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Cincinnati Bengals scores mobile touchdown with in-stadium food delivery

The Cincinnati Bengals is the first National Football League team to tap mobile technology to deliver purchased food and beverage concessions directly to game attendees’ seats.

Football fans attending events at Ohio’s Paul Brown Stadium may now take advantage of the Bengals’ partnership with mobile experience platforms Tapin2 and Aramark, which enables game-goers to purchase snacks and beverages via their smartphones and have purchases delivered to their seats. Tapin2’s mobile in-seat ordering technology has been rolled out in a slew of sports arenas in the past year, thanks to many consumers’ demand for streamlined services that ensure they do not miss a second of the action.

“We know our customers have been searching for a solution like this since mobile phones have been able to be little computers,” said Mike Jacobs, co-founder and president of Tapin2, Santa Monica, CA. “They can communicate with fans one-to-one and avoid customer complaints.

“Aramark is happy to be able to enhance the fans’ experience and see which items are selling the best,” he said. “They’re happy to be able to offer fans [the ability] to order via mobile.

“They’re most excited about the ability to drive increased revenue.”

Maximizing fan engagement
The Cincinnati Bengals will likely enjoy an uptick in concessions purchased by fans as user adoption of the ordering platform continues to grow. Consumers must download the in-venue Tapin2 app to access the service, which is capable of bringing food and drink to more than 8,000 club seats during this NFL season.

Concession stands will be able to replace handheld order-taking devices with a cloud-based technology that offers more affordable installation. Fans may also receive text messages and emails reminding them of special promotions and final chances to maximize their experience while simultaneously driving revenue for the football team.

The Bengals team is attempting to provide a VIP experience for all game attendees via mobile, garnering positive feedback from consumers ready to enjoy the sporting events.

“[Fans] love the visual menu board as well as how easy it is to make their purchases,” Mr. Jacobs said. “There’s no confusion about whether or not the food is coming.”

It takes approximately one minute to place an order via Tapin2’s app, and an additional four to five minutes for Cincinnati customers to receive their meals.

Users are able to respond to an in-app survey after placing an order, which enables Tapin2 and Aramark to gather important data regarding purchasing behavior. They are currently experiencing a 97 to 98 percent success rate with each order.

While in-seat ordering is only available for the club seats in Paul Brown Stadium at present time, Tapin2 hopes to roll out the functionality to all arena seats next year.

Running up revenue
The Bengals team is able to maximize sales by allowing attendees to order food and drink at any point during games, instead of exclusively during halftime.

The ability to purchase only during paused periods has previously resulted in a plethora of lost sales for other teams.

Tapin2 realized that some Bengals fans prefer to show up 30 minutes early to games so that they can watch the team practice and eat a meal before the real action begins. This strategy has ensured that the NFL group is able to drive revenue higher by flexibly accommodating consumers’ preferences.

Additionally, Cleveland Cavaliers fans are also able to use their smartphones to purchase drinks, food and merchandise directly from their stadium seats while watching the 2015 National Basketball Association Playoffs and Finals, proving that in-seat mobile ordering is a must-have feature for sports arenas (see story).

“We have been expanding our service to different clients this year,” said Jordan Syms, co-founder and CEO of Tapin2. “We’ve been excited to continue to offer this platform and enhance the fan experience at our partner stadiums.

“It’s a way to drive customer satisfaction and provide a platform to have one-to-one communication with them while driving incremental sales. It can either stand on its own or be plugged in the team’s existing app. That’s what we’ve done with the Bengals.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York