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Pittsburgh Penguins ramps up proximity marketing via beacon content management

National Hockey League team Pittsburgh Penguins is scaling up beacon marketing through the use of a cloud-based platform that enables content to be regularly updated and optimized. 

Like many marketers, the Pittsburgh Penguins started testing the use of beacons last year to engage with fans on their smartphones while they were attending a game at the home stadium. Looking to take these efforts to the next level, the team is know leveraging a cloud-based content management system designed specifically for beacon content, enabling it to measure which content is working best and update content.  

?When the iBeacon launched two years ago, we recognized that the technology had a big opportunity to change the game when it comes to loyalty, making it less about points and more about improving the customer experience,? said John Coombs, co-founder and CEO at Rover, Toronto. 

?One of the pillars of improving the customer journey is relevance,? he said. ?Hey, I got a push notification at my daughters piano recital vs. I got one when I walked into the store.

?Timing is everything as it relates to the customer journey and the overall customer experience.?

Complementary experiences
Sports teams recognize that they are competing with big-screen television and the comforts of home for fans? attention. Which is why savvy teams are putting a bigger emphasis on the game experience. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins is using beacons to greet fans as they enter the Consol Energy Center with an exclusive video. Fans will also be presented with content while at their seats and at a Mario Lemieux statue, with the idea of complementing the physical experience with digital content. 


Fans will also be presented with offers and discounts designed to drive sales. 

The team hopes to gain a better understanding of which types of content work best for its audience so that it can create value for the brand. 

Using Rover?s platform, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be able to test content on a game-by-game basis, with the ability to tweak content or add new content throughout the season. The team will be able to access metrics such as how many times a piece of content was delivered, opened and clicked on. 

The team?s loyalty members will also receive content that is exclusive to the loyalty program. 

The program kicks off at the end of September and will continue throughout the season. 

Marketing flexibility
Beacons, which leverage Bluetooth Low Energy technology, are placed in physical locations so marketers can engage with nearby consumers via their smartphones. 

Retailers and other marketers with physical locations have been engaged in numerous one-off pilots leveraging beacon technology over the past couple of years. With positive results from many of these and marketers looking to further develop their beacon strategies as consumers become more familiar with the technology, one of the challenges they are facing is how to manage the content being delivered via beacons and gain insights so they can better understand what is working. 


The Rover CMS enables marketers to easily drag and drop content so they can create rich content campaigns without the need of a developer. 

While Rover has been primarily focused on working with retailers, the company is seeing strong demand from sports teams more recently. 

?Teams are really recognizing the opportunity here, how important proximity is to mobile content and strategy,? Mr. Coombs said. 

?We are putting marketers in the driver?s seat of proximity marketing so they do not have to go to the agency every time they need to make a change,? he said. 

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York