December 3, 2011
COMMENT: As usual, bringing in police state measures into acceptance via partnerships with the bread-and-circuses arenas.
Electronic breakthroughs — from home radios to instant replay to stadium Jumbotrons — have revolutionized the way spectators experience sports from the stands and the couch for decades. Now, one National Hockey League franchise has added technological fan apparel to that list of changes.
This year, the Tampa Bay Lightning introduced a replica team jersey equipped with a radio frequency chip embedded in the sleeve that fans can scan at stadium stores to receive discounts on refreshments and team merchandise for all season ticket holders. The promotion has worked — it helped spur a nearly twofold increase in season ticket sales this year.
“Initially we just wanted to give all season ticket holders a jersey,” Lott says, adding that the home team’s colors would sometimes be outnumbered by visiting teams’ jerseys. “Then that morphed into the idea of a chip.”
When Edgar and other season ticket holders scan the quarter-sized chip embedded in their jerseys’ right sleeve, they receive a 25% discount on all concessions and 35% on all merchandise purchased at the arena. Each chip also has a unique ID, allowing the team to track who buys what, which Lott says will allow the team to analyze the most effective future deals and promotions. And Lott says there are many more bonuses to come.