- The Cleveland Cavaliers teamed up with Aramark, the food and beverage provider for Quicken Loans Arena, on a test program to let fans in designated sections of the stadium order beer or water using Apple Business Chat. IPhone users can use the phone's Messages app to place orders for delivery during Cavs or Cleveland Monsters games, per an announcement.
- To place an order, iPhone users need to open the smartphone's Camera app to scan a QR code on the back of their seat. A chat session will open in Messages with prompts on how to place an order and complete the transaction with Apple Pay. A food-service employee will then deliver the order.
- The service will be available for the remainder of the Cavs and Monsters home schedule, per its announcement. The Monsters plays in the AHL, the NHL's developmental league.
While previously it was possible to place in-stadium orders via mobile, typically this has been done through a dedicated app that attendees would need to download. Since Apple's messaging app is preloaded on all iPhones, the new Cavaliers test is interesting because there's potentially less friction for attendees, meaning the service could get more use. Apple Business Chat provides the immediacy of placing an order and processing a payment with a single device. The Philadelphia Phillies and Aramark also tested the service during baseball games at Citizens Bank Park last year, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Cavs' test of mobile ordering shows another use for Apple Business Chat. The iPhone maker last year introduced the service to let companies have private conversations and make sales directly on Apple's Messages app, which is preinstalled on every iPhone and iPad. Dish Network, Discover, Hilton, The Home Depot, Lowe's, Marriott and Wells Fargo are among the companies that use Business Chat. The service doesn't show customer contact information to a customer service agent, giving iPhone users more control of their contact and payment data. That helps to alleviate concerns about the possible mishandling of payment information by vendor employees.
Mobile technology is gradually transforming the experience of attending live sporting events as professional teams seek to appeal to the next generation of fans. Mobile ticketing for sporting events is becoming the norm with spending set to jump 64% to $23 billion by 2023 from $14 billion this year, according to a study by Juniper Research.
Anyone who has ever attended a professional sporting event knows that waiting in line at the concession stand is one of the least pleasant parts of being in a crowded stadium. The alternative is to wait for a food and drink vendor to come through the aisles with cases of beer, soda and some food items. The Cleveland Cavaliers may help to ease congestion at food counters with its test program that will deliver drinks to customers as they sit and watch games.