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Sports Authority's Foursquare Check-Ins Skyrocket on Black Friday

  |  December 1, 2010   |  Comments

Sports gear retailer grew its followers on the geo-social platform 11X due to a $500 gift card giveaway. Engagement metrics were up sharply as well.

The Sports Authority's $500 gift cards Black Friday promotion on Foursquare dramatically succeeded as a foot traffic driver and engagement tool, the company told ClickZ on Wednesday.

"We saw a lift anywhere from 5X to 20X for the number of check-ins," said Clay Cowan, VP of e-commerce for the Denver-based retail chain. "Every metric of engagement that we tracked went through the roof. Whether it was Twitter posting, Foursquare check-ins, Facebook friend adds and comments...we saw increases."

On Foursquare, the brand had around 400 followers before the campaign and now has almost 4,500. Sports Authority has been testing Foursquare and other geo-social platforms since late spring.

During Black Friday, Sports Authority gave away $500 gift cards to 20 randomly selected Foursquare users who checked in at one of the brand's 400-plus stores. Participants were required to publish the check-in on Twitter to have a chance to win, and the promotion ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

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When someone won the $500 gift card at a Sports Authority, a store manager made an announcement over the intercom system. Winners popped up in Kirkwood, MO; Oakdale, MN; Sunnyvale, CA; Manchester, NH; Alpharetta, GA; Phoenix; New York; Rockville, MD (this location's winner, Patricio Quezada, is pictured on the left); and Chicago, among other locations.

Despite the busy shopping day, Cowan said the check-in rewards campaign went off without an operational hitch. "The store managers loved it because their customers loved it," he said. "It added kind of a fun game show element in the store after somebody had won. There was excitement in the store, with 'The Price Is Right'-type cheering as the person accepted the prize."

Without revealing specifics, the VP of e-commerce also sounded pleased with a Black Friday test his brand ran on Yelp's new "Check-In Offers" platform. Yelp check-ins were rewarded with a $10 gift cards.

In addition, the retailer is participating in ShopKick's "12 Days of Kickmas" in conjunction with various big names like Best Buy, Target, and Macy's. People who have downloaded the Shopkick app for iPhone and Android will be entered to win 30 million "Kickbucks" when they visit the brands. The so-called Kickbucks can be used to buy gifts and goods from the retailers.

Lastly, Sports Authority is running a "21 Deals in 21 Days" campaign on Facebook from Nov. 30 through Dec. 21. Viewers on the social site have to "like" the brand and then fill out a form to enter to win one of the daily items free-of-cost. Otherwise, the initiative is designed to drive awareness of the brand's holiday bargains.

Here's the retailer's Facebook post about the campaign from today: "Day 2 of 21: Steal a pair of Men's NIKE Slasher Baseball Cleats for only $49.98! Pick up today's deal before it's gone and enter to win tomorrow's deal (and every one after) for free on the '21 Days of Deals'" tab. Remember, the winner of today's deal has already been chosen."

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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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