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How the Super Bowl gave retailers a mobile-enabled sales touchdown

February 8, 2016

The Super Bowl is now synonymous with mobile marketing

The Super Bowl is now synonymous with mobile marketing

Mobile commerce opportunities were rife during this year’s Super Bowl, with retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods serving relevant content to football fans via branded cross-partnerships, beacons and shoppable commercials.

As consumers turn toward mobile for enhanced, second-screen viewing experiences to augment their television watching, retailers are finding additional innovative ways to fuel smartphone-enabled sales, thanks to the use of beacon technology and shoppable platforms. Dick’s Sporting Goods also made a splash in mcommerce this past weekend by teaming up with UberRUSH to bring championship t-shirts to displaced fans in eligible zip codes.

“Dick’s has always been invested in ensuring fans get their hands on championship merchandise immediately following the biggest professional and college games at stores in the winning team’s market,” said Ryan Eckel, vice president of brand marketing at Dick’s Sporting Goods. “We thought of this UberRUSH partnership as a way to extend the same service we provide in-store, in home markets to fans that live in two of America’s largest cities.”

Hiking up sales
Brands found numerous ways to target audiences during Super Bowl 50, ranging from sending individuals location-relevant deals via beacons to leveraging second-screen purchasing options that allowed consumers to buy items featured in highly-anticipated commercials.

Beacon provider Gimbal deployed its technology throughout San Francisco in a bid to treat football enthusiasts to unique experiences and prizes found within the Road to 50: Explore Super Bowl 50 Celebrations mobile application.

App users could find new ways to experience the Bay Area city while also receiving timely push notifications, alerting them of opportunities to purchase memorabilia or win prizes.

Consumers who had downloaded the Super Bowl app were served beacon-enabled messages, prompting them to stop at key deployment areas to buy relevant items. For instance, individuals nearby the 50th Mile could have their own bronze bust digitized at the National Football League’s Hall of Fame exhibit.

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An example of a Gimbal-powered beacon message

The famed Super Bowl commercials also got their chance to drive real-time sales. ShopTV rolled out its “Big Game Store” ahead of the kickoff, allowing consumers to use their smart televisions or streaming devices from Roku, Samsung, LG and Sony to shop for items featured in more than 30 Super Bowl spots.

Additional product assortments to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the game were also available.

Sports enthusiasts could browse the television-enabled commerce experience before checking out from their TVs by inputting their mobile number on screen. That action triggered their TV’s shopping cart to be sent to their smartphone.

Consumers could then check out immediately, or purchase the desired items during a break in the game.

The growing demand for buy-now features on a slew of digital platforms optimally complemented the frenzy surrounding the Super Bowl. Brands that paid millions of dollars to show their advertisement during the game were able to experience some immediate revenue from viewers who spotted a must-have product.

Super Bowl advertisers raced to release ads early on social media this year as they looked beyond simply redistributing content to turning it into a key engagement strategy (see story).

Additionally, the excitable atmosphere at many Super Bowl gatherings made it a likely time for many enthusiasts to engage in impulse purchases.

Tapping cross-partnerships
Meanwhile, Dick’s Sporting Goods collaborated with mobile-based courier service UberRUSH to bring championship shirts to displaced fans in Chicago and New York.

If individuals found themselves unable to celebrate their team’s victory in their hometowns, they had the option of visiting on their smartphones or desktops and purchasing a commemorative piece of apparel. Dick’s Sporting Goods covered the delivery fee for the t-shirts, which were brought to consumers’ doorsteps by Uber messengers.

Other brands have previously partnered with Uber to bring quick delivery of limited-time merchandise to fans’ homes, a strategy that has typically resulted in high mobile-first sales.

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Dick’s Sporting Goods sought to help fans celebrate their home team’s victory

“It’s hard to predict how many fans of either team will be in New York or Chicago so we can’t comment on how many mobile sales we expect to generate, but fans across the country will have the same great access to championship gear through that we typically offer for the biggest professional and college games,” Mr. Eckel said. “This partnership is about an innovative new approach to how we deliver championship gear to our customers.

“We know it can be hard to be a fan in another city when your hometown team wins big, and we’re happy to help provide championship gear to fans in new ways thanks to this first-of-its-kind partnership with UberRUSH.”

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Alex Samuely is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at

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