The Detroit Pistons kicked off the 2010-11 NBA season with a captivating "Where's Hooper" promotion designed to engage fans, generate awareness and excitement, and drive traffic to their corporate partners' retail locations.
The team created a scavenger hunt competition that tasked fans with finding Hooper, the Pistons team mascot, at various locations throughout the Detroit metro area by following a series of clues posted on the Pistons website. Fans who participated in the promotion and successfully found Hooper in the marketplace were rewarded with free and discounted tickets to the Pistons' home opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Pistons launched the promotional effort on October 10th with a series of clues posted on the Pistons website, social media channels (Twitter/Facebook), text alerts, and fan newsletters. During the month of October, Hooper appeared at 16 events and corporate partner retail locations, distributing free tickets to the first 25 people that located him. Fans who arrived after the 25 free tickets were given away were rewarded with ticket vouchers and a variety of other team prizes.
The Pistons hosted a full series of scavenger hunt searches in the days leading up to the home opener. A maximum of four (4) clues were posted for each Hooper appearance, with the final clue revealing the mascot's exact location in the marketplace. The "Where's Hooper" promotion served as an effective way to drive traffic to corporate partner retail locations, stimulate the team's online/social media fan base, and generate additional ticket sales for the team's home opener.
Corporate partners that participated in the initiative included: Retail (Best Buy), Grocery (Meijer), Casual Dining (Buffalo Wild Wings), Financial (PNC, Genesis Credit Union), QSR (Tim Horton's, Big Boy), Auto (Pontiac), Zoos, Malls, High School Football Games, Marathons, the Pistons team store, and more.
A special thanks to Katie Corbett of Paragon Marketing for her insights and contributions to this column!