Like hot dogs and beer in the stands, sports and social media just seem to go together, and many professional sports teams are creating special areas in stadiums for fans who are also social media
maniacs. The list now includes the Cincinnati Reds, who unveiled a social media hub at the Great American Ballpark in downtown Cincinnati.
The “Reds Connect Zone,” located
on the third-base concourse, offers social-media users charging stations for mobile devices, free WiFi and 25 screens displaying fans’ Tweets, Instagram photos and Vine videos, as well as
Facebook polls and trending topics. The Zone will host appearances by local and national social media influencers and sports fans.
The Reds have also partnered with Major League
Baseball to install over 60 iBeacons around the GAB, allowing fans with iOS7 devices to receive targeted, location-based information regarding special offers and ballpark information, among other
things. The beacons are compatible with MLB's At The Ballpark app for iPhones and the Bluetooth Smart protocol; to participate fans just have to enable Bluetooth and Location Services on their
Last year, the San Francisco Giants unveiled the @Café (pronounced At Café), a social-media hub located behind the centerfield bleachers at AT&T Park, the
team’s home stadium. The café, which was launched in partnership with Peet’s Coffee and Tea, provides an immersive social media environment, complete with a 12 foot x 4 foot video
wall that displays all the latest and top-trending Giants-related Tweets, Instagram photos, and Facebook posts, polls and check-ins.
Plus, visitors can watch the Giants’ social media
team in action at the Giants Social Media Command Center. There are phone chargers to keep the Tweets and posts flowing. The café will also host special social media events, like Twitter chats
with Giants players.
In 2011, the Cleveland Indians created a “social media suite” at Progressive Field, where the biggest social media users can congregate to watch games
together from a privileged position. The suite, which replaced an earlier version, the Tribe Social Deck, and still appears to be in operation, is available by invitation only.