If you signed up to sync the Philadelphia Union’s schedule to one of your calendars in the cloud, chances are you received an intrusive notification at noon Thursday informing you of a “today only” 20 percent off gear sale “event.”
Like the one below.
@MLS @PhilaUnion if this is the shit you gonna start doing with the preloaded calendar I’ll delete it and do it myself. pic.twitter.com/hXCxPxapLV— jesse lorenz (@jlo370) January 30, 2020
If you were annoyed about getting an event notification for a sale, you have every right to be. The point of a calendar is to keep track of actual events, not some random sale on a website smack dab in the middle of the work day.
Ben Bromley at Black and Red United shared an update Thursday afternoon on his initial report noting that the push notifications were sent through eCal, which was the third-party service MLS previously used, and not Stanza, which is the current system in use by the league:
Update (2:10pm): Stanza reached out to let us know that, while MLS uses their platform for calendaring now, this advertisement was published through MLS’s previous calendaring partner, eCal. And, when you look at the actual event placed on everyone’s calendars, you can definitely see that it came from eCal. Stanza states that they do not allow advertising through their service.
Here is the statement from Stanza:
Regarding the in-calendar advertising that some MLS fans saw recently, this was not through the Stanza platform. We’ve never had a case of teams using our platform to push advertising in the past. Our focus has always been to give fans the options to opt into the content they want to see in their calendars (stats, news, etc.) and encouraging teams to adopt a fan-first strategy. For example, with MLS, we ran a successful opt-in sweepstakes campaign as part of the Add-to-Calendar flow to drive awareness around ticket sales vs. a mass blast through fan calendars.