Case Study: New Jersey Nets + Gowalla + Sam Taggart = VaynerMedia rewriting the book on location-based marketing

By on April 30, 2010
Sam Taggart from VaynerMedia

The New Jersey Nets are in the “rebuilding” phase of the franchise so trying to attract fans to their home games can be somewhat of a challenge. I think the phrase “willing to try anything” was probably uttered from their mouths many times during this past season — both on and off the basketball court.

“Anything” turned out to be a stroke of genius by the team over at Vaynermedia (www.vaynermedia.com). Sam Taggart (@gosam) and his team of social media branding gurus (which include brothers and co-founders AJ and Gary Vaynerchuk) combined the power of Gowalla’s location-based marketing, free tickets disbursed within a 75 mile radius of the IZOD Center and a welcome mat that could have been mistaken for a red carpet into a scavenger hunt turned brand building turned social media experiment that finally shows the rest of us how to leverage location to build brand.

If you haven’t yet done this, go and download their white paper about this initiative, it makes for a great companion for what you are about to watch.

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Raw Transcript

Interviewer: Hello everybody Rob Woodbridge from UNTETHER.tv where we get inside the business of mobile. Sometimes I do this where there is a great story that has come up and I really want to highlight it, because it has a huge impact on mobile and this is one of those stories it’s the story about the New Jersey Nets leveraging GEO marketing and Gowalla as their platform, and I have got the guy here who was project manager of that over VaynerMedia, it’s Sam Taggart, Sam thanks for coming on and sharing the story.

Interviewee: No problem, thanks for having me.

Interviewer: So, let’s jump right into it, we are talking little bit beforehand about, about this conversation that’s been going on, on the web about, you know companies, like Four Square and [Inaudible] [00:00:52] and Rally Up and all these other ones that are really GEO tagging locations where you are and people are wondering why is this relevant and you guys have come up with a pretty innovative way to help the Nets general, you know, create an awareness or a buzz or, bring people into the stadium, so what was the genesis for this?

Interviewee: Okay, so basically, you know, I worked for VaynerMedia which is a digital brand agency in New York City, we help consumer brands with the urban communities, through social media, through interaction, through content creation, through campaigns like this one and one of our clients is the New Jersey Nets, and Nets, you know, didn’t have a greater season this year, but they have a really awesome marketing department, they are very open-minded and forward thinking, and they were going around this campaign with Gowalla, the background is that we placed 250 pairs of tickets through our New York and New Jersey within 75 miles within Nets home arena, which is also in New Jersey, and that was targeted at sports team locations or, outdoor kind of recreational facilities like parks or, zoos or, [Inaudible] [00:02:09] its hard to keep [Inaudible] [00:02:11] either active or went out and did things or, people that were interested in sports, but we want to target Gowalla user base.

So basically when they chat in the various locations through Gowalla they were able to or, some were able to deem these virtual tickets that were in the end redeemable for actual tickets through the nets scan in New Jersey. So, I think that really what happened was that the nets wanted to, you know the Nets strived to be innovative and VaynerMedia thought about this campaign and brought it up to them and they were totally [Inaudible] [00:02:47] and Gowalla was great also, and it was just a fun campaign in a way to get the conversation going or, really going about how GEO location can monetize and how it can help businesses and all the value it can bring for not only brands, but the users as well. So, it was really fun campaign to be a part of.

Interviewer: So when, you know, VaynerMedia has only been around for a very short period of time like less than a year isn’t it since…?

Interviewee: Yeah, we started late May of 2009.

Interviewer: Okay. So, just about a year coming up on one year, and so why don’t we just take a step back, and you come from the social media background is that, that’s what your expertise is?

Interviewee: That’s correct I mean, I actually just graduated from the University of Southern California last May, but for the last several years I actually, you know, one of the things about social media is that you don’t have to be necessarily experienced for, you know, a decade or, so or, two decades to have this expertise in social media, I grew up with social media, I was you know one of the first few years to get Facebook, I was just toying with social media for the last five or, seven years, so I think, you know, we are all relatively new to this space, but that’s where my background is, I had a degree in communication, you know, social media is really where my interest was, and for the last five years this is what I have been, what I have been doing, so that is kind of how I have grown with Vaynermedia

Interviewer: And so you were handed this opportunity to work with the Nets, what, was this the first thing that popped into your head or, was there, were there other options, were they looking at different things and how did you, how did you kind of move them into this arena which is the Geomarketing stuff?

Interviewee: Right. Well you know at first we did a lot of the kind of basic things we, you know established a Facebook account and a Twitter account and we started to interact there, and really produce content and we want to get the basics going, we really believe that building community is the most important part of social media. Without a community you really don’t have, you know, you are not speaking to anybody, you are not interacting with your friends, so the first effort is always to build the community, so that is where were we always spend the first couple of months doing, we ran several campaigns, but they are all from Facebook and Twitter and then we thought okay what’s the next step, you know where do we go from here, and what is really being spoken about in our community and it was [Inaudible] [00:05:20], and we decide them before with this campaign, because it really provided, you know, the Nets with a great opportunity, they would first, the first pro sports team in any league to run a campaign of this nature with the Geo location platform, we chose Gowalla, because they have the ability to provide virtual items, which other Geo location platforms don’t provide. So, that is how I have grown with Gowalla, and we really just saw a core opportunity to do something in the event space and then that’s you know, gave us that opportunity because of their open mindedness.

