Beer vendor wants you to "tweet from your seat" at Phillies home games
May 19, 2011By Shannon McDonald
Bill Watkins sells three or four cases of beer a night at Citizens Bank Park. He started at the Vet about 10 years ago, but now he's hoping a new, high-tech approach will help him sell more.
"Bill the Beerman" is using Twitter to sell beer to thirsty Phillies fans.
"I thought, 'That could work in Philly,'" Watkins said of the concept, which he learned about when he read of a Seattle vendor trying to do the same. "I've found so far it's working."
Fans can use Twitter to reach out to Waktins (@PhilsBeerman) during the game, and he'll deliver the beer to the sections he works: 101-107, 201-211, 301 -310. Make sure to include your section, row and seat.
Watkins is a copier salesman by trade in Eastern Pennsylvania, and he uses his day-job habits to track beer sales with a spreadsheet. He's hoping to build sales by word of mouth at the park and, of course, Twitter.
So far none of the other beer vendors at the park are using Twitter to deliver cold ones, but Watkins thinks that could change, depending on how well sales go for him. Aramark, which runs the beer concession at the park, is supportive. "They embrace technology there at Citizens Bank Park," Watkins says.
What Watkins is doing fits in quite nicely with Aramark's At-Bat smartphone app that lets fans order ballpark food to be delivered to their seats.
Though he acknowledges taking the time to Tweet and check his timeline for demands could be better spent climbing ballpark stairs, Watkins says he often makes additional sales when he delivers a beer to a tweeter, because when someone shoots him a tweet, it usually means a vendor hasn't been around in awhile.
Watkins currently has some other incentives to sweeten the deal for fans: For the rest of the month, proceeds from his beer sales will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society -- an organization he says has personal meaning to him because his cousin died of leukemia.
The Beerman will see out his #tweetabeer concept through the season, using his spreadsheets to help determine the effectiveness.
I'm going to give it 110 percent the whole season and see what comes of it."