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Apple Pay aims for the fence with World Series initiatives

A multitude of events surrounding mobile payments will be seen during this year’s World Series, including MasterCard and Major League Baseball’s support for Apple Pay.

Attendees of the game will be able to purchase ballpark food and beverage concessions using NFC-enabled devices and Apple Pay. MLBAM and NCR Corporation have fully integrated the technology to enhance the experience for baseball fans.

“MLBAM has long been a pioneer in driving mobile technology and initiatives, particularly with its At the Ballpark app, the first and only league-wide in-venue mobile application,” said . “Debuting Apple Pay for fans attending the World Series this year is an example of how the partnership between MasterCard, MLB and MLBAM brings new opportunities for enhanced fan experiences both in-stadium and online.”

Hitting homeruns
MasterCard is bringing NFC payments to Kansas City for the World Series in a partnership with mobile technology leader MLB Advanced Media.

MasterCard cardholders who use Apple Pay at supported ballpark concessions during the 2014 World Series may also receive a Priceless Surprise, an ongoing program developed by MasterCard to award cardholders of various gifts.

Attendees of the World Series games are looking to purchase concessions quickly so they can get back to the game, and NFC payments are slowly enabling this capability.

Additional, smaller promotions for Apple Pay will also occur during the first game of the World Series.

In addition to providing contactless payments, MLBAM and will deliver in-app support for Apple Pay when single game tickets are scheduled to go on sale in November for the 2015 MLB season. At that time, fans will be able to use Apple Pay when purchasing tickets on MLB’s app At The Ballpark.

Also, a ceremonial Apple Pay purchase will take place and air during the broadcast on FOX and will involve Hall of Famer George Brett.

Popular by demand
The implementation of mobile technology at large-scale live sporting events generates great buzz that is likely to travel.

Cable telecommunications company Time Warner provided 235 access points of free Wi-Fi Internet service for attendees at the United States Open Tennis Championships in New York, building awareness of the company and serving as its largest public venue installation to date.

In addition to Wi-Fi, Time Warner invited attendees into its studios for additional engagements, expanding the marketing opportunity to build the brand’s overall presence. Providing WiFi access at an event of such a large scale helped attendees get more enjoyment from the experience and garnered appreciation for the company (see story).

Similarly, consumer electronics company Samsung went green with mobile in its offering of an Android Ryder Cup mobile and television application that allowed users to shop, stream and stay up-to-date with live coverage of the annual golf tournament.

Developed in collaboration with Turner Sports and the PGA of America, Samsung promoted its own products by giving golf fans access to exclusive content of the tournament from the comfort of their own homes. By tapping an omnichannel experience, Samsung provided a unique source of engagement and allowed personalization for each user (see story).

The partnership between MasterCard and MLB will likely give Apple Pay a good push.

“MasterCard is building the foundation to enable mobile transactions across the globe, working to ensure consumers can use their cards when, where and how they want,” said Cheryl Guerin, senior vice president of global products and solutions at MasterCard, New York. “As our industry evolves, MasterCard is working to ensure we’re delivering safe, simple, intuitive platforms and solutions that enable our partners to provide enhanced consumer experiences.

“Using the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES), we are working with Apple and other partners to create compelling, secure new shopping experiences,” she said. “Apple’s entrance into mobile payments is a market-moving implementation of the technologies and policies that MasterCard has been advancing.”

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