Baseball Beer Vendor to Make Sales via Twitter
Since its inception five years ago, Twitter has served as an expressive medium for over 200 million users. You don’t accommodate that many personalities and voices without getting some real variety. After all, the Twitter community was the first to receive an announcement from Barack Obama the night of his election. It’s gotten some people fired and even more people fired up. Kanye West first apologized to Taylor Swift on Twitter. And now, one man is set to reach an entirely new demographic of people through Twitter: thirsty baseball fans.
Kevin Zelko, who works by day as a teacher to special needs children in Seattle, is about to become the first Major League Baseball beer vendor to take orders by tweet. Instead of waiting that extra half inning for the traditional Mariners beer man to make his way through the aisles, visitors to Safeco Field can send a message to Zelko’s Twitter account, @Msbeervendor. Include your order and your seat number, and he’ll start heading your way with the suds.
Zelko isn’t just changing his strategy for the novelty, though; he expects his idea to spawn a generation of smarter vendors. CNBC’s Darren Rovell reports that he averages 80 beers sold per game on weeknights and over 100 on weekends and when major franchises come to town. Yet he sees inefficiency in the time-honored method of simply moving from aisle to aisle and using charisma and catchphrases to convince attendees how parched they must be.
Not only should his Twitter service lead him more directly to customers who are ready to purchase beer, but Zelko also believes that serving customers with smartphones means serving to greater affluence. More money to spend should result in bigger tips, or at least that’s what he is banking on. He also may avoid some of the dead moments when vendors get stuck because of crowded aisles screaming for Ichiro or making moves en masse to the restrooms.
Proponents of social media may be interested to watch and see what happens with the remainder of Zelko’s time. Will he use @Msbeervendor to connect with people who are indirectly or infrequently a part of his baseball world? Will his Twitter availability and persona capture loyalty from season ticket holders? And how exactly can you avoid spillage while your phone is blowing up from thirsty tweeters?
Stay tuned, all you baseball and beer devotees. Seattle’s home opener is this Friday.
Your choice. Your beer. Drink up.