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Beacons Give Georgetown Basketball Fans a Shot at Upgrading Seats

The location-based solution, provided by LetsMoveDown, uses Bluetooth beacon technology from Radius Networks to let attendees receive discounts and improve their seating.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 26, 2014

When visitors attended Georgetown University's men's basketball game last Saturday in downtown Washington, D.C., some had the chance to test a new Bluetooth beacon solution that wirelessly connected them to coupons and other information via their smartphones. By employing beacon technology provided by Radius Networks, a D.C.-based mobile-ticketing platform company, LetsMoveDown has provided the Georgetown team (through its own Hoya Tix iTunes application), with an automated method for learning where fans are located, and thus what content would best be directed to them. LetsMoveDown installed approximately 30 Radius Networks RADBeacon Bluetooth beacons at the Verizon Center, the home of the Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team.

LetsMoveDown was founded in late 2012, and its mobile-ticketing solution—currently being used by nine college and professional sports teams—enables sports enthusiasts to purchase tickets, upgrade seats and receive promotions via an app hosted either by the team or by LetsMoveDown itself. The solution is based on a revenue-sharing model by which such options as ticket upgrades are offered to fans, explains Derek Shewmon, the company's co-founder. The sales profit is then shared with the team and, in some cases, the venue, as well as LetsMoveDown.

The solution lets fans upgrade their tickets to basketball games and also receive promotions.
Now, by employing beacon technology, LetsMoveDown can take the solution a step further, by identifying where fans are located and thereby providing useful information or promotional data related to that specific area. When a fan arrives at a venue, for example, a RADBeacon installed at the gate detects a compatible app running on his or her Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE)-enabled phone. The RADBeacon transmits a Bluetooth signal encoded with a unique ID number that the app receives, prompting it to display a message welcoming that individual to the game. If the fan proceeds to a seating area far from the court, another beacon will transmit a unique ID prompting the app to display an invitation for that person to upgrade the seat—at a higher price. If he or she walks within range of a beacon installed at the gift shop, the app will display a discount coupon for goods on sale at that store.

These are just some of the initial options, says Marc Wallace, Radius Networks' co-founder. More creative options could also be considered in the future, he adds, such as letting an individual use the app to locate the nearest unoccupied bathroom, or the snack stand with the shortest line.

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