I’m With the Brand: How AEG Is Using Mobile Tech to Make Fans Feel Like VIPs

January 26, 2016 • Blog Post • By Todd Wasserman, HPE Matter Contributor


  • AEG Facilities, a division of the sports and entertainment conglomerate AEG, which runs more than 100 venues around the globe, has worked with top brands to provide a frictionless concert-going experience via mobile technology

AEG’s Scott Carlis discusses the opportunities for on-premise marketing today and in the not-so-distant future

Live events can be enthralling, offering a one-of-kind experience that attendees will never forget, but they can have their downsides.

For instance, there are the bathroom lines, which can snake outside the doors causing waits of 10 minutes or more. There are also lines at the concession stands, nosebleed seats and perhaps worst of all, no Wi-Fi.

AEG Facilities, a division of the sports and entertainment conglomerate AEG, which runs more than 100 venues around the globe, is aware of these pain points and has worked with various brands to provide a relatively frictionless experience via mobile technology.

Creating envy

For example, in a recent program, owners of Samsung Galaxy phones who visited some 41 participating AEG venues, clubs, arenas and festivals (including Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival) were able to receive prizes that varied from tickets to upcoming shows to food credits to the ability to skip the lines ahead of everyone else. To activate the program, Samsung Galaxy owners needed to download the Samsung Owners Hub app and activate it at one of the venues. Then they received messages via beacons.

“Basically, what we were trying to do with Samsung was show that if you owned a Galaxy phone you were getting the hottest ticket to the hottest show in the world and we were creating an amplified experience,” says Scott Carlis, VP of digital, social media and marketing at AEG. “If you didn’t own a Samsung Galaxy phone, you became envious of those who did.” Consumers who shared the experience on social media could potentially receive more rewards.


Added value

Carlis says each program is designed to offer added value and amplify the experience. For instance, during Stagecoach, California’s country music festival, those attendees who downloaded the Stagecoach app were able to get an express lane pass to skip the line and get to the bar quicker to purchase a Bud Light. (The perk was courtesy of that brand.)

Other events let fans get express line access at concession stands or direct users to stands where the lines are a lot shorter. Users have to opt in to receive such push notifications.

At the STAPLES Center, fans with premium seats can order concessions from their phones. AEG is working with Bypass Mobile to enable that technology.

For marketers, such apps provide a gateway into data about fans that can be useful for more personalized experiences. The AEG VIP Party app for the 2016 Grammy Awards will provide even more granular knowledge as sensors will read data from attendees' phones and funnel that information to event managers to understand party behavior.

Experimental phase

It’s only been a couple of years or so since pretty much everyone who attends an event has a phone. So AEG is still figuring out what kind of push notifications people want. “We look at when it goes from helpful to burdening people with too many messages,” says Carlis. “We want to make sure the messages we send aren’t considered spam.”

On the other hand, attendees who prefer no interaction will be happy to learn that AEG has been aggressive about upgrading the Wi-Fi connectivity at its various venues.

What’s next: virtual reality

In a few years, proximity marketing may look radically different. Carlis believes that’s because virtual reality will add a new component to live events. With several headsets set to be released this year, including the highly awaited Oculus Rift, “a coordinated virtual reality implementation around the arenas would be fantastic.”

Carlis says he would like to integrate virtual reality into LA Interactive, a fan engagement destination on the main concourse of the STAPLES Center that includes interactive content and social media visualizations. “I envision creating a virtual reality activation that makes it feel like you're taking a slap shot against LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. You’re completely immersed in this experience.”

Aruba Networks, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, can help you captivate guests with a crowd-pleasing venue.

To learn more about managing beacon deployments, watch this video.

Read this brochure to learn more about HPE’s Internet of Things solutions.

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