In the sports industry, marketing departments attempt to fill in as many seats and bring in as much revenue as possible. Not only must they compete with other teams, but also other places where consumers could potentially spend their money–because after all, sports is a source of discretionary spending. As a result, techniques are evolving substantially.
One advancement coming to fruition is the quality of the in-game delivery of customer service, particularly at the facility. If one were to ask fans their opinion about the least enticing feature of attending games, it is almost certain that the general consensus will be the long concession lines at halftime, as well as anything else that leads to slower service. Madison Square Garden, home to the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, is a renown arena known for historic performances by legends, such as Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant. What sometimes goes unnoticed are some of the innovations the arena employs from the technological sphere.
One of the more recent developments tested in Madison Square Garden is a potential game-changer, when it comes to the game-day experience. The new development–tabbed the Appetize App–is a fan-friendly app that brings the food to the fan, with just a few simple instructions. After downloading the app, the user then selects the “Eat/Shop” option. The individual then subsequently indicates their Level, Section, Row, and Seat. Once this information is recorded, the fan then pinpoints the menu items he or she prefers–from the closest vendor. The availability of delivery or pickup is usually dependent upon the person’s seat location.
In addition to the delivery of food, the Appetize App also provides detailed information on the venue, scheduling and ticketing, parking, as well as social functions.
When examining the Appetize App, additional benefits should be noted. To simulate conditions of an actual game, administrators tested the app at the Governors Ball Music Festival–an event held on Randall’s Island that features a wide variety of music, from folk, to rock, to even hip-hop. During the festival, users were allowed to pay via Bluetooth; as a result, Bluetooth sales increased by 35 percent in comparison to the usual cash and credit orders taken. Another advantage this trial run revealed was supreme security during transactions, as it disclosed a noticeable decrease in card declines and theft.
With offline capabilities, this app allows all transactions to be made even without the use of cellular data or wi-fi.
If it successfully spreads to more arenas, the Appetize App has the potential to increase attendance at the venue; and maybe even offset some of the effects from innovations that promote the consumption of sport away from the facility.