Carmel, IN – In bars and restaurants around the country this fall, NFL touchdowns and MLB home runs will be celebrated in a new and unique way: with Bud Light and Budweiser beer tap handles and neon lights that flash and display dynamic messages every time the home team hits pay dirt in the end zone or crosses home plate. This unique form of revelry is the result of a collaboration between Anheuser-Busch, Sprint and Mesh Systems.
“As the Official Beer Sponsor of the NFL and Major League Baseball, Anheuser-Busch is always looking for ways to enhance our fans’ experience,” said Lucas Herscovici, vice president of Anheuser-Busch consumer connections. “When you’re out with friends and all these lights start flashing when your team scores, it’s exciting. It’s as if the bar or restaurant itself is celebrating with you.”
Anheuser-Busch brought the idea for these “Interactive Tap Handles” to Sprint, asking its long-time business collaborator to develop a distinctive technology that would make Anheuser-Busch an inherent part of watching televised sporting events at bars and restaurants. Sprint teamed with Mesh Systems to launch a system that would connect thousands of on-premise locations to the on-field action at stadiums across the country.
Utilizing Sprint’s M2M (wireless machine-to-machine) expertise and Mesh Systems’ cloud based IoT/M2M platform, a test of the interactive application was first performed in 100 bars and taverns in Denver during the 2012 NFL season and at Bud Light Hotel during Super Bowl week February 2013. After these tests proved successful, Anheuser-Busch began installing the interactive tap handles in bars and restaurants nationwide.
Since then, the tap handles have been enhanced with technology that allows them to display a message that is dynamic based on the sport and team. Restaurant and bar managers can also program them to display specific promotional messages. In time, they will also interact with social media platforms to create even more fan involvement. More than 8,000 are expected to be in place this fall.
“The interactive tap handles are an ideal example of unleashing technology for millions of people to enjoy in a compelling way,” said Bill Esrey, Jr., Vice President, Solutions Sales, Sprint. “We’re excited to team with Anheuser-Busch and Mesh Systems to make it happen.”
As the platform evolves, it will also be used during other sports, such as basketball and motorsports. The teaming of Anheuser-Busch, Sprint, and Mesh Systems is a collaborative first among the three companies.
“This joint initiative is an incredible opportunity to take wireless M2M mainstream and demonstrate the mass potential for this interactive technology,” said Richard Baxter, President and CEO, Mesh Systems. “There’s so much that we can do with this platform, and it makes the experience of watching games at bars and restaurants even more exciting than it already is.”
The technology was recognized by Connected World Magazine in June 2013 when it presented Anheuser-Busch, Sprint, Mesh Systems and Microsoft with a Gold Value Chain Award in the M2M and Connected Devices category for Consumer Packaged Goods.
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 47.6 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers. The company brews Budweiser and Bud Light, two of the world’s largest-selling beers. Anheuser-Busch is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 54 million customers as of June 30, 2014 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved U.S. company in customer satisfaction, across all 43 industries, over the last six years. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America in 2011, 2012 and 2013. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
About Mesh Systems
Mesh Systems is an industry-leading Internet of Things/Machine-to-Machine solutions company serving original equipment manufacturer customers across a wide variety of industries and applications. The Company’s MeshVista Hydra™ cloud-based software platform is a best-in-class framework for providing low-latency and highly scalable device-to-cloud and cloud-to-device information exchange and control actions across wired, wireless and hybrid networks. Operating in a number of vertical industries, the company provides a turn-key solution to its customers looking for speed-to-market with their connected product or service. Its connection of devices, data, people, and processes is transforming how businesses operate, leading to increased operating efficiency, enhanced customer service, new interactive experiences and energy conservation.
Media Contact: Melissa Beuc