Tech firm Lantern Software’s mobile app hit the right pitch with its hometown soccer team.
The startup, located in Kansas City, Kan., recently partnered with Sporting Kansas City to offer its mobile concessions ordering platform. The deal, effective Saturday, will allow fans in Sporting KC’s Boulevard Members Club to order and pay for concessions on their phones, and then pick up orders quicker at a separate “fast lane.”
Lantern CEO Aaron Sloup said that working with Sporting KC’s affiliate tech company — Sporting Innovations — enabled the companies to try new, innovative approaches to improve fans’ experiences at the stadium.
“This is definitely a big deal for us,” Sloup said. “Their whole team has been great to work with. They want to stay at the leading edge of technology and that means they’re willing to do some new things to move quickly.”
The app, named Gameday, allows fans to choose concession items and pay for their order via credit card or PayPal. Featuring Sporting KC colors and photos, Gameday then tracks fans’ orders, notifying them of when an order is placed and ready for pickup from a separate line.
Fans may draft an order before entering the Boulevard Members Club, but must enter the club to activate the order via small Bluetooth beacons confirming one’s proximity. The app is now available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.
“We’re continuously looking at ways to improve the fan experience at Sporting Park,” Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman said in a release. “Lantern has a proven track record of using micro-location to improve the fan experience at sporting events. We are excited to form a relationship with a local company to provide a service that will greatly benefit our fans.”
Lantern previously was conducting pilot testing with the same app technology with the Kansas City Chiefs. Sloup said that testing has yet to result in a contract, though he remains hopeful for a partnership.