New York, New York: Zippin Makes the NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center with American Express
By Alice Chan - June 15, 2021
After the “bubble” NBA Playoffs of 2020, this year’s Playoffs have given fans and players alike a reason to feel hopeful that life is starting to return to normal. One team in particular, the Brooklyn Nets, has had even more reason to rejoice. Thanks to its partnership with American Express, the Barclays Center arena is now home to a Zippin-powered autonomous store which opened just in time for the first-round series against the Celtics.
The beautifully designed bright blue store, which is open exclusively to American Express cardholders, offers a range of local Brooklyn-based drinks, cold and hot snacks, and Nets and Liberty branded merchandise, including t-shirts and caps. As with all Zippin-powered stores, shoppers simply scan their card to enter, pick up their items and then just walk out. Zippin’s AI sensors identify the items selected by each shopper (family, or group) and bills their account.
To-date the Nets have hosted five home games during the Playoffs—with close-to-capacity crowds—and the store has seen large numbers of fans coming through, eager to avoid the lines elsewhere, and experience cashierless shopping firsthand.
According to a news report in Sports Business Journal (June 1, 2021):
“The store recorded the second-most sales of any concessions stand in the arena during the Nets’ May 22 playoff opener, according to BSE Global Chief Commercial Officer Michael Wandell. "This is just such a dynamic opportunity to enhance the guest experience, while also still being a pioneer and being at the forefront of a new, cutting-edge technology,” Wandell told SBJ.
The Barclays Center joins other innovative sports venues , including the Denver Broncos’ Mile High at Empower Field, the Sacramento Kings’ Golden 1 Center, and the San Antonio Spurs’ AT&T Center, which feature Zippin’s checkout-free stores.
American Express has been a founding partner at Barclays Center since it opened nine years ago, and worked with Barclays Center and Levy’s E15 Group on the project. The design was brought to life with Momentum Worldwide, the experiential marketing division of McCann Worldgroup.
“We’re really proud of the way this store exemplifies authentic brand activation, and makes life so much easier for fans who want to focus their attention on the action on court,” said Krishna Motukuri, co-founder and CEO, Zippin. “After the last year where venues weren’t allowed to entertain fans in-person, it’s so rewarding to see near-capacity crowds and be able to expand the range of products that can be handled in our checkout-free stores to include merchandise and hot food. We are excited to see these concepts roll out at other groundbreaking sports venues across the country.”
If you're ready to learn more about Zippin's platform—and how it can help your business maximize opportunities in the reopening economy—download our new white paper, “The Great Reopening: Checkout-free Technology and the Next Economic Boom For Retailers and Venues.”
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