By: Chad Wiener
What was it like to go to a baseball game back in 1965? Fans sat and watched the entire game in order to not miss any key plays. They hoped the announcers would let them know any important information about rival games that were being played at the same time.
The only marketing in the stadium was that sweet, salty smell of fresh popcorn popped in the basement of the stadium and carried through the building by the ventilation shafts. And the crisp smell of hot dogs cooking in the stands drawing passersby heading to their seats. That was marketing back in 1965 and what a wonderful time that was.
Where have those times gone? Everything seemed so simple back then. It was about catching that next foul ball, or seeing your favorite player whack one out of the park. Remember when Babe Ruth got traded to the Yankees Or when Mickey Mantle hit his 500th home run? . Those were the events fans came to see. It wasn’t a social event where groups of people stood around bars and lounges absent of any site of the game being played on the field.
Fast forward 46 years. Sure, you still have those true fans that come to the game to see the teams they’ve followed since childhood work their way to the dance. There’s still that sweet, salty smell of popcorn permeating through the air shafts. But you have something else. Something no one could imagine back in 1965. The world of interconnectivity. A world where when you need to find something, you don’t look on a paper map…you don’t call an operator. Heck, you don’t even ask someone. Now, you just jump onto your smart phone, hit the Google web page and type in your question. And Google, or any other search engine of your preference, happily responds back to you…usually with the correct answer. And if not the correct answer, something close enough that allows you to find the answer you’re looking for. Welcome to the Digital Age.
Today’s technology allows stadium operators to direct market to a fan’s cell phone, using ribbon boards around the stadium to tell them to text 3411 from their mobile phones to receive a coupon for their next purchase in the retail store. Now, you can order food &beverage without even leaving your seat. You can check the scores of other games, and even catch a highlight you may have missed. You can buy tickets for the next game or that jersey you’ve been wanting…without moving an inch. How, do you ask? Right from that same little device mentioned above…the smart phone. The smart phone gives us the ability to reach the fans in a way we couldn’t dream of 46 years ago. We can ask questions, gather consumer information, send media content and take orders all in real-time. And we can reach the vast majority of customers that pass through the gates. Those who embrace this technology will persevere. Those who don’t, will be left
To learn more about how smart phone technology can help your business, see my article next month.