SeatServe, a platform that enables fans in venues to order food, drinks and merchandise via their smartphone and have it delivered to their seat by existing concessions - has partnered with The Ageas Bowl for its roll out into limited overs cricket, following a successful trial in rugby union’s Aviva Premiership.
Since November, AJ Bell Stadium caterers Elior, has serviced Sale Sharks fans through the US trend, with cashless deliveries during breaks in play, resulting in reduced ‘seat traffic’ and improving the fan experience.
By utilising existing concession services, the product reduces the impact on a venue’s front-of-house operation through a purpose-built solution that reduces queueing and, therefore, a fan’s time away from their seat.
Because orders are fulfilled by existing concessions, the menu also varies depending on where different fans are sat within the venue. A small/optional delivery charge covers all costs associated with transaction fees, packaging and/or any additional staffing requirement, enabling each venue to scale as appropriate.
SeatServe, which runs at approximately 5MBs in stadia, also has options to pre-order in advance, live, or at scheduled times throughout the game, and generates behavioural data on match day, which is made available to clubs for reactive upselling and more effective marketing.
Patrick McMeekin, partner, Sport Stadium Solutions LLP commented; “SeatServe represents a genuine ‘No Brainer’ for all parties involved in live events. Venues take more through their tills, as fans no longer have to compromise on their level of spend. Rights holders gain an additional sponsorship platform through the data proposition, while brands capitalise on the activation opportunity by gaining unique consumer appreciation. Sport in the UK and Ireland is actually better suited to this kind of service than the US, particularly rugby, T20 cricket and concerts where the action is non-stop.
“People often look forward to an event all week, so the last thing they want is to miss a key moment while stuck in a queue - we’ve all been there,” added McMeekin, who is also a Sport Industry NextGen Leader.
AJ Bell Stadium general manager, Jason Orton commented: “Granting fans access to a broader range of concessions from their fingertips has not only increased order numbers and boosted their values but operationally, it has made our kitchens more efficient. My staffing costs have been maximised as personnel are repurposed to fulfil delivery of orders spread over the course of a game, rather than concentrated on kick off and half time.”
Stuart Robertson, The Ageas Bowl’s commercial director concluded: “Having manually offered in-seat delivery, we’re convinced of the opportunity and excited by the scale SeatServe can bring to it. We were impressed by their commercial model and look forward to analysing the impact from each of its suite of benefits. With six NatWest T20 Blast matches and England’s final Royal London ODI of the season, I’ve no doubt our fans will embrace the platform and appreciate the heightened experience of spending more time seated with clients, colleagues, friends or family.”