Interviewer: So, you know when you were, so they were completely open to this, you pitched into them you said, you know, we will do it what you want?

Interviewee: Well, yeah I mean of course they were a little bit hesitant, they didn’t know Gowalla really, and Geo location isn’t really being spoken about on the, in the mainstream marketing kind of conversation, you know, it is but, it also isn’t so much, they didn’t know [Inaudible] [00:06:24] about Gowalla, they didn’t really know about the benefits that would occur because of it, they didn’t necessarily know how the platform works or, you know, or if it is to misgear anything, so what it can dance with the fact they trust VaynerMedia to provide them with some solid ideas, and to you know we told them that we would help in executing and Gowalla was great, so you know lot of it was trust, a lot of it was the ability to trust us and providing them with a good idea.

Interviewer: And that goes, that goes so far, and I think that you know when you are somewhat desperate to be able to get people into the seats and introduce the brand to the Nets to other, you know, one of the points in the white paper was introducing the brand of the Nets to the next generation of Nets fan or, you know, get people who are in the area that may never been do a game to go to this thing, and go and watch the franchise.

Interviewee: Exactly, you know, we wanted, I mean the Nets did have a bad season and they had a bad, you know, they had a bad stretch right now, but we also see a lot of reasons that, you know, the Nets, a lot of reasons we have been [Inaudible] [00:07:30] directions, so we really wanted to, the type of audience that might not typically gone to a basketball game, because even if one of those people that visited the game, converts into a, you know, a fan then they are getting doubt about it, because they are going to be returned customer, they are going to buy merchandize, they are going to, you know, watch on TV, you know, so we thought that the benefits, the possible benefits were so high that we just thought it was, you know, two big an opportunity to pass that on.

Interviewer: So, you know there are so much discussion about Geotagging, Geolocation this Four Square, Gowalla battle it’s going on, you know, like one south by south west it’s Four Square the next it’s Gowalla, and all of these copy cat companies that are coming up in this Facebook, you mentioned before that Gowalla was the only one that you felt was the appropriate platform, because it allowed you to pick things up and drop things right so there was physical, digital physical property that you are exchanging right?

Interviewee: Yeah, exactly I mean I think that, you know, Four Square obviously has massive benefits and massive potential, and they have partnered with a lot of great brands [Inaudible] [00:08:39] things so far, but for all the specific situation we had, we had these expiring items, these tickets that were going to be of no use, if they were on phone and we knew that Gowalla had the ability to, you know, to possibly drive people under those seats through, you know, through virtual bridge, which [Inaudible] [00:09:03] so it’s really the only reason we want with Gowalla over anything else was, because we saw about [Inaudible] [00:09:00].

Interviewer: So this relationship with Gowalla obviously I know that Gary is an investor full disclosure and it’s but the relationship with Gowalla is, is that something that they will be open to with other companies or, with other groups or, with other franchises that, because they did quite a bit obviously for working with the Nets, and you guys to get this up in running?

Interviewee: Absolutely I mean, well first of all yes Gary is an investor in Gowalla and, but you know but again that had nothing to do with reason that we choose them, VaynerMedia is not related with them at all, but Gary is yes, and the second point, yeah I think actually I know that Gowalla is definitely open to doing more things with the other brands or, soon after the Nets did this campaign the NBA actually, you know, created a partnership with Gowalla to do a part of campaign and so, and Nets actually [Inaudible] [00:10:06], but you know, Gowalla is partnered with other companies [Inaudible] [00:00:00:] Derby and they kind of continues to partner with brands I think that is really the point is that they can partner with brands to create great opportunities for consumers and I think they are going to continue to do so down the line.

Interviewer: And so you know we will take this little side step on this, because that so it’s such a different path that these two companies are taking in this space right, I mean Four Square heavily reliant on becoming a Mayor of a location, and then getting benefit for being [Inaudible] [00:10:42] in theory right, you know, there is a number of places even around my city where they get free admission to, you know, there is no cover to a club or something if they [Voice Crossover] Mayor or, if you just show you are checking in at location on Four Square, Gowalla completely different tact, you know, one that actually might generate revenue little bit sooner than anything else, but ultimately do you think that this is, that this play is a lot about data right, you know, all of these guys Gowalla, Four Square and all of these guys are it’s all about the data that they are accumulating about people’s patterns and locations and is that, is that [Inaudible] [00:11:20] for all these guys or is it, is it really about what Gowalla is doing which is working with brands?

