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Rugby Football Union taps mobile for concession pre-pay after successful pilot

The app’s pilot at the 2013 QBE Internationals yielded a conversion rate of 67 percent with 597 consumers registering to use the app. The RFU will be integrating the mobile technology more permanently starting with the upcoming RBS 6 Nations games.

“We decided to introduce mobile payments as part of our wider strategy to enhance the match day experience for fans at Twickenham Stadium,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, chief commercial officer of RFU, London.

The Rugby Football Union is the National Governing Body for rugby in England.

Reducing lines
RFU leveraged mobile business platform Znap to power this new app.

The app will let fans place orders, make payments and collect loyalty benefits on in-stadium food and beverages as well as tickets. Fans will be able to pre-pay for food and drinks at six bars in the stadium using the Znap app.

Once they order via the app, fans can avoid long lines by going directly to a special “Express Znap pick-up queue”. They then scan their code and collect their order.

During the pilot, a select group of fans were able to try out the app at the QBE Internationals. The RFU found that operations were expedited and wait times decreased, letting fans spend more time watching the game.

The first 500 fans to download the app were given a five pound voucher. Forty percent were redeemed, compared to the average redemption rate for vouchers at a sporting event which is three percent.

Additionally, 888 people downloaded the app and 597 people registered for use, translating to a 67 percent conversion rate. In total, 1011 items were purchased via the app, with an average value of five pounds.

The mobile service will be available at the upcoming RBS 6 Nations games at Twickenham Stadium, where England faces Ireland and Wales.

Mobile sports
Sports stadiums and leagues have been getting more creative recently with how to integrate mobile into the game experience.

A number have been looking into beacon technology to better interact with fans. For instance, The NFL recently leveraged beacons at MetLife Stadium and Times Square for the Super Bowl (see story).

Stanford University pushed the boundaries even more by having cheerleaders and staffers watch games via Google Glass and then filtering the videos and streaming them to the scoreboard and social media (see story).

As the mobile expectations of sports fans grow, sports organizations are working harder than ever to enhance the game day experience, with in-stadium exclusive features such as in-seat ordering and bathroom line updates. Teams such as the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles are leveraging Wi-Fi and other mobile technology to enhance the stadium experience for fans (see story).

The RFU is participating in this trend and experimenting with Znap’s app to see if that will improve the game for fans.

“Znap enables us to speed up shopping times and reduce queues, meaning fans can spend more time enjoying the game,” Ms. Goldschmidt said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York