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2 Brands Promote Social Goodwill for Back-to-School

  |  August 3, 2011   |  Comments

Dick's Sporting Goods and JC Penney connect with consumers on Facebook, Foursquare.

dsgDick's Sporting Goods and JC Penney are leveraging Facebook and Foursquare in goodwill back-to-school marketing campaigns.

Dick's has teamed up with neurocognitive assessment technology company Impact to offer middle and high school athletes a free concussions baseline evaluation. Up to 3,300 schools will participate, including around one million athletes, according to the Findlay, PA-based sports gear and apparel retailer. Dick's has dubbed the effort PACE, which stands for Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education. The initiative runs through Sept. 12.

How does social media fit in? The retail chain is pledging $1 to the program for every…

  • Click on the "Share" button via the PACE tab on the brand's Facebook page
  • Check-in at a Dick's location on Foursquare or Facebook Places
  • Tweet using the #DSGPACE hash-tag via Twitter
  • Pair of shoes sold at the brand's 449 stores or at DicksSportingGoods.com

Meanwhile, JC Penney is looking to raise $1 million on Facebook and Foursquare to donate to afterschool programs like Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Y, and National 4-H. In an effort called "Pennies from Heaven Challenge," the Plano, TX-based company is donating $11 - or 1,100 pennies - for every Foursquare check-in it receives through Aug. 27. And the effort is being plugged on the brand's Facebook page. The retailer also seeks to push traffic to a microsite, JCPenneyAfterSchool.org.

Rewards technology company CrowdTwist developed the social media framework for the campaign. When asked if donations from Foursquare check-ins could ever rival the amount from the larger-scale Facebook, CrowdTwist CEO Irving Fain said, "You'd imagine the density of activity is reflective of the density of the user base across platforms. That being said, JC Penney has already had people checking in on Foursquare and donating pennies that way. And that's great to see."

JC Penney Hopes Teens Show Off Their 'Hauls'

Of course, philanthropy is only part of what JC Penney has in store for the back-to-school season. For instance, it's running a "Haul Nation" contest via its JCP Teen Facebook page in a partnership with Seventeen magazine. Running until Aug. 20, the effort encourages teens to upload videos of what they buy - their "haul" - from the retailer. The "hauler" receiving the most votes on the brand's Facebook page will win a trip to New York, a tour of Seventeen offices, a $100 JC Penney gift card, an iPad 2, and the chance to author a guest blog post on Seventeen.com.

Daphne Avila, JC Penney spokesperson, said that while dedicated display ads would appear around the web for Pennies from Heaven Challenge and Haul Nation, the brand is mostly keen on social media.

"It is the crutch of our overall back-to-school marketing campaign," Avila explained. "It's all about getting consumers involved in activities like the Pennies from Heaven Challenge."

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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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