Interviewee: I mean I think that it’s both, I think that, you know, data collection is obviously something that every, you know, that everybody strives for, you know social media and [Inaudible] [00:11:37] all about data collection right, it’s a more personal and more socially, I mean a Facebook page it’s really a more personal and social e-mail list you have the ability to know and for Nets you gather information about people, so I think that’s definitely the play to some extent, but you know working with brands is also giving them the opportunity not only to generate revenue, but to create co-partnerships, and kind of reach different spaces, so and I think, you know, it’s a combination of both, and I want to go back to what you said about, you know, being a Mayor versus being versus Gowalla is kind of playing with virtual items, the difference that we really see is that Four Square gives the benefit to one person the mayor of the location whereas Gowalla has the ability to give, you know, tons of people on one location some advantage for example, you know, when people actually went to the game, the Nets game against the [Inaudible] [00:12:37] they were able to check in and then possibly get a jersey out of it, you know, the campaign extended into the game and because people [Inaudible] [00:12:47] arena they were able to get these actual real items for just for checking in, and now there are Four Square just the one person getting this advantage, because they were the mayor, so I think that is an interesting play there.

Interviewer: So, yeah I mean can you just walk through that process that you guys did so, if anybody hasn’t read this white paper, you know, employee had to go it’s upon on your blog at VaynerMedia.com, and it’s you know the concept 75% pairs of tickets right, is it 75% pairs of tickets?

Interviewee: So it was the, we actually had 250 pairs of tickets that were distributed. Do you want me to run through it?

Interviewer: Just and if you could even talk about, you know, when you interacted and when you worked with the Nets and Gowalla and how they worked together, because I mean the tickets even the icons were customized one day by Gowalla [Inaudible] [00:13:42]?

Interviewer: Absolutely.

Interviewer: Just walk us through that whole process because it’s just so fascinating.

Interviewee: Great. So, yeah basically after the [Inaudible] [00:13:51] we reached [out to Gowalla, and we reached out to Nets, and we brought them together, and kind of [Inaudible] [00:13:57] process, but of course there was lot of work involved with both parties, so you know, the process was that Gowalla had to create this virtual items, they had to create these tickets that were available you know, available for redemption, when people picked them up, so people were, you know, somehow were tracking into a location as [Inaudible] [00:14:22] somewhere and they will grab this virtual item that Gowalla had created.

Interviewer: So, with those, with the locations predetermined by somebody were they random?

Interviewee: Yeah so we scattered them within 75 miles of the arena in New Jersey, and New York, and they were targeted, you know, the genre of location was targeted, so it was sports team location, it was, it was you know at the recreational facilities, but they weren’t specifically targeted, so we really had no idea as to exactly where the [Inaudible] [00:14:55] stored but, you know, people were able to redeem them based on, you know being at this, these targeted locations so yeah they were, they weren’t completely random but we didn’t know exactly, which ones were targeted. So, yeah once people checked they are able to redeem these tickets, and they also got e-mails to the account, the e-mail address was associated with the account, which told them that they won this ticket, it’s redeemable for an actual ticket at the box office of the [Inaudible] [00:15:26] center which is [Inaudible] [00:15:27] that is played, on April 12t,h they were instructed to go and visit this table that we had set up at the game, and redeem that ticket there, I am trying to, you know, take it a little bit slower though, I am trying to think about anything in those details that you might be interested in.

Interviewer: When they, so how many pairs of tickets were at each location, was it just one set of tickets or, was it in 250 locations or, was there just kind of multiple sets you know.

Interviewee: You know, there were multiple sets at some locations, but you know they were scattered through our, I would say a 100 or, so even more than a 100 locations, so they were all across, you know, the city in New Jersey it’s within the first 75 mile radius, and so yeah just because someone checked in at one location it doesn’t mean that the ticket was then gone from that location, yeah the idea was to catch people by surprise on this, you know we wanted that wild factor like, well I am going to check into [Inaudible] [00:16:27] oh wait, you know, I just got this free ticket, it was almost trying to, trying to really [Inaudible] [00:16:35] and to go on to game.

Interviewer: And those locations did not know that they were participating in this?

Interviewee: No, they had no idea.

Interviewer: Well, because you think that I mean, you go to a [Inaudible] [00:16:46] stand and it says hey, you know, [Inaudible] [00:16:49] jackpot won here you think that you know the awareness that those guys now have that they were, you know, somebody won match tickets from their location, is that, I mean would you ever consider working in partnership with these guys like that or…?

Interviewee: It’s definitely a play and it’s something that we, you know, we foresee doing in the future, but really this was a complete test, we are doing this for the first time, and we kind of wanted to test it at a better level, but you know I can definitely see that happening at some point where we partner with specific locations to actually to get this awareness and other point of revenue possibly, I was, you know, so I was I lost my kind of thought for a second, and yeah I was going to say that, you know, the locations were all user created, you know, so I can go to a, I can go to sports bar and create that location not all of them were usually created, it might be the actual person from the company the actual business that creates that location, but I have the ability to create any location that I like, so that’s a point about Gowalla and Four Square, you know, that we are able to create this location, it’s not necessarily the fact that the business owns that spot, which is also an interesting thought, and maybe a conversation that is going to happen down the line is, you know, duties companies actually have some, have some ownership of these spots, so I don’t know maybe that is probably for Gowalla and Four Square to decide on their own so…

Interviewer: Absolutely. At some point somebody is going to make that decision if it’s my place, but you know you can start to leverage that, is that you know there is, there could be random drawings if you check in at these locations right, I don’t know I mean probably of way of topic, but it’s interesting because it’s just the ripple effect of something like this it’s pretty massive.

