Nearly all Major League Baseball parks and around half of pro football, basketball and hockey arenas are dotted with beacons and other technologies that communicate with mobile devices to track fan footpaths, encourage them to upgrade seating, and connect with them on behalf of sponsors during and after the game, according to proximity sensor research provider Proxbook.
The company's new quarterly report shows that 93% of MLB parks, 53% of National Basketball Association arenas, and 47% of National Football League stadiums deploy location trackers.
The quarterly report is an extension of the Proxbook directory of proximity technology firms organized by Unacast, a firm that partners with those tech firms, connecting the location information they glean to ad exchanges.
"This is not a pilot," said Thomas Walle, CEO and co-founder of Unacast. While retailers have been big adopters of proximity tracking technology, professional sports is "by far the vertical with the highest penetration of beacon deployment," he said.
Teams including this year's NBA finalists, the Golden State Warriors and champion Cleveland Cavaliers, are among many using location tracking in their arenas. The Warriors, for instance, used beacons to trigger seat upgrade offers to people as they enter not-as-desirable sections of Oracle Arena, according to the report. The offers, sent to mobile phones with the Warriors app, include trackable links that helped the team determine the percentage of seat upgrades prompted by beacons.