Effective Programmatic Advertising Inside Baseball Stadiums

What does baseball have to do with programmatic?

With the start of the MLB season, advertisers should be jumping on every opportunity to target fans with the right message at the right time. Anyone who has been to a baseball game or any sporting event, can tell you that they are surrounded by ads during the game. In today’s digital era, sports fans have taken to the “second screen” throughout the entire baseball game inside the stadium. Males and females of all ages are using mobile and tablet devices to check the score of other on-going baseball games, adjusting their fantasy league team, engaging on social media and the list goes on.

This becomes a great opportunity for brands (restaurants, food stands, credit card and wireless companies, charities, merchandise stores, the box office, etc.) inside the stadium to use programmatic for mobile and target fans in order to have them engage with their brands.

Great examples of programmatic advertising for brands during a baseball game:

Achieve Coupon Sales with Geo-Targeting: Attract customers by serving a coupon ad on their device to purchase food inside the stadium. For example, Papa John’s pizza chain can use programmatic geo-targeting to serve a mobile coupon for 30% off a slice of pizza to fans during the game. The coupon can say something like: “Get 30% off a slice of pizza when you present this coupon to any Papa John’s inside Yankee Stadium during today’s game – the official pizza of the New York Yankees”.

On a programmatic platform, Papa John’s can use the hyperlocal polygon tool and locate Yankee Stadium on the map and draw the perimeter around the building. The coupon will now be seen by only those who have tickets to the game and will be inside the stadium.

Since Johnny Rockets and Hard Rock Cafe are also inside, Papa John’s can use a circle tool to draw a radius around the two restaurants and mark it “red”. This will prevent them from serving ads to people who are already enjoying a meal in other restaurants and therefore would most likely not use the coupon. Not only does this save the advertiser’s money on ad spend, it is targeting those who are potentially looking for a place to eat.

geo targeting

Use the hyperlocal polygon tool to draw the area in which the coupon will be served & not served to mobile phones inside Yankee Stadium.


Increase foot traffic with Day-Parting: Another great example to achieve sales with programmatic is getting foot traffic into the baseball team’s merchandise store. Baseball teams can serve an ad to fans at the time the gates open until 30 minutes after the game. Fans who see the ad can be reminded to check out the store which increases the possibility for a sale or two.

day parting1

Baseball team store inside the stadium can serve an ad between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. & 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends (earlier start).

Achieve form sign-ups with Attribute Targeting: Credit card companies usually have booths set up around the stadium in order to collect new customers. If MasterCard is looking for people to sign up for a new card, they can use attribute targeting and serve their ad to fans between the ages of 18 to 60 with an income over $35,000 annually. The ad can also include a message with an incentive such as “Sign up now and receive a free New York Yankees t-shirt!”


Ad will be served to those who are earning more than $35,000 annually and are between 18 and 60-years old.


Save Ad Spend by Using Device, Software and Connection Type Targeting: If your ad contains high quality images/animation, requires flash player or other programs on a mobile device to view/interact with it, device targeting will save you time and money. Advertisers can choose to target fans who own phones that support these kinds of programs by using device and carrier targeting. For example, MLB wants to attract more Android users to download their app. Their ad includes an animated baseball player hitting a baseball and it would require flash player on a mobile device as well as Internet data that would load the ad quickly. Therefore, MLB would select to target fans who are using Android 4+ as well as those devices on a 4G network (since most won’t be connected to WiFi inside the stadium). This saves time and most importantly ad spend since the ad would only be served to users who can view and engage with it properly.

connection type

Targeting Android fans inside the baseball stadium connected to a 4G network and uses Android 4 or higher.


We can go on and on about the opportunities brands can do with programmatic during a baseball game or any sporting event for that matter – the possibilities are endless. The increase and amount of fans engaged on their mobile device before, during and after the game is on-going.  There is a good chance that they will see your ad and engage or perform an action with it because after all, they are inside a stadium with only a few choices for food and merchandise.

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