America's national pastime is using QR codes to promote next week's Major League Baseball All-Star game, and reach out to their audience. A variety of interactive promotions have been deployed to engage fans and raise excitement for the game.
“QR codes are ideal for building buzz for specific events such as the MLB All-Star Game,” said Laura Marriott, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies. “QR codes enable the consumer to directly connect with their favorite brands quickly and easily – and what better opportunity than during the All-Star Game. Where attention is diverted to so many different opportunities, including the game, a quick scan of a QR code allows the fans to connect instantly with favorite players, incentives in stadium and so on. Savvy marketers continue to see the success of bar code implementations as smartphone usage increases and the value delivered via QR code marketing campaigns increases as well.”
The MLB All-Star Game is a yearly baseball tradition featuring a head-to-head matchup between the best players from the National League and the American League. The All-Stars are chosen by fans, coaches, managers and players. This year, the MLB All-Star Game will be held on July 10, 2012 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The All-Star Game, also called the “Midsummer Classic," will be broadcast on Fox.
Let's look at some of the ways QR codes are being used leading up to the big event. (Image courtesy of MLB.)
QR Code MLB Tickets
Baseball fans can have their tickets to the game sent to their mobile phones. While purchasing the tickets, they need to choose “Mobile Phone Ticket” as their delivery confirmation. The tickets, which contain the QR code, are sent to the phone via text message as a multimedia (MMS) or WAP message. The QR code has all the information such as opponent, section, row, seat, game date and time. The ticket also contains a unique number that can be used in case there is difficulty scanning the QR code. For phones that do not support MMS or WAP, a text-only message can also be requested. A duplicate mobile phone ticket is also sent via email, which can be printed and used in case the mobile phone is lost or stolen.
On the day of the game, ticket-holders can enter through the designated gate at the stadium.
The QR code on the phone is scanned at the gate, and a printed receipt is issued that serves as a seat identifier in the stadium.
You can get the tickets at www.mlb.com.
Taco Bell QR Code for Home Run Derby Online
With Taco Bell, baseball fans can get early access to the multi-player version of the PlayStation 3 game MLB12 The Show simply by going to Taco Bell and getting a Big Hitter $5 Buck Box. MLB12 The Show's Home Run Derby Online allows players to compete against two to eight players on the PlayStation Network. They can either play with friends or other people on the network. Players try to hit as many home runs as they can before recording 10 outs, wanting to reach the status of Home Run Derby champion.
Fans can download the Taco Bell app to play the mini MLB Home Run Derby game. They can also challenge their Facebook friends to unlock the MLB12 The Show's Home Run Derby Online mode on PlayStation 3.
The Big Hitter $5 Buck Box is featured in the MLB Fan Cave and includes the Beefy Nacho Burrito, Burrito Supreme, Crunchy Taco and a medium drink. By scanning the QR codes on the Big Hitter $5 Buck Box, fans can play as Adrian Gonzalez, the All-Star first baseman for the Boston Red Sox. They can unlock other features and other hidden super skills by scanning the cup. They can also rack up extra points by searching in-store and scanning other MLB branded items.
MLB Fan Cave
MLB Fan Cave is a Major League Baseball shrine located at Broadway and 4th Street in New York City's Greenwich Village. The Fan Cave mixes baseball with popular culture, media, art, music and technology. It features lots of big screen televisions and baseball memorabilia. Nine lucky fans were chosen to be cave dwellers and were tasked to watch every game in the 2012 MLB season. They then share their experiences online through blogs, videos, Facebook and Twitter.
Tim Brosnan, the Executive Vice President of Business for Major League Baseball, said, “The Fan Cave is designed to create content that literally runs minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, that has baseball running through it. It makes baseball part of the conversation whether or not there is a game going on or a highlight being played.”
"The MLB Fan Cave will give fans a creative new way to experience Major League Baseball," said Brosnan. "This is going to be a real-time experience which brings to life how people consume entertainment in 2011 with baseball at the center of it all. The MLB Fan Cave will be a convergence of baseball with pop culture, social media, technology, celebrity, entertainment, music and art."
The Fan Cave is designed for social media and networking. MLB Fan Cave uses QR codes in its windows that takes fans to different parts of www.MLBFanCave.com. There are also various artwork pieces that have QR codes below it that lead to a video of the creator of the piece. Beside it is a Bluetooth speaker, that allows fans to connect music devices wirelessly.
“We want to be part of the conversation on the digital water cooler,” said Brosnan. “The Fan Cave gives us things to talk about every minute of every day.”
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