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Cleveland Cavaliers deliver in-app, in-venue experiences using iBeacons

The Cleveland Cavaliers is using Apple?s iBeacon technology to deliver contextual notifications to fans via their mobile devices while enjoying the game.

Proximity beacons have been integrated into NBA and other professional sporting venues recently. The professional basketball team is likely trying to deliver digital experiences to bump up fan engagement.

?The Cavaliers approached Gimbal, the leader in location and proximity-based mobile engagement, with a commitment to deliver the best possible experience to their fans in attendance at games,? said Brian Dunphy, senior vice president of business development and partner relations at Gimbal, San Diego. ?Thanks to Gimbal  technology, fans with the Cavs app who elect to receive location-based information,  can enjoy a personalized, interactive experience that elevates the relationship between the team and fans.?

The right channel
The Cleveland Cavaliers partnered with Gimbal, a provider of proximity-based mobile engagement, along with YinzCam, a developer of mobile interactive in-game sports technology applications, to deliver these experiences that hope to bring the in-venue game-day experience to life. 

YinzCam is the developer of the official Cleveland Cavaliers app and will be using Gimbal proximity beacons with Apple's iBeacon technology to push highly relevant notifications to Cavs fans via their mobile devices. Gimbal proximity beacons have been integrated into NBA, other professional sporting venues and league apps through the YinzCam partnership announced earlier this year.

The Cavaliers, Gimbal and YinzCam worked together to try to implement the proximity beacon technology to give fans a location-aware experience throughout Quicken Loans Arena, the home stadium for the Cavs. 


Fans with the Cleveland Cavaliers app can opt in to receive special offers at the Cavaliers Team Shop, location-based updates, offers at partner locations and more. The push notifications will be received while fans are inside the stadium and will be tailored specifically to their physical location, activities, time and personal interests.

Gimbal?s platform capabilities include welcome messages, exclusive video content, promotional incentives, giveaways, reminders about game times and more.

All about beacons
Beacons have definitely been the buzz over the past few months. Many companies have been testing them out and seeing the personalization capabilities they allow.

For example, museums are one of the latest marketers to explore the technology?s potential, with efforts focused on assisting in analyzing traffic flow and supporting virtual tour guides for art fans.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York are some of the top museums testing beacon technology to provide seamless ways of improving visitors? experiences at exhibitions as well as enable them to better understand consumer flow and layout to guide the organization of future content. While beacons have typically been used in retail-related sectors so far, especially for the purpose of sending customized promotions to shoppers, the technology is a natural fit for museums and can also help act as a virtual tour guide for mobile device users (see story).


Also, McDonald?s deployment of beacon technology at franchise locations in Columbus, GA ? a strategy that arose from watching how customers frequently use their smartphones ?garnered 18,000 offer redemptions in just four weeks.

The beacons are being used to greet customers when they walk in with surveys, coupons, alerts and employee opportunities. Customers, especially millennials, are constantly using their phones and are increasingly expecting to receive offers through that channel (see story).

Beacons are all about bettering the customer experience.

?The fan experience is benefited by the Gimbal platform being integrated into the Cavs app in a few different ways,? Mr. Dunphy said. ?Fans who elect to opt-in to receive location based information via the Cavaliers app will get more personalized, timely information tied to their location while inside Quicken Loans Arena for Cavs games and surrounding areas.  

?These notifications are tailored specifically to their physical location, activities, time and personal interests,? he said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York