The Indian Premier League (IPL 9), also known as Vivo IPL 2016, marks the ninth season of the IPL. The extravagant tournament is scheduled to be played between 8th of April and 29th of May. With matches spanning several cricket stadiums around the nation, including the largest of the lot, the Eden Gardens in West Bengal, that has a capacity to accommodate around than 66 thousand fans, arise multitudes of opportunities for promotional messages, location-based marketing and extensive fan engagement techniques. These are achieved by trending technologies such as beacons that work on proximity with the help of Bluetooth.
Beacons can be placed in various places within a structure or an area inside a stadium that covers specific zones reaching around 75 meters with individual Bluetooth signals and could enable a participating fan’s smartphone or wearable device to establish communication with it and hence find their location.
There are many reasons why a stadium equipped with beacons is far better than those bereft of the technology. To elaborate with respect to IPL 9 beacons can:
- Aid the fans to enter the stadium and into the correct section, by creating a virtual map that displays their current location and also pop up their ticket automatically when they are close by, putting a cessation to the massive queues and lines and reducing the paper used.
- Help the fans identify the players during the game, view the field set virtually by giving them their own beacons and possessing a map of the arena thereby understanding the nuances of the game.
- Send updates and details about the batting order, bowling stats, upcoming matches and fixtures along with ads that are pertinent to the location.
- Allows the fans call sales persons in and around that particular zone with the push of a button on their smartphone and the salespersons will know where he/she is seated and will be able to render the required services and provide the desired products.
- As and when the fans park their vehicles, they could receive parking discounts while they exit,in case they purchase snacks, beverages or drinks at certain locations.
- Create interactive questions and polls such as,
“ Who do you think will win the Orange Cap? A) Raina B) Dhoni”
and a statistical graph depicting the details of the number of votes for the players could be shown to generate passion for the game, making it more intriguing and enthusiastic to watch and enjoy. Voting on in-game action is something special for all fans. Beacons can send text messages to fans to choose one of the options during the match. Also in-stadium texting creates a direct communication channel that makes it possible for venue operations and management personnel to cater to audience needs in real-time.
- Also help alert fans on the nearest restrooms with the shortest wait times etc., utilizing geo-mapping techniques. Can provide other useful fan services as well.
- Enhance the teams that use beacons to track fan behaviors, movement and expenditures within the stadium and get an overall synopsis of the game with respect to the organizers as well as teams and can prove to be beneficial.
- At the end of the match, before the fans exit the stadium, valuable feedbacks about their experiences could be received in exchange for discounts on future parking tickets or other offers of sorts.
Apple’s iBeacon technology triggers content based on technology and piques those marketers who see technology as the best way of promotion driven through delightful and responsive mobile phone experiences for the audience in a stadium and believes that texts still have the potential to create networking and bring about customer loyalty. Those who are unable to comprehend the subtle differences between iBeacons and SMS are possibly losing out on the opportunity to easily reach customers with two powerful technologies.
Several teams and venues are gathering data through apps beacons and other digital innovations to ameliorate the management, operations, player performances, increase the crowd and create experiences that would create in the fans, the desire to return to the stadium during another match. Of course, all the promotions and ads would be fan-specific, team-oriented and would be relevant to the scenario of the current match so as to amplify the virtual interaction with the audience.
Beacons have the inimitable quality of disseminating targeted messages to a larger number of fans in a controlled fashion. Cricket or any other live game is not only limited to watching and cheering from your seats, but also has the capacity to render a motley of virtual, physical, digital, happy and interactive experiences over smartphones, huge digital screens, stalls with discounts and much more, covering the entire arena.