Gimbal And NFL ‘Beacon-ize’ Super Bowl Fan Areas Across San Fran

The official NFL ‘Road To 50’ mobile app presents visitors who can’t make it to Levi’s Stadium to witness The Broncos vs. The Panthers in person with location-alerts, events news, and offers by Hyundai, Verizon, and other game sponsors.

More than a million people are expected to visit San Francisco during Super Bowl weekend and proximity marketing platform Gimbal has been prepping to connect as many of them as possible to places in the area as well as to sponsors like Hyundai, Verizon, and others.

While Levi’s Stadium, which is hosting Super Bowl 50 for roughly 75,000 ticketholders, was outfitted with roughly 1,000 beacons by HP’s Aruba Networks in Nov. 2014, this current Gimbal effort is aimed at those who couldn’t get in, but are nevertheless in the surrounding San Francisco area to celebrate. (Incidentally, Levi’s Stadium is located 42 miles outside of SF.)

To provide momentum for football fans in the days before the Denver Broncos face off against the Carolina Panthers, Gimbal was tapped by NFL Enterprises to power location-alerts for its Road to 50: Explore Super Bowl 50 Celebrations smartphone app. This is the third year in a row that Gimbal as worked on bringing its proximity marketing tools to Super Bowl fan events.

The Road To 50 app lets users check-in to SF locations, while Gimbal's beacons (on the left) trigger those place-based messages.
The Road To 50 app lets users check-in to SF locations, while Gimbal’s beacons (on the left) trigger those place-based messages.

As in the two previous Super Bowl projects, Gimbal beacons have been placed throughout the area surrounding the actual game. Those who download the Road To 50 app will be notified of events and points of interest for football fans. Users will be able to use a Foursquare-like check-in function at locations. To encourage people to share their check-ins, there’s the chance of winning place-based prizes through the app.

While Gimbal wouldn’t offer details about how many beacons were installed in the SF area, key locations have been identified where check-ins and alerts will go off: The Moscone Center, the Verizon-sponsored fan village Super Bowl City, and the 50th Mile video kiosks that present highlights from the past 49 championships all along Market St.

By tapping into the concentration of Super Bowl celebrants, Gimbal is able to demonstrate that it’s not necessary to be at the epicenter of a major event to provide what is even greater engagement, as visitors over Super Bowl weekend constantly look to the NFL’s app for directions and news in the lead in up to kickoff.

Even more so, those users who sign up may also be attractive in the post-game period as the excitement lingers.

That’s something other marketers are counting in, even ones connecting online and offline messaging thousands of miles away from San Francisco. One prime example is Uber and its partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods. The ride-hailing service and the athletics apparel chain have collaborated on an on-demand t-shirt delivery program in Chicago and New York after the game has been won.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.