MLB iBeacons to check fans in when they enter stadiums, push notifications throughout the game
Two weeks ago it was reported that iBeacons were being installed in the stadiums of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, but with that trial installation out of the way, the MLB is expanding to 20 of their 30 stadiums. Engadget got the low-down on the installation job in AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants, where Giants CIO Bill Schlough revealed that the installation process for putting in 19 iBeacons at fan entrances into the stadium took just one day.
The iBeacons will be used to check fans in when they walk through the gate, though they'll need (1) a device running iOS 7, (2) Bluetooth turned on, and (3) the MLB At the Ballpark app running. The check-in process will enable the teams to target notifications at only fans who are in the stadium, though Schlough said that "We don't want to turn this into some sort of spam engine." The MLB's setting rules for how those notifications can be used, and the app allows users to opt-out of the automatic iBeacon check-ins and notifications.
This relatively soft launch of iBeacons for the MLB — just as an entry-exit monitor and not offering more precise intra-ballpark location-targeted messaging — is likely just the start of iBeacons in major events. We can imagine all sorts of ways a more comprehensive iBeacon roll-out could be used, but we'll ask you instead: how do you want the MLB and other sports organizations (and everybody else, for that matter) to start implementing iBeacons?