MLB is already using them with plans to roll out at all stadiums, and now Bloomberg reports that the Golden State Warriors have become the first NBA team to take advantage of Apple’s iBeacon bluetooth technology. Just as the MLB, retailers, and other events have used the beacons to send context sensitive notifications and offers to customers and fans in proximity, the Warriors will do the same and in the process offer fans in cheap seats the chance to upgrade:
Sneaking into better seats is a time-honored tradition among sports fans, but in recent years, teams have started using mobile apps to persuade attendees to pay more instead…. The Warriors are the first in the NBA to roll out iBeacons, sensors that use low-energy Bluetooth signals to communicate with any phone that has the team’s app installed…. Sonic Notify, the company that installed several dozen 2-by-2-inch beacons in Oracle Arena, says sports franchises are the ideal businesses to use this kind of technology.
Bloomberg notes that implementing the technology doesn’t necessarily mean that people will use it. The hurdle for anyone rolling out iBeacon technology is also developing a mobile app and user experience that iPhone users embrace:
What’s more, most Golden State fans are unlikely to get the team’s notifications for now. Sonic Notify estimates that fewer than 30 percent of people who have phones equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy keep the feature turned on regularly… Even then, the Warriors will still have to persuade people to download the team’s app.
As for the seat upgrades, the team reportedly “sells about half of the seat upgrades it pushes through its app” on average.
Earlier today we told you about a new iOS app called Placed that aims to make it easy for regular iPhone users to bring the iBeacon experience into the home.