Football league sponsor trials iBeacon technology at Elland Road and New York Stadium this October

Updated 30 October, 16h30pm – Sky Betcustomers attending games at either Leeds United or Rotherham United will be among the first football fans in the UK to receive push notifications through Apple iBeacon technology, based on their location.
The online operator, which is also the sponsor of the English Football League, recently installediBeacon technology which uses Bluetooth to deliver localised messages to iOS users at both Elland Road and New York Stadium.
Improving fan experience
The pilot project, installed by Estimote Beacons and described as low-key by Sky Bet, could see a roll-out of this technology to stadia all across England and Wales.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for us to use our unique partnership with Football League clubs to improve the fan experience at football grounds across the country,” commented Andrew Walton, head of core products at Sky Bet. “The feedback from both clubs has been encouraging and, although this technology is still very new, the potential is enormous.”
“Depending on how the initial pilot goes, soon our customers could be receiving tailored messages and offers at every Sky Bet Football League game, allowing them to benefit even further from our sponsorship.”
Great potential for sports
Ian Malone, MD at Proximity marketing specialist Geemo, is delighted with the news. “The use of proximity marketing tools at outdoor sporting events is relatively new, but there is enormous potential for the technology within this space,” he commented. “One great advantage for sporting events in particular is that football fans will almost certainly already have their club’s app downloaded onto their device, which makes engaging through proximity marketing so easily accessible.”
He warned of the challenges of using this type of technology in a stadium environment, where it may be difficult to get an internet connection.
3G accessibility warning
“Football stadiums generally have notoriously poor 3G accessibility at peak activity times like halftime,” he explained. “Some football clubs have begun to install Wi-Fi, but obviously without a connection it will be hard for fans to update their bets as tens of thousands of users are checking football scores, updating social media and texting friends.”
He said this was a call to the network operators to up their game as beacon-led technology increase customer use of their devices.
“This trial by Sky Bet highlights how much this applies to outdoor attractions just as much as indoor ones and event organisers are increasingly incorporating this into their marketing strategies,” concluded Malone.