Interviewee: Yeah absolutely I mean I think that no, going off topic is a great thing, because really what we wanted to do is start this and not even start just continue this conversation that’s going around geolocation, now anything that someone can think of because of this case study that we put out, there is exactly what we wanted out of it. So, you know, there is definitely you know we posted the blog, and that case study and we had up over a 150 comments, the people they think about ideas about what might happen or, what you know, what business could do, so I think we are just there at the very beginning of the possibility of the geolocation in businesses.

Interviewer: I absolutely agree with you there, you are getting a little stagger on your video, so we will come back, do you want to just flip your video off and on for a second?

Interviewee: Absolutely yep. Is it back?

Interviewer: Yeah, we are back okay.

Interviewee: Right.

Interviewer: So now you put these 250 pairs of tickets scattered across the 75 mile radius of the [Inaudible] [00:19:46] people started collecting these things, their reactions are come on it can’t be real or…

Interviewee: That’s a good point we know, we monitor Twitter specifically, and also [Inaudible] [00:19:58] and you know I never encouraged to see the actions about the campaign, but there going on positive, people were really surprised, you know, hold on I just checked in that, you know, at this restaurant, X restaurant and got, you know, match tickets is this, is this yeah people were actually wondering if it was a joke, so allowing the process was actually having the Nets and Gowalla and also being on media to some extent, interact with people that were talking on spirit about the campaign, so it confirms about where is the real campaign, real tickets they were getting people, even have questions that we were answering on Twitter in her house and that is the beginning, I mean New Jersey or I am in New York or whatever it would be, and you know it was a lot of our responsibility to interact with these people that were, you know that were talking about the campaign, but yeah there were some negatives like, you know, who would want to go to Nets stand or whatever.

Interviewer: Who are the Nets did you get any of those?

Interviewee: Right, you know the Nets didn’t have the best season, but it was overwhelming or positive, we are really happy with the response of in terms of, you know how many people were actually so eager to talk about it on Twitter, because, you know, they are chatting on Gowalla they don’t have to continue to talk about the campaign, you know, no one is asking them to talk on Twitter about it, and so the fact that hundreds of these people were, you know, ecstatic about the campaign or, you know, not all of them were ecstatic, but you know, they were either happy about the campaign, they were dropping the tickets somewhere else, they were either interacting with Gowalla over the net, or thanking with Gowalla over the net, so it’s just a really cool process to see people being so happy about the campaign, that is what we are going for, because we wanted to have that, like I said a wild factor like, no I just checked in and I got, I don’t, that is ridiculous and I think people will get more and more used to it, but for now it’s hard than [Inaudible] [00:21:50] you don’t expect to just win something just for going [Inaudible] [00:21:53] so…

Interviewer: But so you guys didn’t, you guys didn’t do any marketing about this contest or this initiative at all?

Interviewee: We did a little bit [Inaudible] [00:22:02] it really wasn’t our motive to get pressed about it, because it was really an organic process we had really saw the, you know, we really wanted people to just go to these occasions and have the ability to win the prizes, it wasn’t really about generating the press, we thought that may be if we have the possibility to actually convert people into attendees and have them, you know, do things like [Inaudible] [00:22:28] and by concessions and so all the things that we actually did in the end, we will be able to write this blog post in this case study, which we did, we put up this [Inaudible] [00:22:36] lot of, you know, cool buzz about it, but it was not initial strategy to try to promote the campaign, because we figured enough people were chatting in on the wall in the New York city area but, you know, we would be able to, we will be able to get 250 people to check in and win the prize.

Interviewer: So, are you, so it something very interesting now in that conversation, which was people dropping the tickets, so in Gowalla you can pick things up, you can pick prizes up and then drop prizes in different occasions, people drop the tickets.

Interviewee: Yeah, I mean people that would say hi I picked up these tickets, but I am actually leaving town tomorrow morning, you know, I won’t be available that night what can I do in order to do, you know, can I give these too someone else and what we actually did was [Inaudible] [00:23:22] yeah you have the ability drop for occasion, just tweet it out and drop it, and someone else will be able to go up and pick it up, you know the tickets were obviously transferable, not obviously but they were transferable, we had a couple of people show up, you know, having actually won the tickets themselves, but one of our friends did in the past [Inaudible] [00:23:40] because they thought it would be able to transfer their friends and that is the beginning, which is, you know it’s not it wasn’t a problem for us, because you know we have to use it, pick up the ticket and then they decided it wasn’t valuable for them, but it was valuable for somebody else, let’s inform other kind of angle for the, you know, whole other added value or, added bonus for this campaign is that people were able to gift their friends with these tickets, if they thought it was cooperative, so yeah Gowalla [Inaudible] [00:24:09] the ability for people to drop tickets and people could take advantage of that.

