Top Menu

Geolocation is a Game-Changer for Sports Business

Imagine this for a second: You head out in the morning to shoot some hoops at your local basketball courts and you decide to “check in” using either Gowalla or Foursquare or any of the new geolocation platforms. Boom! You’re rewarded with free tickets to an NBA game. Later in the day, you head to Foot Locker, and when you check in, you get a special discount on  any pair of Nike running sneakers. That night, when you head to your favorite sports bar and check in to let your friends know where you are, you’re gifted with an invitation to an exclusive VIP Playoffs party. The possibilities are endless.

Pretty soon, you won’t have to “imagine” any of this. In fact, as of last week, the first scenario (free tickets to an NBA game) is now a reality. On April 12th, VaynerMedia (the company I work for) helped facilitate a social campaign between the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and geolocation platform Gowalla. The campaign utilized Gowalla’s virtual item platform to distribute 250 pairs of virtual tickets in targeted locations (sports bars, outdoor parks, gyms) for April 12th’s New Jersey Nets v. Charlotte Bobcats basketball game. Users that found these virtual tickets were able to redeem the item for real tickets.

We have provided a full download of the case study VaynerMedia prepared, after realizing the success of this campaign. The case study will give you a much deeper look into the initial brainstorm, pre-campaign buzz, implementation, execution, and benefits/analysis of this geolocation campaign.

The worlds of sports and geolocation are on an inevitable path to converge. The Nets & Gowalla partnership was the first of its kind, but won’t be the last. The campaign proved that geolocation can move consumers, drive business, and add value for fans at sporting events.

Click here to view VaynerMedia’s post regarding the campaign.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

25 Responses to Geolocation is a Game-Changer for Sports Business

  1. Ryan Knapp April 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    Thanks for the article and the case study Sam and everyone else @ Vaynermedia.

    I agree the campaign was a success, it would be good to see this take shape and see teams use something similar for their own purposes. Except what I see now are similar campaigns that will have similar sentiment.

    I've always believed that an empty seat is a missed opportunity. As you said, even if you give seats away, you can convert on concessions, merchandise and other ways that you wouldn't have been able to do if the seat remained empty.

    My question is do you think that after a few months of similar campaigns, teams are going to have to up the ante? It's conditioning in essence. If fans are conditioned to check in at a game, and they receive a reward every x amt of times (or whatever the probability is), they will continue to check in the hopes of receiving the reward.

  2. gosam April 21, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    Ryan, I'm happy to see you enjoyed the case study. To answer your question, I definitely think teams are going to have to mix it up and up the ante after this becomes common place. However, I don't think that not winning prizes will detract users from checking in. In fact, as more and more brands begin to use geo, users will have more and more chances to win. Maybe I won't win Nets tickets by checking in to Modell's, but I might win a free burger from McDonald's for checking in to my office down the street!

  3. JasonPeck April 21, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Great case study here. About time someone did this. The one thing to think about for the future (well, there is way more than 1 thing): teams and brands must carefully consider what offers to provide using this. Too much discounting and promotions can be a bad thing.

    Also, it will be interesting to see if brands need third parties like Gowalla or Foursquare for this. Currently, they do. But if I was a team, I'd seriously consider building in check-in functionality into my own iphone app and start training people to check in there for rewards. That way teams control the release of promotions and can do more things directly with sponsors, instead of having to use a 3rd party for this. Thoughts?

  4. tejones April 22, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    I like this idea. Combine this with awarding tickets to “power users,” people who a lot of followers on twitter or another social media platform, and you could benefit minor league teams. I have a “power user” friend who uses Gowalla a lot. I like where this might be going.

  5. Sean Callanan April 22, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    Great work! The thing I love about geolocation is not just the marketing opportunities people are listing but the ability to connect like-minded fans. As these fans find each other as lovers of sport & tech they will group and effectively provide crowd source promotion your efforts. From that events & online messages you pump out can be activated by these fans.

