also clear that they were there for one thing … to watch the action on the field.

Big screen Cowboy Stadium

Contrast that to the American sports fan in the US. Go to nearly any professional sports league game and you’ll witness a good number of fans multi-tasking. I think back to Feb 2010 – at the NBA All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium in Texas. I’ve never seen a more spectacular sports venue. Wow. The place is simply amazing. In particular, the high-definition screen that runs 60 yards long will simply take your breath away. What’s interesting is that the picture is so clear that often times you find yourself watching the big screen versus the live-action on the field. Then, of course, the fans are on their iPhones, Blackberrys, Androids, etc to tell their friends about the spectacular venue – snapping photos and posting on Facebook, posting tweets on Twitter, checking in on FourSquare, texting and emailing, etc.

I do love the purity of watching the soccer/football matches in Rio de Janeiro and London, but as a sports marketer, I marvel at how sports venues in the US, such as Cowboys Stadium, create so many more meaningful ways to create revenue.  The sponsorship opportunities alone are staggering.  But also the advent of mobile apps will continue to help sports fans consume in even more engaging ways. There’s a number of apps that help fans follow their fantasy sports teams, order concessions, change seat locations, follow other teams and sports, look at traffic reports, check on weather, etc.

iphone sports app
Sports has always been one of the key content areas to drive the adaptation of new technologies. This “next generation fan” will continue to multi-task in more and more ways as new applications continue to be developed.  Yes, the US is probably leading the way since it’s the largest consumer sports market, but many of these lessons will be shared – and fans in the UK, Brazil, China, Australia, India, Russia, etc will also consume sports in a different manner. This also means that leagues and teams will also be able to create new incremental revenue streams. It will be interesting to watch this play out in the coming years. The game – or “watching the game” has changed.  And, those that embrace it will be the ones who can most benefit.

(New York, NY, December 12, 2010) ~  MLB.com At Bat 2010 for iPhone and iPod touch was named the highest grossing application by Apple in its second annual iTunes Rewind for the App Store. At Bat, which delivered the first full season of live video for every game and introduced the At The Ballpark mobile in-venue experience, finished first overall across all categories of paid applications for 2010. In addition, MLB.com At Bat 2010 for iPad was recognized as the highest grossing application in the sports category.

Baseball fans utilized At Bat 2010 to follow Major League Baseball games every day from the application’s debut in Spring Training through the final out of the 2010 World Series. During the 2010 MLB Postseason alone, At Bat was accessed 37 million times, a 236 percent increase over the 2009 Postseason.

Subscribers to At Bat 2010 were able to access their MLB.TV subscriptions to watch live home and away broadcast feeds for every out-of-market regular season game with enhanced features such as statistical overlays and controls to pause or rewind live action. The application also delivered every radio feed, in-game video highlights and MLB.com Gameday.

This year also marked the debut of At The Ballpark, a mobile in-venue experience within At Bat 2010 for iPhone. By utilizing the Apple device’s core location technology, fans were able to check-in to any of the 30 Major League ballparks and, subsequently, receive access to an array of exclusive features, including social media, interactive venue maps, concession menus, personal profiles and video highlights. MLB.com also partnered with Aramark and the Philadelphia Phillies to launch a pilot program in September for mobile food ordering through At Bat 2010.

During the off-season, MLB.com At Bat 2010 is available free from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch or iPad at www.itunes.com/appstore/. For more information, please visit MLB.com.

MLBAM, Philadelphia Phillies & Aramark join to debut Mobile Food Ordering App at Citizens Bank Park

New York & Philadelphia (September 23, 2010) ~  MLB Advanced Media, L.P. (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies and ARAMARK, the food and beverage partner for 12 MLB teams, have announced that fans at Citizens Bank Park can use their iPhone to order food and have the items delivered to their seat.

It is the latest addition to At The Ballpark, a mobile concierge program within MLB.com’s industry-leading At Bat 2010 applications for iPhone, that allows fans to check-in and manage their own experiences at the ballpark. Working together, MLBAM, the Phillies and ARAMARK are creating a gameday experience that integrates the convenience of mobile technology, while allowing fans to make the most of their time watching the game or socializing with friends.

