Geo-Based Promotional Targeting Gets Nets Fans In The Game

When Gowalla users check in to a location they receive virtual currency.
Thanks to an innovative use of the geolocation service by Vayner Media, virtual currency became actual currency in the form of free tickets to a New Jersey Nets game at the IZOD Center.
Prior to the game, Gowalla users who checked in to sports-themed locations throughout north Jersey, received the promotional offer on their handsets with instructions on how to redeem the offer.
Vayner says of the 500 seats allocated to the campaign, 76 of them were fulfilled. That’s a 15.2% conversion rate on the last night of a painful season for a team with only 12 wins.
To keep the promo firing on all fronts, during the game Nets fans who checked in on Gowalla were automatically entered into an instant-win drawing for special merchandise like signed team jerseys.
There’s much to like in this effort. I like the element of surprise, for one. Gowalla users didn’t enter a contest, they got rewarded for doing what they already do–making note of the various places they visit on Gowalla.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. David, thanks for the write up and kind words.
    Just to add on to your final point, we agree with you that the element of surprise was a major positive to this campaign. Gowalla users seemed to be taken a back (in a good way) when the nets tickets popped up!