SBD/November 12, 2013/Facilities

Dodgers Plan Sponsorship Deals Around New Wi-Fi, Expect Significant Revenue Growth

Dodgers owner Guggenheim Baseball Management is adding Wi-Fi to Dodger Stadium, which will allow the team to "get revenue from sponsors that can send advertisements to fans' phones," according to David Nusbaum of the L.A. BUSINESS JOURNAL. Fans starting in '14 will be able to use cellphones to "show digital passes to get into the parking lot and stadium" and "order Dodger Dogs and drinks and have them delivered to their seats." A majority of the Dodgers' sponsorships "were set up for renewal" in '14, while 15 sponsorships that were set up for renewal before this season "were signed for only one year." Dodgers Senior VP/Corporate Partnerships Michael Young said that in some cases, the team "took less money this year for a one-year contract in order to have a clean slate for the beginning of next year." Nusbaum reports after the Dodgers' sponsorship revenue rose from $28M in '12 to $40M this year, the team has "set a goal" of $65M for '14 because it has "created new ways for sponsors to interact with fans." The team "will charge sponsors more" due to these options. Deals in '14 will "offer advertising opportunities beyond just billboards on outfield walls." The team will be able to "send sponsored messages to fans' smartphones and engage them via social media." The team has "sought out ways to create what Young calls 'Instagramable moments' as fans document their visit to the stadium," and wants to "create ways for sponsors to tie into that." The Dodgers also are "pitching sponsors with the idea of interactive displays featuring games or other entertainment in new plaza areas around the stadium." Guggenheim will spend $40M in the next two seasons to "make improvements to the stadium." Wi-Fi originally was "supposed to be ready this June, but the old stadium's electrical infrastructure needed to be upgraded to accommodate the service" (L.A. BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/11 issue).
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