Interviewer: You know, I just thought of a, you know, this becomes a standard norm, I went to a bar or something like that in New York city or, anywhere in North America, and I know that there is these 250 techs floating around there, because more and more companies will be doing this, and franchises and other things, I can go and find them and then bring them back to my bar and drop them all in my bar and say you know it’s Saturday night come on in I have got 50 tickets to give away right.

Interviewee: You know, what that is very true and I think that is a good idea, I think that, you know, you have already mentioned that you are kind of like a scavenger, [Inaudible] [00:24:47] you know it really was, because the location that one predetermines that people knew, you know, people were able to go to, people really have the option to go anywhere they wanted and see if they can capture these tickets, so I think it’s really interesting [Inaudible] [00:25:00].

Interviewer: Well, you know and the thing that is different again with the Gowalla and Four Square is that you can gain Four Square, Gowalla you have to be in proximity to that location, I think it’s a 100 meters or, 60 meters or something like that, right, so you can’t say that you are on a location, and not [Inaudible] [00:25:16] to be there right, which is the huge benefit.

Interviewee: Absolutely the real, you know, now with this campaign in particular that there is a whole opportunity for brands, you know, to engage in this space by, yeah exactly the Gowalla user has to go to your location [Inaudible] [00:25:35] or have to go to a location you decide, so to move into, so if the prize is big enough or, somehow it is great enough, people are going to actually, you know, move to your location and then you have the opportunity to solving that or, do whatever you want once they are there, so it’s definitely, you know, that aspect of Gowalla was definitely important.

Interviewer: Well, you know it’s a, so you go through this whole process and so out of the 250 pairs of tickets, it was, how many people actually claim the tickets?

Interviewee: So, we are 15.3% conversion rate, I think it is 78 people that showed up on which you know, that some peoples measure is in the grade number, but always it was a great number, there is a couple.

Interviewer: [Inaudible] [00:26:19] that is a great number.

Interviewee: Yeah, I mean the first time it was run, it was, you know, the Nets as I said are one of the most attractive team this year, they finished the, you know they finished the season with the worst record in NBA, so people that checked inside of the Nets might not have necessarily been excited about the game, you know, the arena that they play at through this season the end of the seasons was also a big time to get to, then actually moving to a new arena, and New York next season which is great news, because it’s a lot easier to get through especially through public transportation so, we have couple of limitations, and a couple of obstacles that we had to face, but we were really happy with the 15.2%, we thought that it was a really good number and, you know, the overall motive wasn’t necessarily to fill the 500 seats, it was just to see, you know, what we could accomplished with this type of campaign and so we were happy with 15.2

Interviewer: And then, you know, how do you, so you measure it by people who show up, but you also mentioned in the white paper, you talk about, and you said it earlier as well, but concession by, you know, merchandising, brand awareness, an affinity to the brand, like they are on a rebuilding stage, so this is where you really want to build the next generation Nets fan right.

Interviewee: Absolutely I mean let me back track this [Inaudible] [00:27:35] I just want to say to, you know, for people [Inaudible] [00:27:39] case study, once people got to the stadium they actually interrupted to go to a booth next to the box office entertainment ticker, and when I got there, they [Inaudible] [00:27:50] free T shirt and free sticker and they also were gifted with pretty awesome seats, I think everybody that came got lower level seats, and had a chance to really experience an NBA game, you know very, very up close and personal, they also were reminded to check in, because when they got there, they had the ability to win these jerseys that is been provided.

So, the experience really continued better for the next, you know, for Gowalla it was great, because you know, the brand mentions people were using the service, people were introduced to the service, we had people come up to the table and say hey what is going on here and we will say oh well we are running this campaign with Gowalla, and this is Gowalla and this is what it does and we actually a couple of people saw in that way, so that was a pretty interesting aspect for Gowalla, and for the next year you know, we sold some merchandise, we sold some merchandise, we sold some concessions, we sold some cartoon, then they asked you wanted to generate a bit of revenue, but it was also more about the fact that we are introducing a new demographic to [Inaudible] [00:28:58] a group of people probably wouldn’t have gone ahead of time.

There were some people that were actually Nets fans and really pumped about the tickets, because they were fans you know, but for others it was just a new opportunity and if we, you know, if we convert even one of those people into a fan for life then it’s really, really, really part of the thing and that is when, you know even if, you know they got a jersey set out, whatever they have got, really after, you know, brand awareness they got mentioned on, you know, Twitter and we got mentioned in the blogs here and, you know, we are getting fast forward now, and actually we were going to be the first team to do this, which is something which is really cool and helpful talking about for a long time is that they are the first ones to do this [Inaudible] [00:29:43] campaign or, a campaign of this nature, so you know, the benefits were much more than just generating dollars of, I think that, you know, something like the [Inaudible] [00:29:58] and we touched on a little bit [Inaudible] [00:29:59] it was just like people were just so happy, people at beginning were taking photos, they were tweeting it out, they were, you know, talking about how great their experience was. So, even that is almost enough for just for the Nets, you know, in this instance, because it showed a new demographic about what you know what an NBA game can be and hopefully we have got them again to come out next year and, you know, the years to come, so it was much more than just generating money.

