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Dodgers, MLB Invest in Xperiel

Los Angeles Dodgers

A startup has received backing from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball, as Xperiel has confirmed that the two organizations have invested in the company. 

In an announcement that also included several major Silicon Valley players, the company revealed that the Dodgers and MLB are part of a group that has invested $7 million in the company. Xperiel is trying to tap into the ballpark and stadium market for various reasons. With ballparks offering a hub for consumer and technology activity, Xperiel see its mobile software of having the capability to improve the fan experience through technology. That is currently being tested at Dodger Stadium, and the company hopes that it leads to more teams jumping on board. More from Fortune:

Xperiel’s app-development tool also lets stadium owners and sports teams create mobile apps that use a smartphone’s sensors in conjunction with so-called beacons that stadium operators can place throughout the facility. These beacons transmit wireless signals that can be picked up by a fan’s smartphone and can trigger certain events within a mobile app to make a more compelling experience for fans. For example, a sports team could create a mobile app in which each time familiar fans enter the stadium and walk by a certain big screen, a nearby beacon would sense that they are near and trigger the fans’ faces to come on screen.

“It welcomes you,” said [CEO] Alex Hertel. “It provides that level of personalization.”

Many of the possible apps the two co-founder brothers described during a press briefing seemed to focus on interactive mobile games like scavenger hunts, in which fans can get rewards for performing certain actions during a sporting event, like buying some food or tickets.

Xperiel offers an interesting convergence of technologies that have been popping around ballparks. As was covered here recently, it is estimated that 93% of MLB facilities use location-based technologies for apps that are designed to improve the fan experience by promoting engagement and delivering special offers. Another trend is the “Pokemon Go” craze. With teams using promotions to encourage the use of the augmented reality game, the underlying idea in both the majors and the minors is to make the ballpark part of the game’s landscape, adding another layer to the traditional fan experience.

In terms of reaching a major league audience, this is a big breakthrough for Xperiel. The company also has ties to Minor League Baseball, as Omaha Storm Chasers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) owner Gary Green is listed as one of Xperiel’s early-stage investors.

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