Fast Company

Monetizing The Munchies

Have a business near a concert or sports venue? Wouldn't you like a way to reach that local, hungry, primed-to-spend crowd just as their tummies start to grumble? Here's a site and an app for you.

Phish concert crowd

For a business, the only thing better than a captive audience is a captive audience that wants something. Imagine, say, a jam band concert, where audience members, for whatever reason, have acquired an urgent and insatiable hunger. And suppose you had a restaurant in the vicinity of the concert venue. Isn't that an optimal moment to let those concertgoers become aware of your existence?

A new website and app helps businesses reach audiences at a local concert or ballgame. Fanatic Fans has just announced a site on which businesses can register and create a promotion "that will be visible to sports and music fans on the Fanatic Fans mobile apps, increasing awareness and traffic to their location before, during and after live events."

"We believe our Fanatic Fans iPhone and Android mobile applications are a great way for businesses to market to a targeted audience in their local area,"said Jeff Holmes, CEO of Calabrus, Inc., the company behind the app.

A live event does combine all of the crucial metrics of a person's willingness to buy. Location, of course, is key; you'll be targeting a group of people that you know is right in the vicinity of your restaurant or business. So too, though, is time--many people are in a spending-prone mode when at a concert or sporting event. They've already shelled out $50 or $100 or more, easily, for a night out on the town; what's an extra $20 spent on a couple of beers going to matter?

The key ingredient in the mix is the app itself, which is available for iPhone or Android. Though it has all the requisite bells and whistles--check-ins, chat functionality, and those gamification-style "points," the app lacks the elegance or design savvy of, say, Groupon's app. Though it's well-enough reviewed in the App Store, only nine people have bothered to rate it. More users have to sign up for this to work; more businesses will have to join, too. And Fanatic Fans will need a major publicity push and a sexier interface to make this happen.

It'll also have to stand out among competitors in the digitally assisted live-events space that are currently more exciting or engaging. CrowdOptic launched its app recently with augmented reality bells and whistles for live events. And sports site Grantland opened its digital doors Wednesday with an A-list roster of writing talent.

[Image: CrowdOptic]

[Front Image: Flickr user Ed Yourdon]

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