NJ Nets Use Billboard to Drive Location-based Marketing

You may not have the budget to promote your location-based service (LBS) campaign on the side of an NYC building, but this glitzy campaign by the New Jersey Nets is an example of using paid media to promote location-based efforts. Try it on a billboard in your neck of the woods.

If you were in New York City in April 2010, you may have noticed a ten-story building at 38th and 8th Street painted with likenesses of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov and rap star Jay-Z, the new owners of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets.

At the very bottom of that 10-storybillboard in midtown Manhattan was a unique call to action that few people had ever seen before. In addition to including a phone number and the team’s Twitter and Facebook account information, the Nets asked that passersby “Check In with Gowalla to Get a Special Item.”

While there were many components to this campaign, including a ticket giveaway and blog posts by both the Nets and Gowalla, it was this paid outdoor signage in this high-traffic area of New York (right near Penn Station) that kicked things off for the Nets.

The goal of the campaign was to introduce a new demographic target to Nets basketball while sparking interest in what was the worst team in the NBA that year. To do so, users were encouraged, just like the billboard said, to check in to Gowalla within a 75-mile perimeter of the Izod Center (the Nets home court).

For checking in, fans had a chance to win 250 pairs of Nets tickets. Of the tickets given away, 15.2 percent were redeemed. The Nets, Gowalla, and the agency that put this together, VaynerMedia, viewed this as a success. More importantly, it drove a lot of earned media coverage, which was a secondary goal of the campaign.

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