Provide Fans with "Instant Rewards" for their Venue Check-Ins

As geolocation based services (Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places) begin to play a larger role in the sports space, sports organizations should consider ways to instantly reward fans for their actions. Fans commonly "check-in" while attending games for a number of reasons, including interaction with other fans in attendance, sharing stadium photos, tips, and insights, and browsing various "check-in" locations throughout the stadium.

But while this engagement is appealing to some, teams will likely need to begin providing fans with incentives to continue their actions, especially as geolocation based services remain in the early adoption phase. As sports organizations look to engage their corporate partners in their social media and geolocation based marketing efforts, a true opportunity exists with "instant rewards".

GranataPet Snack, a German-based pet food company, recently created an interactive billboard display that rewarded all consumers who "checked-in" on Foursquare while walking their dog in front of the area. The interactive dispenser, triggered by a sensor, engaged hundreds of consumers and created an instant case study for brands and organizations looking to reward consumers in real-time for their actions on Foursquare.

Teams can look to create a similar interactive display within the concourse (or adjacent to the ticket box office outside the stadium/arena during the off-season) that engages and rewards fans for their actions. Teams could provide a variety of low-budget items to consumers to create an element of surprise, including exclusive promotional giveaways, leftover premium items, autographed merchandise, t-shirts, mascot rewards, and products/services provided by corporate partners.

GrenataPet Snack reportedly worked with a German-based agency called Agenta to execute the campaign. We'll be on the lookout for vendors that can build and execute an interactive Foursquare-based prizing system!


List of Sports Teams Using Foursquare

There has been a lot of chatter recently about what sports organizations are utilizing geolocation services like Foursquare and Gowalla. Here is a quick list of teams that have set up Official Foursquare Pages.

While some are more active than others (SF Giants, Washington Redskins, Manchester City FC, University of Michigan and Texas Tech Athletics), it's refreshing to see that all of these organizations are moving in the right direction when it comes to social media.

Check out the list below:


1. San Francisco Giants -

2. Los Angeles Dodgers -

3. Cleveland Indians -

Oakland A's -



1. Milwaukee Bucks -

2. New Orleans Hornets -

3. San Antonio Spurs -



1. Washington Redskins -

2. San Diego Chargers -



1. New York Islanders -

2. Washington Capitals -


College Athletics

1. University of Michigan Athletics -

2. Texas Tech University Athletics -

3. University of South Florida Athletics -


Barclays Premier League

1. Manchester City FC -


Major League Soccer

1. Colorado Rapids -

VaynerMedia Shows that Geolocation is Here to Stay in Sports

Are you looking for new ways to capitalize on emerging trends in sports social media? Are you looking for new ways to leverage the emerging craze behind Gowalla and Foursquare?

If you're working in sports and you haven't heard of Foursquare or Gowalla yet, it's time to do your research. Why? The New Jersey Nets are paving the way for sports organizations to begin experimenting with the two aforementioned geolocation platforms to measure how they can deliver in the event marketing space. Geolocation platforms allow users to check into and engage with physical locations and events via mobile devices (here in this virutal setting, marketers can reward them for their loyalty/engagement).

Check out a terrific case study below that details how VaynerMedia teamed up with the New Jersey Nets to create an innovative Gowalla initiative that drove a group of select, influential fans to the Izod Center to check out a game live.

Huge opportunities lie on the horizon for sports marketers looking to utilize Foursquare and Gowalla - the key question at this point remains how readily society will adopt these geolocation platforms.

To download VaynerMedia's presentation (above) please click here.

A special thanks to Sam Taggart of VaynerMedia for his insights and contributions to this column... a must-see!