Cleveland Indians want to put ads where fans can see them

Advertisers and sponsors are extremely valuable to all professional sports teams, and thus it is very important to keep them engaged with the fans. In an effort to make this happen, the Cleveland Indians recently partnered with Tobii, a maker of eye-tracking glasses, to conduct a study that could determine what exactly folks look at throughout their time at Progressive Field. The MLB team says it gave 47 fans a pair of Tobii Glasses to use during the span of three days, which were worn as they watched games from various seating areas at its ballpark. Essentially, using the Tobii Insight research program as the basis, the goal was to see how much time participants spent looking at the main scoreboard and other dynamic signage. In theory, this would detect just how valuable certain locations are inside the stadium -- so, the easier it is for you spot it, the more it could potentially cost for a company to put an ad there.

As Crain's Cleveland points out, this in-park advertising study is the first of its kind for Major League Baseball. But as new as the eye-tracking concept may be, Cleveland Indians' senior director of corporate partnerships, Ted Baugh, believes it can make a huge difference. "Hey, if we're going to invest in something, if we're going to invest in new digital signage or new this or new that, is it the right thing to do?" he said. "There are multiple uses for why we did this study. We weren't lucky. We did this for a reason, but we're finding out that we could use this in a lot of different ways."

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