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Melbourne Cricket Club equips roving snack vendors with Bluetooth beacons

A beacon-equipped "pie boy" at MCG

ROING VENDOR: A Bluetooth beacon-equipped “pie boy” at Melbourne Cricket Ground

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons are being attached to the trays of roving snack and drink vendors for football matches taking place at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia this month. The beacons trigger location-specific messages to fans’ smartphones as the vendors move around the stadium, inviting them to show the message to the vendor to receive a free pie.

“MCG patrons who have downloaded a pass to their smartphone will receive a message notifying them if a pie seller carrying a beacon is nearby,” MCG explains. “Fans who spot the pie seller and present their notification message will receive a free pie, while anyone who downloads the pass — regardless of whether they are at the stadium — will go into the draw to win a year’s supply of Four’n Twenty pies.”

“We are investigating a range of enhancements to the MCG fan experience and we’re excited about the role beacons and Bluetooth technology could play in a future stadium connectivity solution,” says Ben McAuliffe, executive manager for customer engagement at stadium operator Melbourne Cricket Club.

“We understand that the fans have expectations when it comes to connectivity and engagement at the MCG and we’re keen to test how beacons can contribute to making the MCG experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.”

“The Four’n Twenty pie boys are a traditional part of going to the footy and it’s terrific that we can now equip them with real time technology to sell our hot pies and sausage rolls,” adds Steven Chaur, managing director of Four’n Twenty brand owner Patties Foods. “The technology is very exciting for the brand, the MCG and all footy lovers.”

The beacons and software platform have been supplied to MCG by Australian firm DC4G.

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