What's that smell?
If you walk into the Edward Jones Dome for a St. Louis Rams game this year, chances are you're going to notice something new in the air; a new smell to be exact.
The Rams organization has decided to take a page out of the books of clothing stores and malls and give it a go at the stadium by pumping smells through their AC system via ScentAir. After kicking around a few scent possibilities, including soda and popcorn, management decided on cotton candy because most people associate the smell with happy memories and positive experiences during childhood.
"Our sense of smell is so profoundly connected with our experiences and our memory of those experiences. If we can connect the experience to a smell that evokes positive emotions, it adds to the overall value of that event," Ed Burke, ScentAir's director of communications explained.
With that in mind, I have to wonder why bacon wasn't seriously considered.
In all seriousness though, every owner, general manager and athletic director in the country is constantly looking for unique ways to increase the fan experience, and being reminded of positive experiences due to outside stimuli seems like a logical way to start, and the research backs it up. Data so far this season has shown that Ram fans have responded positively to the new smell and concession and retail numbers prove that it puts more people in a "hungry, buying mood".
This really is a fascinating idea that stores have been using for decades, and now the Rams are taking it and running with it. Take a closer look behind the thought process and execution of the plan here, via the National Sports Forum.