NFL rolls out iBeacons for Super Bowl fans in Times Square and MetLife Stadium

“The Super Bowl remains the biggest mass-market advertising event in the country. But this year, a new kind of advertising — personalized and based on physical location down to a matter of feet — will greet fans in Times Square and MetLife Stadium, where this weekend’s championship game will be played,” Nick Wingfield reports for The New York Times. “At both locations, the National Football League has sprinkled tiny wireless transmitters that can send finely tuned messages to smartphones. It is the boldest test yet for a months-old technology that could change how brands of all sorts market to their customers.”

“The transmitters, often called beacons, will be in several hundred stores and public areas in the coming months, including at two dozen Major League Baseball stadiums and many Macy’s and American Eagle Outfitters stores. Apple already has the devices in over 250 stores,” Wingfield reports. “When Apple updated the software for iPhones several months ago, the company included a new feature, iBeacons, that displays alerts even when a user is not running an app. That change has led to a surge in interest among brands. Technology executives say Apple is further along with its version of the technology, which is why most alerts of this kind are now sent to iPhone users. But smartphones running Google’s Android operating system can also be targeted.”

“Once users download a brand’s app and give permission to receive alerts, they can get messages whenever their phone drifts within range of one of these beacons,” Wingfield reports. “Major League Baseball will have beacons installed throughout Fenway Park in Boston, AT&T Park in San Francisco and about 20 other stadiums in time for opening day this year. People with smartphones and one of the two M.L.B. apps with beacon support will get buzzed with greetings when they pass through turnstiles, messages about nearby statues and other points of interest and reminders about how many loyalty points they have from past purchases at the ballpark.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

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      1. Don’t think advertising. Think guided tours. Guidance for the blind. Indoor directions. Points of interest. Savings coupons. And AGAIN if you haven’t downloaded that particular vendor app to your iPhone, you won’t get alerts, it’s opt in. This is very cool

        1. Indeed. “MY” interests. If New Belgium had 1 beer tap @ the Super Bowl (“Which I highly doubt”) Due to AB with their swill junk beer monopoly on the Super Bowl I would KNOW where to get a decent craft beer. See …. I WANT TO KNOW due to my New Belgium App. Once again Apple has skated to where the puck would be… Now it’s a give & GO AAPL.

    1. No need to turn off Bluetooth, just don’t download or else delete the app for anywhere that bombards you with annoying stuff.

      iBeacons needs the company or venue app to interact with, while Bluetooth is used for lots of other things, such as connecting to your car’s audio system.

      1. I would also add that if a company decides to act as idiots with their app and annoy people with intrusive adverts, their ex-customers will most certainly leave negative feedback on the app store against that app.

        Hopefully companies will be smart enough to make people want to download, use and keep their app.

  1. I can just see the adds now and a whole cartoon industry will crop up.

    – Two acquaintances, one turns to the other and “Ah great, I have an add”.

    – Two kids sneaking away to the bleachers: “Don’t forget to try out Captain Condoms.”

    -Two friends, walking down the street, one turns to the other and “Excuse me I have an add.”

    – Does anyone wonder if “Sal’s subway bar, special on that double cheese triple meat pizza you always love.” people might have “Luigi’s Pizza, two for one hot slices available now” trouble digesting “Come on, you’ve tried it once, you want it again, that hot mouth watering giant all dressed Harry’s hot dog” all the food adds or is this “All you can eat buffet, just 20 feet away.” going to contribute to certain problems, like over eating?

    -Two lovers, one about to take the other’s hand when suddenly “I have an add, it’s probably something important.”

    – Set your phone to vibrate when you get an ibeacon message. Brings a whole new meaning when you cum to the New Year’s Party in New York.

    – Two married people, driving in the car. “Don’t worry about the fog, we must be close to their place, I getting an add from Luigi’s Pizza.”

    – A whole new era of mobile adds “Why read a book when you can enjoy add after add after add. You’re mobile and so are we. Take the subway we can travel together.”

    – States where prostitution is legal. “Yes you are staring at one, and get a 10% discount when you book one of our hotel rooms.”

    – “Our sensors indicate that your car is dirty, come for a wash and wax at Wendy’s Wax On Wax Off Car Salon.”

    Social conditioning at it’s best. There might be “a bold line between gentle marketing pitches and obnoxious upselling.” but anyone who knows about tele marketing will know that they will cross it.

    As pointed out in the article “There’s one penalty for annoying your consumer — that’s the death penalty,” he said, and then described the process of deleting an app. “They hold down the app, push the X and it’s gone.” but the article forgets that there is another penalty, and that is contraception. Will there be a “keep the iPhone add free?” There will be an app for that.

    I hope Apple makes tons of money, so much money that they can buy Whore Street and change it into a nice community.

      1. I know, but I still think it will be social conditioning. I mean do we have the option to opt out of all the adds on web sites. Sure we do but we have to find the programs to do it.

          1. You reminded me of one of the worst advertising experiences I’ve ever had. I had purchased a DVD “Charlie Wilson’s War” with Tom Hanks. At the start of it was some one of these awareness adds done by none other than Julia Roberts. There was no way to fast forward it, or skip to the next chapter so I was forced to play the whole long boring thing before I could watch the movie.

            That’s the thick line that was mentioned in the article, so I know that advertisers can and will cross it.

            Anyway, have a good one GM.

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