Verizon's multifaceted $1 billion partnership with the National Football League is getting a geo-social layer. Starting this week, Verizon FiOS ads will appear after folks check-in via the mobile app in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Boston.
Foursquare users who click through the ads will be taken to a mobile landing page where they can enter an exclusive contest involving the Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots. (Two other teams on the East Coast are expected to be added later this week once their ink dries.) In an effort led by Verizon FiOS agency McCann Erickson, consumers can win merchandise and tickets to their team's next game through the league's final seven weeks.
Additionally, via New York-based Foursquare, people who check-in around the participating cities and at their stadiums on game day can win one of the following opportunities:
- Visit the Verizon FiOS' dedicated part of the arena for a premium view of the game.
- Go on the field for the coin toss.
- Get sideline passes.
- Take a stadium seat upgrade.
The ad creative reflects each team in its respective market and will appear in Foursquare's four-month-old post-check-in (PCI) promos, highlighting Fios TV. While Foursquare users have recently been pitched with similar PCI ads from Captain Morgan, Oreo, MasterCard, Toys R Us and other brands, the Verizon campaign appears to mark a new frontier for Foursquare.
"This is one of the first creative opportunities to tie in location with an event and a brand," said Steven Rosenblatt, Foursquare's chief revenue officer. "We think our users will enjoy this type of experience. We've definitely have evolved over the last couple of months, working with brands that aren't necesarily all about their physical locations."
There's little doubt that landing a big telecom such as Verizon is a positive sign for Foursquare, which some industry observers believe is on the clock in terms of establishing greater monetization and making investors happy. The company reportedly generated $2 million in revenue last year, while, according to a recent Fast Company article, the four-year-old startup—with its self-reported 40 million users—could bring in between $15 million and $20 million by the end of 2013.
Also, there's no question that 2014 will prove to be a huge year for Foursquare to prove that it's a bonafide advertising platform. On that note, Rosenblatt said the nascent PCI promos have peformed well, sometimes getting 20 percent of viewers to utilize the platform's save-this-offer-for-later feature.