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April 07, 2021

Baseball vendor lets your order beer via Twitter

There’s nothing pleasant about buying a beer at a baseball game, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t know.

Istockphoto_9944667-beer-at-the-game The lines suck, which you fear, and the prices are obscene, which you expect. But even if a beer vendor happens to venture to your section – as he did to my primo 500-level seat at the Rogers Centre last Sunday – you’d need a Russell Brand-sized mouth if you ever hope to yell and get the guy’s attention.

Enter: Twitter. It’s an idea so simple you feel stupid for not suggesting it yourself. Starting at the team’s home opener tomorrow, a beer vendor for the Seattle Mariners will start taking drink orders via his Twitter page.

Kevin Zelko, a Safeco Field pilsner pusher, has been making the media rounds this week after announcing his plan to let fans Tweet him their section, seat location and order. He’ll be there as soon as he can, Zelko tells CNBC, after reading the order on his smartphone.

This isn’t the first time social media and Major League Baseball have crossed paths – last September, the Philadelphia Phillies let fans order food right to their seats from a closed-circuit iPhone app – but the campaign, while a cutesy idea, could also make a real dent in business for Zelko.

According to the vendor, who’s a teacher when not at the park, he normally sells about 80 beers during an average home game (the Mariners, for the record, aren’t exactly a big draw: their 2010 attendance was 19th in the league). On those days, he personally earns about $125 – bump that up to 100 beers and $200 on weekend games, or if the Yankees are in town.

Tomorrow Zelko (@Msbeervendor) will surely see a boost in sales from the hype surrounding his digital crusade, but there’s a good chance the spike could be lasting as more people become active on Twitter.

Not everyone uses the micro-blogging service, of course, but if there’s a sport that lends itself to diddling on your phone during breaks in the action, it’s surely baseball, which is awesome but moves slower than Bengie Molina wearing parachute pants.

Maybe Twitter ordering can become this generation’s “Icccccccceeeeee … Coldddddddddddd … Beeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr!”

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Follow Jason on Twitter here (no beer, though, sorry).



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...