Europe’s football teams sell Bluetooth marketing rights

Bluepod Media has signed exclusive Bluetooth marketing rights with eight European football teams to allow Bluepod to create and distribute branded content to football fans within soccer stadiums on match days. The deal enables fans to receive free audio and video content and SMS messages to their cell phones. All information will be embedded with ads.

The European teams involved initially include the Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, West Ham, Portsmouth, Wigan Athletic, Wolves and Celtic. If successful, similar deals could be worked out in the United States for other sports.

The Bluepod Media deal, which will include the installation of about 16 Bluetooth transmission units in the stadiums, was reportedly worked out after successful trials at Portsmouth and Birmingham City.

All content will be offered up to fans for free, while brand owners will pay on a per download basis. A recent dry run at Portsmouth reportedly resulted to more than 6000 downloads of movie trailers out of 20,000 fans present during the game.

The service is opt-in, meaning a fan’s consent is needed before receiving any data on his or her phone. That’s why offline marketing support such as banners and posters are important to the service’s success.

The content comes from tiny servers, called Bluepods, which connect to the stadium’s electrical lines and receive updates wirelessly. Bluepods have already been installed in Vue, Cineworld and Showcase cinemas in Europe and were used to promote LG’s Viewty phone.