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Back-to-School, NFL Campaigns Tap Geo-Social Startup

  |  July 30, 2010   |  Comments

SCVNGR partners with Vikings, Patriots, and teen retailer Journeys.

Geosocial platform SCVNGR last week unveiled campaigns involving teen clothing retailer Journeys and the Minnesota Vikings. In the case of the Vikings, the franchise follows the New England Patriots as the second NFL team to take part in a SCVNGR-based initiative during recent weeks.

The arrival of August means football interest and Back to School shopping start gaining serious momentum among consumers. So it's the perfect time of year for brands like NFL football teams and retailers to test location-based platforms, which have been among the hottest marketing topics in 2010.

On the retail front, Journeys has implemented SCVNGR challenges at each of its 800 stores across the U.S. as it looks to capitalize on teens' Back to School needs. The challenges - each worth 5 points on SCVNGR's game platform - include teens picking a favorite skateboard and taking a picture of an accessory item they'd like to buy for the upcoming school year.

According to a spokesperson for the Boston-based geo-social platform, Journeys is the first retailer to use SCVNGR's rewards system. So when players tally 20 points on the game, they will get $10 off their next Journeys purchase.

The Nashville, TN-based retailer has a long history of attempting to "stay cool" with teens. In the 1980s, for instance, Journeys installed TV monitors showing music videos and payphones in their stores to attract young people.

In a prepared statement, James Estepa, CEO of Journeys parent Genesco Retail, suggested that staying relevant with teen-oriented tech was more important than ever. He said, "Connecting our brick-and-mortar stores to a location-based mobile game platform adds an exciting layer to our store environment where customers can engage with the Journeys brand, earn points for completing fun challenges, and get rewarded."

Meanwhile, the Vikings iniatiative is being run by the Greater Mankato Convention and Visitors Bureau in Mankato, MN, where the team holds its training camp. This SCVNGR campaign requires fans of the team to complete challenges like snapping a photo of the Vikings' mascot, which will be making appearances around the team's practice sessions. Points will be given to SCVNGR users for such activities, and the winners will be awarded either autographed merchandise from Vikings star Jared Allen or tickets to a game for this season.

Staying with the NFL, the Patriots have been running a SCVNGR campaign dubbed "Help Vince" since mid-July. It includes more than 200 locations that users will have to arrive at as they journey around New England while looking for star player Vince Wolfolk's "lost" 2004 Super Bowl ring. As part of the campaign narrative, the ring has been "stolen" by a jealous New York Jets fan. Those who play SCVNGR and go the distance looking for the ring will end up traveling as far as Burlington, VT, and Mystic, CT.

Of course, Wolfolk's ring has not been lost or stolen. However each designated place visited will earn the players points, badges, and prizes. The grand prize is the opportunity to have lunch with a Patriots player.

Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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