There the fans were at CONCACAF, each supporting their team as Mexico took the field against Costa Rica at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Some were waiting in concession lines and others had already discovered the sEATz mobile ordering app as they timed up when to grab a bite and a beverage during the game. No one wanted to miss a minute of the action.
A notion historically assumed by almost anyone was about to be put to the test, by complete accident. It had previously been discussed by staff and others that usually when a fan would hear the infamous ballgame shout from those wondrous souls who trek up and down the aisles bellowing “COLD BEER AND WATER HERE”, a fan’s eyes would spark for just a moment as he/she peered over to see what options there would be to choose from. Most of the time, a bin would be loaded down with Michelob Ultra, Bud Light, and similar domestic brands. If a fan was lucky, he/she might see the last Dos Equis or Modelo floating around in the crispy ice water, willing to pay a premium to make it his/hers.
Once that last premium beer was sold, the options fell victim to being “out of sight, and out of mind”, as a hawker would stay out in the aisles until his bucket was empty.
As the game commenced and mobile ordering began through the sEATz app, a fan was able to see a full menu of all offerings available that night. Every time they loaded up the app and navigated to the drinks menu, they were introduced to the premium import beers alongside the usual enjoyments of Michelob Ultra and Bud Light. The night carried on and suddenly, a pattern emerged from the back of the house. sEATz COO, Charles Willis sat down with us some years later to depict the operational realizations from that evening saying, “Sales for those premium imports like Dos Equis and Modelo were noticeably higher than on many other nights and that was due not only to convenience but also based on true availability when compared to perceived availability.”
What’s more, with opportunities like a push notification to every cell phone in the stadium that had the app downloaded, the last call was made, spiking sales like rarely before. Having analyzed the data from a time long past, Derek Maunder, now Houston Market Manager for sEATz pointed out that “The average spend per fan that night was 1-2x higher than what had been seen and the average unit per fan was also higher that night”.
A great opportunity it was and a thought-leading moment for the concessionaire to be able to allow the data to tell a story, challenging the assumed theory of “what people like to eat and drink”. That night, great fan experiences were had in a unique way while learning that while fans will often choose an alternative, they may have selections they prefer if given the option.