  6. gosam April 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Sean, you're very right. That's a great added benefit of geolocation, and something we didn't highlight too much in the case study. In the “post game reactions,” we did show a conversation on Twitter between two Gowalla users who'd connected at the game. Exciting stuff!

  7. gosam April 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Todd, nice point. There is definitely an added value in having power users participate. It gets the word out more effectively. With this campaign, we wanted to show how random users in targeted locations could benefit. However, I like the possible 'VIP' angle you're going with! Thanks Todd!

  8. gosam April 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    Jason, very valid points. I think you're right, teams could build this check-in functionality into their own iPhone/Droid/etc apps, and they very well may do so down the line. I don't think they see the value right now. I'd imagine it would take a lot of time and effort to build a platform like this (and gain access to a GPS system?), and it's something teams just aren't willing to do at this point in time. However, the benefits are clear, and it's something very much worth considering.

  9. Local IT Companies April 24, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Great post, Sam … just like local search is the 'in-thing' right now, sports and geolocation will be coming on strong throughout all professional sports as well as amateur sports.

  10. gosam April 26, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    Appreciate it! Really believe that the combo of geolocation & sports will be a great one. Lots of value for leagues, teams, AND fans! Thanks for your comment.

  11. ksniff May 3, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Sam, thanks for the case study. My agency helped beta launch a free new iPhone app called Venuing. Its a social network activated by a phone’s GPS when the user enters a supported stadium or arena. The app allows users to chat with another and get video and other content fed to them including sponsor messages.

    Right now we’re testing out functionality in four stadiums, Yankee and Citifield in New York, Fenway in Boston and Citizens Park in Philly.

    As Jason mentioned above, we’ve met with a few teams that are interested in developing their own branded Venuing app in order to control who communicates with their in-stadium fans including sponsors.

  12. new jersey office space July 13, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as
    I provide credit and sources back to your website? My blog is in the very
    same niche as yours and my users would certainly benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks a lot!

  13. play single May 30, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    Howdy! I know this is kind of off topic
    but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a
    captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same
    blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  14. http://fpbrisbane.tumblr.com/ July 8, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    This piece of writing is truly a good one it assists new web visitors, who are wishing for blogging.

  15. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but
    your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later.
    Many thanks

  16. casino supero July 10, 2014 at 1:42 am #

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve
    tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  17. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  18. Erma December 7, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    Less stress – Have you discovered the reduced stress
    levels you are enduring recently.

  19. Casinos Online March 10, 2017 at 5:32 am #

    The recipe looks delicious! Any idea if we need to marinate the chicken before cooking it?

  20. Royal Vegas Casino online September 14, 2017 at 8:07 am #

    Wild Symbols are the chameleon-like feature. Wilds change suits to any symbol that is required to complete a win on a line.
    Sticky Wilds are the Wilds remaining in the same place for a set number of spins, and they acquire a suit of any symbol that is capable of creating a winning combination in the current line pattern
    Stacked Wilds are the random Wild Symbols appearing on one reel, and, hypothetically, they can cover it completely.

  21. royal vegas October 9, 2017 at 8:57 am #

    • Sign up as a new player
    • Get 20 free spins no deposit
    • Get 200% up to £/€/$1500
    • Get 100 more free spins
    • That’s 120 free spins.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Foursquare to cause sports swarm? « Sports Geek - May 25, 2010

    […] Geolocation is a Game-Changer for Sports Business – SportsNetworker.com […]

  2. Best of Digital Sports World 2010.04.30 « Sports Geek - June 29, 2010

    […] Geolocation is a Game-Changer for Sports Business – Great piece from @GoSam on the work with Gowalla & New Jersey Nets […]

  3. Sports Geek – Foursquare to cause sports swarm? - January 7, 2013

    […] Geolocation is a Game-Changer for Sports Business – SportsNetworker.com […]

  4. Sports Geek – Welcome to Digital Sports World or #BODSW - January 7, 2013

    […] Geolocation is a Game-Changer for Sports Business – Great piece from @GoSam on the work with Gowalla & New Jersey Nets […]

Leave a Reply