Many people are still on the fence about location-based services, which enable people to check in to venues such as restaurants, shops and sports stadiums and share their location with friends on social networks. According to a Comscore study from March, 17.6% of smartphone users checked in to services such as Foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla. eMarketer recently published results of a study that found that people under 35 are becoming more willing to share their location in exchange for value.
While the numbers for location-based services appear to be growing, the technology really hasn't lived up to its potential yet, since there's often no real reason for checking in; checking in to share a location with friends probably isn't enough for most people. However, I still think there's a ton of potential here, especially for the sports industry. Teams can tap into the fact that fans come to stadiums and arenas for hours at a time and often like showing off their fandom. They can reward fans and incentivize them to check in by offering real and virtual benefits. Sponsors can be integrated into these types of programs, so it's a win for everyone. For more information on the sports industry and location-based services, check out this great white paper from Tariq Ahmad.
Back in February, I wrote about Valuevine, a location-based analytics platform. Neil Crist, Valuevine's CEO, kindly provided me with access to their platform so I could see what it had to offer. I thought it'd be fun to do a quick run-down of the top MLB stadiums, ranked by the number of check ins at each of them. In this case, check ins include data from Foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla.
See below for the top 10 MLB stadiums with the most check ins and click this link to see a Google Doc with the full results.
- AT&T Park - 284,854
- Dodger Stadium - 233,008
- Wrigley Field - 201,277
- Yankee Stadium - 196,799
- Target Field - 105,736
- Busch Stadium - 96,989
- Coors Field - 89,113
- Citi Field - 86,373
- Safeco Field - 81,670
- Petco Park - 71,186
One thing that obviously stands out about the stadiums with the most check ins is that they're all in very large cities. The top two stadiums are in California, which has a reputation for being home to many technologists and early adopters. One thing that stands out to me is that Yankee Stadium has over two times as many check ins as Citi Field. Any Yankees or Mets fans care to comment on this discrepancy? :)
It's getting late so I'll let you think about other insights to pull out of this data. Is there anything that surprised you about this data? What do you think about the future of location-based services and sports?