By utilizing the Apple devices’ core location technology, MLB.com At Bat 2010 can verify a fan is inside the ballpark and, subsequently, grant access to an array of exclusive features, including the ability to order food. During the pilot program, fans at Citizens Bank Park can order some of the most popular menu items directly from their seats, including a Philadelphia cheese steak, Tony Luke’s Roasted Pork, Bulls BBQ Turkey Sandwich, Planet Hoagie Italian Hoagie and Eastern Shore Crab Cake Sandwich.

Fans will have the ability to order food from their seats via the At Bat 2010 mobile application by providing their seat location and a valid credit card which is then securely processed through Citizens Bank Park’s MICROS 9700 point-of-sale platform, powered by MICROS Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MCRS). Ordering food via At Bat 2010 does not require fans to have a pre-authorized account prior to beginning the purchase process.

Citizens Bank Park is an ideal location to debut the At Bat 2010 food ordering feature. In addition to consistently ranking among the most fan-friendly ballparks in MLB, its MICROS 9700 integrated point-of-sale system has allowed the Phillies and ARAMARK to be at the forefront of pioneering new food service technologies.

“We are thrilled that MLBAM and ARAMARK have chosen Citizens Bank Park to launch this new application, and look forward to taking our fans’ game-day experiences to another level,” said Michael Harris, director, marketing and special projects, Philadelphia Phillies.

“As baseball fans continue to embrace mobile technology, we recognize the importance of identifying innovative opportunities to provide food and beverage services at baseball games,” said Marc Bruno, president, ARAMARK Sports, Entertainment and Conventions. “We are excited to work with MLBAM and the Phillies to give fans a new way to experience games at Citizens Bank Park.”

“Going to the ballpark always has been a shared experience for fans, whether they’re among families, friends or business associates. The innovations we’ve introduced through mobile technology, including this debut of mobile food ordering at Citizens Bank Park, are intended to further enrich those personal experiences by making them more convenient, authentic and applicable to popular social networks,” said Adam Ritter, vice president, wireless development, MLBAM.

In addition to food ordering, At The Ballpark offers an array of exclusive content and social media interaction for fans at Citizens Bank Park. Among those features are:

  • Check-in: Accessible two hours prior to every scheduled home game, fans can check-in at Citizen Bank Park and deliver personal messages instantly across Twitter and Facebook.
  • My Profile: A detailed look at a user’s individual activity history, showing the number of games attended, ballparks visited, teams seen and teams’ records in those games, among other customizable options.
  • Venue Maps: With a verified check-in, fans can view detailed venue maps and complete concession menus. The maps and directories utilize the pinch-and-zoom functionality of iPhone for zoom in and out features ability across the entire venue map, allowing fans to quickly identify and navigate locations for concessions, restrooms, first aid stations, ATMs, souvenirs and customer service representatives.
  • Social Media: Fans also can engage in the community of 140-character conversations going on in-and-around Citizens Bank Park with Twitter integration. In addition to being able to send messages directly from within At Bat 2010, fans can see the Tweets coming from the ballpark, as determined by geolocation technology, from other fans using designated hashtags (#phillies) and from followers’ replies to the original messages.
  • Video Highlights: The in-game video highlight experience within MLB.com At Bat has been enhanced exclusively for fans that have a verified check-in by offering a set of bonus in-game highlights exclusively for that individual game.

MLB.com At Bat, including the entire 2010 postseason, is available from the App Store on iPhone or at http://www.itunes.com/appstore/. For more information, please visit MLB.com or Phillies.com.

About MLB Advanced Media Established in June 2000 following a unanimous vote by the 30 Major League Baseball club owners to centralize all of Baseball’s Internet operations, MLB Advanced Media LP (MLBAM) is the interactive media and internet company of Major League Baseball. MLBAM manages the official league site, http://www.MLB.com,and each of the 30 individual Club sites to create the most comprehensive Major League Baseball resource on the Internet. MLB.com offers fans the most complete baseball information and interactivity on the web, including up-to-date statistics, game previews and summaries, extensive historical information, online ticket sales, baseball merchandise, authenticated memorabilia and collectibles, fantasy games, live full-game video webcasts and on-demand highlights, live and archived audio broadcasts of every game, Gameday pitch-by-pitch application, around-the-clock hosted and specialty video programming and complete blogging capabilities. MLB.com offers more live events on the Internet than any other website in the world.

About ARAMARK ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute, as the industry leader in FORTUNE magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies,” and as one of America’s Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 255,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company’s Web site, http://www.aramark.com, or http://www.twitter.com/aramarknews.

The San Francisco Giants won the Foursquare check-in series too.