Major League Baseball (MLB) will upgrade its At The Ballpark App with the feature for mobile phones to communicate with sensors placed throughout the park. Using Bluetooth Low Energy Technology (BLE), the app will welcome fans, send coupons, fun facts, or advertisement from sponsors, when it is near the vicinity of the sensors. According to AdAge, in Citi Field in Flushing, Queens, The New York Mets will be the pilot team to test out these sensors.
Through adding this feature on the app and using these sensors, also known as iBeacon, Major League Baseball aims to enhance the game day experience for fans. This technology is location based and runs in the background of the phone so even if the fans don’t have app open, it can still alert and send information to the fan if they’re near the beacons. For example, if a fan approach a concession stand with the sensor, it can immediately send them a 10% coupon or another offer of some sort. MLB hopes to make relevant suggestions and offers and not to spam users.
This will give MLB tracking ability in the future. They will have the potential to build in methods for tracking footpaths and more. This will aid in understanding behavior and gather data for better marketing. However, that will not be implemented anytime soon. Adam Ritter, senior VP-wireless at MLB Advanced Media, assured they will do their best to remain sensitive to the privacy of baseball fans.
This technology is new, and the activation of iBeacons are not readily available in every smart phone. However, it is a feature of the new very popular iPhone 5s running IOS 7. Many Android OEM also recognizes the use for BLE implement it in some of their products. Google will add it to Android 4.3. BLE is predicted to gain popularity and MLB is on the frontline to test it for marketing.