Interviewer: Well, you know, when I read that portion about it that, you know, they would just hand the tickets at the [Inaudible] [00:30:34] show up and you know, do whatever they need to do, prove your identity and then here is your tickets, no you were offered in, there was a booth set up with the Gowalla, got some free stuff, and then you were shown your seats and you know, and from the pictures I saw on the white paper they were great seats, that is a class thing to do, and that sticks with people right, so the mechanism with which you get them in there doesn’t, would pay on comparison if you stuck them up in the rafters, and just handed them tickets [Inaudible] [00:31:04].

Interviewee: Absolutely.

Interviewer: Hey thanks Nets, I see all those empty seats down there it’s great, I really appreciate that.

Interviewer: Great, I mean you know, the experience that I said really did not end, but just when people, I entered the door, you know, we wanted to people to really learn the process to continue after the game, and even after the game, now we wanted people to, you know, they were greeted by a team of, you know, I was there along with a couple of members of Gowalla team and a couple of members of the Nets team and we were all there, [Inaudible] [00:31:33] people and provide them with, you know, an experience at that point and then, you know, they have a gate that is a free game, it’s great seats and they have the opportunity to win a jersey, some of them were signed, you know there is a doctor J signed jersey, you know, for basketball fan it’s a pretty good deal, you know, there is Vince Carter signed jersey, you know, some of the older players that had run through, but there are legends in the NBA, so you know, they really didn’t want to interact with each other after game, you know, I actually saw a conversation, I mean a person in the case study, and afterwards a conversation between a couple of guys who I met at the game and down continue to turn afterwards through twitter so, they really got whole bunch of benefits, and it was a lot about the usual experience, I mean that is Gowalla, you know, we really just want to provide them with the best experience they could gain, so we are really proud to be able to do that.

Interviewer: So, that relationship that you want together, the Nets and the Gowalla kind of being broached and bridged by media, so everybody was happy I got to assume that everybody was happy.

Interviewee: Everybody was very happy, I mean it was really a success, a massive success in everybody’s eyes, you know, the Nets were able to attract new demographics in the stadium, they were able to provide fun experience through little people about, you know, when we have got we go to the game, and they generate a little bit of money from it, you know, Gowalla was able to obviously work with the Nets and get the press and, but they were also able to provide their own user base with some great experience of the Nets game, so [Inaudible] [00:33:06] because you know it went smoothly, it went great, and we were able to put up this pretty [Voice Crossover] right it was our idea, and so we, you know, we didn’t want any, you know, just running that idea through it’s actual, you know, actually, you know, moving an idea and actual [Inaudible] [00:33:25] response to do, but [Inaudible] [00:22:28] so much success from it, and the faculty actually have this [Inaudible] [00:33:30] case study and all of this has been, you know, a lot of fun flow, so you know for bringing in media is really about getting the conversation going, and providing great value for our client and for Gowalla so I think that [Inaudible] [00:33:49].

Interviewer: So, I got just a few more questions, one of them is, who paid for this, so did the Nets pay Gowalla, did, I mean was there or, was this just like a real experiment, I don’t I mean not. I mean media gets paid, but you know, when you come, when you build the custom icons for the tickets, and you do those things, I know that Gowalla does that for some specific locations that are relevant stadiums, and those kind of things, but was this, you had to broker that relationship between the Nets writing a check to Gowalla to get this stuff done?

Interviewee: Now, obviously there were fees associated with it, yeah Gowalla did have to make these actual images, and they had to facilitate a campaign, so it did cost money and it will cost money for [Inaudible] [00:34:35] down the line..

Interviewer: You don’t have to tell me how much it is, but there is, I mean there is a fee involved in here, because you know they don’t do this for free just for awareness.

Interviewee: Right I mean Gowalla needs to generate money from this type of thing and especially if they don’t continue to do, then you do, you know, you know next season I can foresee that and, you know, I can see, I can just see half of the NBA team is doing something like this, so, you know they are not going to do just do it for the awareness at a certain point.

Interviewer: Yeah, I would, I mean I am a believer that you pay for your software’s, you got to pay them something in order for them to actually be around an year from now, so you know, whenever they can do, just one last touch on that 15%, 15% is not a bad number, because if you think about how many people actually use Gowalla, I think the last number I saw was roughly half a million people.

Interviewee: [Inaudible] [00:35:35]

Interviewer: Total that is not in New York, that is not in, that is half million people total, you know, you are touching on the early adopters of the technology right now and that kind of flow through to me as a high number, because New York might be a concentrated area, but it’s still half a million people, you know, huge population, so.

Interviewee: I mean I think, you know, that is one thing is that, Gowalla was only going to continue to grow, you know, right now we have half million people, I mean [Inaudible] [00:36:08] Facebook campaign with four hundred million users, so you know that was definitely, you know, something that we considered and also they are just the fact that the Nets are going to continue to gain fans as well, because they are, they already really have, yeah [Inaudible] [00:36:27] at this point, but yeah I mean we touched on it [Inaudible] [00:36:32], New York is also heavily, the user base in New York is also heavily four square.

