Sports fans now have another reason to keep their eyes on the scoreboard during games: Interactive app DropIt is hosting live 60-second auctions on stadium scoreboards, allowing users to bid on items from their mobile devices.
According to TechCrunch, users download a mobile app that can be used for any DropIt auction no matter what arena they’re in. Once the auction starts, the price begins to drop, and the first fan to “swipe up” on the mobile app wins that item for the price shown. The longer everyone waits, the more the price drops — but there’s always the chance that someone else in the stadium could swipe up before you.
The auction items are typically given away by a sponsor. During a live test, for example, DropIt held an auction for a Ducati motorcycle worth over $15,000, which sold for $3,904.
While they might take a loss on the item, many sponsors simply see it as an advertising expense. An advertising fee is usually also paid to the home team for each item auctioned off, as well as to New Zealand-based DropIt for supplying the technology.
After hundreds of trial auctions in New Zealand, DropIt is expanding into the U.S., with auctions already held at two Seattle Mariners spring training games this year. The company has partnership with the Phoenix Suns starting on Oct. 23, and is working with the 49ers to get the technology ready for bigger sports stadiums.
DropIt recently raised a $3.6 million USD Series A at a pre-money valuation of $21 million, with most of the funding coming from New Zealand investors. They also sold an equity stake to Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini.