In the year 2020, the St. Louis Blues have combined marketing and technology. They are not the first to do this, but are presenting a rather interesting experience.
The St. Louis Blues are quite clever at using technology to enhance the fan experience and be a marketing tool. Their latest venture is the best example.
The Blues announced, via their team website, they are launching a new augmented reality experience called This Bar Bleeds Blue. It will be a new way for fans to experience both their local establishments and Blues related media.
The good part of this new feature is, at least from what can be gleaned from the press release, is it will not require you to be there during a game or at one certain bar at a certain time.
That is good for those that have time restrictions and other plans on certain nights. It is also good because the Blues expect around 100 establishments to be registered by the end of the season.
Scavenger hunts, which one bar for one game feels like, can be fun, but when you require people to show up at a certain place for a certain game, you restrict how many people can participate and also lessen the number of people willing to fight a crowd. By making this about simple check-ins as opposed to checking in at a certain place, you widen the number that will want to attend.
That is not to say the Blues might not have special features for special locations on this site. That is up to them. However, if someone can simply go down to their closest registered establishment, it makes it a lot more likely people will return.
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Personally, I do not expect there to be a ton of bells and whistles with this. What was shown in the promotional video was mainly Blues related filters for photographs, cool 3D images that will pop up around the real items in your camera view and different player photos that will be available.
None of that is Earth-shattering stuff, but just a fun way to add a little entertainment to your night out.
What it does do is double as marketing, without beating you over the head with it. It is a triple-edged weapon, used to perfection.
Under the guise of a friendly competition among fans, it provides business to the bars/pubs/sports bars that are registered. It also serves as easy marketing for both the Blues and Bud Light.
Circling back to the competition part, the Blues will offer prizes based on the number of check-ins. What was unclear, and might be more clear when this goes active on January 2, is if there will be various winners throughout or if it is simply based on cumulative check-ins at the end of the season. One would guess there will be multiple winners at various times.
Nevertheless, the team is offering prizes such as game-used items and autographed merchandise as well as larger prizes like attending a private Blues practice. There will be other items announced later.
Overall, this does not affect yours truly much. I don’t drink and don’t go to many sports bars, so my own attendance would depend greatly on where they locate these.
However, I do think it is a clever idea. It’s just a simple way to use technology to expand the fan experience while also providing a way to advertise without it seeming like advertising.
The Blues are not the first to use such techniques, but are getting good at it. They used the LED wrist bands to good effect during the playoffs and have done great things with laser projection on the ice for pregame ceremonies.
Moving on to the mobile arena is just the next step in the ever-evolving realm of technology. One would think this is just the start of such fan experiences if this goes well for all involved.