Interviewer: Four square yeah.

Interviewee: So, you know Gowalla is often based, it’s not as big as four squares, I think four square is over a million users now, so you know, one thing you know, a very limited user base is also a big obligation with the campaign.

Interviewer: Oh it’s a huge risk, well I think that, so let’s summaries this, is that, what are one the main points that you have got out of this campaign right, you know, aside from the obvious that hey, you know, it actually could work, what were some of the leading points that you said, you know, we just invented a new way to do this, because I think that is what you guys just did?

Interviewee: Yeah, I mean I think that really, really excited about was that without any permission or, without any, you know, wellness around the campaign, people actually want to go to a location, because they thought the incentive was good enough, so it’s the fact that you can actually move a population to a specific location, if you want to.

Interviewer: It’s a few sheet right you are just pushing.

Interviewee: Yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah, it’s pretty amazing.

Interviewee: Yeah it is, it’s not an easy thing to get people to go somewhere, I mean if you kind of organized any kind of the event, even you know birthday party, people will say they are going to go on [Inaudible] [00:38:02] the fact that, you know, we are able to actually move the audience to the actual stadium on game time with something [Inaudible] [00:38:09] happy about, you know, we see it really, because of this campaign we see a huge possibility for the event space, and also anybody working with expiring goods, expiring items, expired items would be nil, tickets that [Inaudible] [00:38:26] will tell them that they are going and use [Inaudible] [00:38:29] a limited time, you know, offer from the fast food chain or, plane tickets, you know, there is every, you know every business has some, you know, not every, but most business has some type of experiment they can leverage with [Inaudible] [00:38:42] that is one thing we are really happy about, you know, say a theme park or, an amusement park wanted to attract visitors, so their location, they can be [Inaudible] [00:38:53] people to check in locations around the theme park with free admission to the park [Inaudible] [00:38:58] and they are not going to generate a lot of positives from that, just like investing with this campaign.

So, the event space is going to benefit massively from this, one of the biggest you know [Inaudible] [00:39:12] happy about was the amount of, I am really surprised with the amount of positives, engagement we have got, so brands are going to be able to generate all of those benefits that we talked about earlier, but also just the fact that we are going to be getting fans or, consumers or, Twitter followers to talk to them about their campaign and get feedback and get what all these positives and statements from people that are involved with the campaign so, we are really shocked with the number of people that we are going to talk about it, and I think that it just proved, you know it’s going to happen, you know, everything that happened in this case and the fact that we are able to run this campaign, the fact that we move people, the fact that, you know, we provide [Inaudible] [00:39:56] for these fans, it’s only going to increase, because like we just mentioned Gowalla is you know, Gowalla user base is going to improve, that is a big deal, because in a year from now, you know, Gowalla has, you know, ten million user [Inaudible] [00:40:11:] 500,000 and it might not be that big, but you know it’s going to be really, you know the game is really going to be location I think, you know, and there is no reason for any brand or, any business that has a physical location to not participate in [Inaudible] [00:40:27] campaigns like this one, because you really, you are really generating something out of nothing, you know, if you had, we are bringing customers to your location just purely by having them, by the fact that they are close to your location and then they are possibly [Inaudible] [00:40:46] and people are going to come back for days and months and years to come, so it’s really just the beginning, I know it’s a big thing to say, but there are so many possibilities in this space.

Interviewer: And I think that you just have to be able to open up your eyes to them like you guys did with what you did with the Nets, and it kind of leads to my last question, which is, you know, I follow Gary and I follow AJ and I follow [Inaudible] [00:41:14], so Twitter feed and all that stuff, and I understand the philosophy, but I am a business guy and I am going to ask you this question, you just invented this, all right, so you guys come up with this, you are brainstorming out with the Nets, you are trying to figure out how to get more participation, everything we just talked about for 30 minutes.

Interviewee: Yeah.

Interviewer: You do it, you succeed, you see other companies that you know, the NBA coming on board they did it, may be this is a wrong statement, but they did it, because they saw may be what the nicks did and or, may be they were working with Gowalla, whatever the reason he started to see this that is great, so next year every franchise in every sport at least one of them is going to be doing this exact same thing in another company so, you basically handed this brilliant idea of, and now you have to find my next idea, but as a business guy, you know, you understand my philosophy beyond it, but how does it, you are going to watch this puppy grow at a huge rate, and a year from now nobody will remember that it was you guys that started it, does that matter to you guys?

