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Twins increase fan attendance efforts with Venuetize deal

The Minnesota Twins have stepped up efforts to demonstrate they can safely accommodate fans at Target Field when the new Major League Baseball (MLB) season commences by agreeing a partnership with mobile-first technology company Venuetize.

Through the agreement, Venuetize has been engaged to help deliver contactless ordering and payments for concessions and retail items at Target Field. The collaboration will allow Twins fans to order and pay for food, beverages and merchandise via the MLB Ballpark app on their mobile devices.

Combined with the MLB Ballpark app’s digital ticket delivery, the Twins’ partnership with Venuetize seeks to allow for a touchless, single-app fan journey through key areas of the Target Field experience, from frictionless entry to a contactless process for ordering and purchasing food, beverage and merchandise.

Earlier this month, the Twins agreed a deal for 3M to become its official science partner. Over the first few months of the partnership, 3M will work with the Twins and the team’s ballpark operations to supply cleaning, disinfecting, hygiene and physical distancing solutions at Target Field.

No fans were allowed during the 2020 MLB regular season, although a limited number of spectators were permitted for post-season games at Globe Life Field, the new home of the Texas Rangers. The 2021 MLB season gets underway on April 1, with the Twins’ first home game being against the Seattle Mariners on April 8.

Commenting on the Venuetize deal, Twins president and CEO, Dave St. Peter, said: “Delivering opportunities for a contactless experience in as many areas of Target Field as possible is a primary factor in our ongoing discussions with Governor Tim Walz, public health officials and Major League Baseball regarding a pathway to the safe return of Twins fans to our ballpark.

“The ability to order and pre-pay for concessions and merchandise from your seat, on your phone, before quickly picking up your pre-packaged selection, minimises concourse congestion and potential touchpoints, while maximising fan safety and convenience. Venuetize is a proven industry leader, we are grateful for their seamless integration with the MLB Ballpark app, and we look forward to further collaboration that enhances the fan experience.”

Upon returning to Target Field, Twins fans will be able to open the MLB Ballpark app, use the mobile ordering function to select their desired food and drink, and complete payment via their personal mobile wallet – all from their mobile device, and without leaving their seat.

Pre-packaged order pick up from separate, designated ‘grab-and-go’ stations will complete the contactless dining and/or retail experience, while greatly reducing lines at traditional concession stands.

Venuetize this month moved to enhance its mobile technology and e-commerce platform by partnering up with location-based marketing services provider Gimbal. The venture between the two companies aims to bring real-time location capabilities to the sports, entertainment, and hospitality industries, augmenting the fan and guest experience via rich location-based services inside and outside venues.

The Florida Panthers NHL ice hockey team also agreed partnerships with Venuetize and software company Bypass to provide cashless experiences for fans at BB&T Center. Venuetize will serve as the Panthers’ mobile partner, while Bypass, which is now part of Fiserv, became the team’s point-of-sale system partner for BB&T Center.

Commenting on the Twins deal, Todd San Jule, Venuetize’s vice-president of product and innovation, said: “Venuetize has been fortunate to work with several professional sports teams and leagues that have held events with fans back at venues. We can already tell from the data that mobile payments are reducing order time and improving the overall fan experience.”

Image: Ken Lund/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size