Are you looking for ways to drive concessions sales while reducing staffing costs? Are you looking for new ways to enhance stadium merchandise/concessions offerings?
As stadium operators constantly look for new ways to enhance stadium concessions and the overall game day experience, they should consider some incorporating some new vending innovations. Trendhunter.com recently created a "60 Vending Machines of the Future" piece that could have some strong implications in the sports marketplace. Here are a few examples:
Offer Free Drink Vending Machines
The Apex Corp, a vending machine operator, is expected to roll out a service soon that allows consumers to receive free beverages from vending machines for watching :30 advertisements. Vending machines are being turned into a new medium for marketers to reward consumers who are willing to watch/entertain their advertisements (by paying a partial/full cost of the product).
Offer Luxury Coffee Vending Machines
Starbucks has introduced a string of Hot Drink machines to the marketplace that help the brand satisfy consumer demand in areas where their stores cannot be placed (hockey rinks, outdoor events, office break rooms, grocery retail locations, etc.). The self-serve expresso kiosks were featured in 86 Albertsons retail locations nationwide in 2008. The UK's coffee machine operator LTT Vending saw a 55% increase in sales over the past year as consumers sought cheaper alternatives to Starbucks, etc.
Offer Exclusive Merchandise Vending Machines
Teams should consider aligning with exclusive apparel providers to sell exclusive team apparel/merchandise in select vending machines around the concourse. From another angle, sports organizations can align with hotel chains and retail partners to feature vending machines offering limited edition merchandise at their respective locations (poolside, etc.). Quicksilver recently aligned with the standard hotel to design an exclusive line of swimwear that is sold at poolside vending machines.
Leverage Redbox (or DVDPlay)
Sports organizations should consider aligning with Redbox to feature their championship DVD's, season highlights, game tapes, and specialty shows (Behind-the-scenes looks at the Cheerleader Calendar, Mascot outtakes, etc.) in Red Box machines throughout the local marketplace. Sponsors can front load/back load these videos with sponsor messaging to help cover any upfront costs, etc.
Offer Customizable Beverage Dispensers
Coca-Cola recently unveiled a customizable drink dispenser called the "Freestyle" that enables consumers to mix and match their favorite flavors. The select Coca-Cola vending machines, which will be rolled out in California and Orgeon in 2009, will offer 140 different assortments of flavors for consumers to choose from (based on the color, calorie, and caffeine content they prefer).
Feature Sun Screen Vending Machines
Tours taking place in outdoor environments (AVP, Extreme Sports, etc.) should consider featuring Sunscreen Mist vending machines in their event footprints. The special vending machines dispense both sunscreen (in a variety of SPF's) and self-tanning products for consumers to take advantage of and enjoy.
Feature SMS Vending Machines
Fosfor, a Belgian marketing agency, created a vending machine called the Boobox that enables consumers to receive free goodies in exchange for simply submitting a free SMS message (a way for companies to build a mobile database in an inexpensive manner if the product price is minimal). Each submitted SMS message gives a bounce back access code that can be used to order a product from the vending machine.
Player ID Card Vending Dispensers
In a partnership with a local DMV, etc. teams can feature unique vending machines in stadium concourses that enable fans to purchase fake player ID's. The team can sell the ID's (at a fixed low-dollar price point) as a collectible that fans can keep in their wallets. To fund the project, teams can sign on a title sponsor who receives branding on the back of the card, etc.
Each player's ID would mirror a drivers license (featuring their height, weight, hometown, etc.) and potentially could be redeemed for exclusive experiences, etc. This would be a very interesting concept for a marketing agency to implement in NASCAR (feature vending machines around the track where fans can purchase a fake Jeff Gordon drivers license for the chance to win a trip to the Jeff Gordon Racing School).
Feature Pizza Vending Machines
Claudio Torghele recently unveiled the world's first vending machine that makes pizza from scratch in less than three (3) minutes. The vending machine technology, called Let's Pizza, enables consumers to order custom pizzas for under five (5) dollars and watch the whole process through a glass window on the vending machine. The Let's Pizza machine could provide teams a great way to offer fans yet another concessions option while saving costs on staffing behind the counter.