Interviewee: I think our hope is that, you know, we have always been in the conversation, you know, they were, you know, Comcast is still known till this day as a brand that we were engaged on twitter, and [Inaudible] [00:42:29] know through social media, and I think the Nets have the same opportunity, if this really does take off to be the ones that were known as the first ones to do it, you know, every time that someone else does this type of thing, in the events space I want to specify that, you know, I was working with brands before the Nets, but this is the first type of thing that happened with a sports team in the events space, this type of campaign, so yeah and so anything that happens beyond this I would hope you know, that the conversation will always, at least reference and we will try to help it reference the Nets, but yeah I mean it’s going to get lost at some point and it might get lost at some point and we are going to just have to accept that, but we have generated enough [Inaudible] [00:43:11] at this point, and we will always be able to show people that we, you know, that we did this and that, the next level we will able to reference this and so I think that there is some, you know, frustration obviously, but well I will just be able to say [Inaudible] [00:43:25] and, you know, it’s you know, it’s been really fun to be a part of it, and to run a campaign that might have this, you know, hopefully and sure to have to this ripple effect in not only in the sports world, but the event space and not only the event space, but with, you know, newly every brand out there, you know a couple of years ago nobody, no brands want Facebook and Twitter, hopefully we will just kind of, we just kind of got into that conversation [Inaudible] [00:43:53] brands to be a part of this, and we can only help that, you know and let’s get some credit for being the first ones to do it, so almost we can do beyond and beyond that.

Interviewer: No and I think that, you know, it pushes you guys to come up with the next great thing and but it really was I mean, when I fully digested the white paper, I can imagine the conversation would have been do we or, don’t we, do you like paper, don’t we do [Inaudible] [00:44:20] do we keep this or, do we just bring this to the customers, because, you know, this is your IP ultimately.

Interviewee: Yeah, I mean yeah that is definitely a conversation, we talked about whether or not it was worth it to dish out this information with everybody, but we decided that someone was going to do in the future and someone was going to get that possible credit for being the first one to do and, you know it was a great idea, but, it’s not like it wasn’t ever had happened if we didn’t do it, so, you know, we have people [Inaudible] [00:44:50] you should have charged them this case study, you know, it was really valuable information and not, you know, I think you could have gained all money from it, it wasn’t, you know, in the end, it would have been great to get money forward, it would be great to get all the recognition for it, but it was really just to get this conversation going and you know, another time and the next big idea, so but really just what we, what we have to do as, you know, and the media is strived to be innovative and forward thinking and this is, you know, what we have to do is just keep on doing these types of campaigns where, you know, that no one has really thought of [Inaudible] [00:45:26] on here, and hope that we can just, [Inaudible] [00:45:30] continue to make things happen.

Interviewer: You know, I have no doubt, you know, I think that this is, what you guys did with the Gorallow I think is incredible, may be it was bound to happen, but you know what I think it just kind of shut a lot of light on what this industries potential is, and I think that it, you can, there is no one to answer when somebody says why would anybody do this, because this is exactly what this industry needed, and you know, when I read the white paper and for those people who are watching or listening who haven’t, go and get this, because it will change your perspective on how to leverage these tools, if you know, Sam hasn’t convinced you already, but you know I think that it’s a turning point for that industry, and as it kind of, as we are at the beginning and as it grows I am hoping that they look back at this moment and say well, you know, one little company out in New York built this up, and did this the right way, and created value for the customer, go on I am sorry.

Interviewee: I was really saying that, people are still talking about how Twitter is going to generate money or how, even though Twitter has become a process now, it’s still, it’s been a conversation for a long time and, yeah and [Inaudible] [00:46:47] occasion is just the baby compared to Twitter and we have already found this way for to monetize and to generate this kind of value of [Inaudible] [00:46:56] which is your location, so you know, [Inaudible] [00:47:00] than the conversation actually have gone about Twitter, I have some proof of actually showing through Twitter, so it’s definitely something we think about as that Geolocation is really proving itself, it’s really, you know, to say Geolocations already it’s how brands and, we are just happy to have done it, so…

Interviewer: Well, listen Sam I really, really appreciate your time going through this white paper I am sure you have had a lot of calls and, but I really do appreciate you getting into great detail about this, it’s a great case study and a great example of you know, innovative thing around a very simple idea, it’s, you know I appreciate it hopefully the viewers and listener appreciate it as well.

Interviewee: Also thank you so much, no, I can’t [Inaudible] [00:47:47] real part of it, the people are officiating the campaign for [Inaudible] [00:47:53] so thanks.

Interviewer: Well, so we have been speaking with Sam Taggart, he is the project manager on this great Nets and Gowalla campaign Vaynermedia put together, check it out, the white papers you can download it at Vaynermedia.com on their blog, what your Twitter account is?

Interviewee: My Twitter is gosam, G-o-s-a-m

Interviewer: And then there is @ Vaynermedia as well, so follow them go down that white paper it will change what you think of Geo marketing and Geo location based services, Sam thank you so much for coming on, really appreciate it.

Interviewee: Thanks Rob take care.

Interviewer: Bye-bye.

Interviewee: Bye.

About Sam Taggart
Sam TaggartExcerpt from the VaynerMedia.com site: Sam may be a graduate of the University of Southern California in sunny LA, but he is a native Philadelphian. At the age of five, Sam witnessed Joe Carter hit a three-run walk-off home run against closer Mitch Williams, propelling the Toronto Blue Jays into a World Series victory over his hometown Phillies. It was from that awful and agonizing moment forward, that sports took over little Sam’s life. Now, as a project manager at VaynerMedia, he is thrilled to be able to combine his passions for sports and social media on a daily basis, and he will never, ever forgive Joe Carter.

About Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to schedule a 30-minute chat.
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