In what is a first for an Irish sports club, Leinster Rugby has teamed up with XtremePush, the mobile marketing solutions provider, to deploy Apple’s iBeacon technology in the RDS Stadium.
Launched in mid-2013, Apple introduced a new technology called iBeacon that enables iOS-powered phones and tablets to communicate with nearby devices through Bluetooth Smart technology. iBeacon allows mobile apps (running on both iOS and Android devices) to listen for signals from “beacons” broadcasting from other Bluetooth Smart powered devices and react accordingly.
The new technology made its debut at the recent RaboDirect Pro 12 semi-final in the RDS and Leinster Rugby is now committed to deploying it at all its home matches. During the semi-final, supporters received push notifications through the Leinster Rugby App, triggered by specially placed iBeacons, when they entered certain areas of the stadium. The push notifications on both Apple and Android smartphones directed the fans to collect special prizes from Leinster’s “Blue Crew” within the RDS. The club is now looking at opportunities to roll out more features of the technology next season by offering fans discounts, in-game prizes, seat upgrades and potentially a mobile ticketing and payment solution.
According to Tommy Kearns, CEO of XtremePush, “It’s always exciting to work with a brand like Leinster Rugby especially when we’re rolling out a cutting-edge technology in a live environment. This technology is the next step in mobile engagement. It can offer everything from customer analytics to a mobile payment system depending on the needs of the customer.
“Leinster Rugby is keen to stay ahead of the curve with its mobile approach and working with XtremePush provided this opportunity. Push notification and iBeacon technology are already used throughout baseball and American Football stadia in North America,” says Conor Sharkey, head of digital marketing for Leinster Rugby.
“Mobile engagement will allow us to offer supporters everything from discounts on drinks and sport’s merchandise to informing them about seat upgrades. Leinster Rugby supporters are already tech-savvy in terms of their take-up the team App so this is the next progression of Leinster Rugby’s mobile engagement. With XtremePush, we look forward to being at the forefront of this technology in the European sports marketplace,” he adds.