News targets Cubs fans near the ballpark

January 8, 2016 12:58 PM

Most potential customers of share one thing in common: They are fans of the Chicago Cubs. And is taking a novel approach to identifying and targeting those baseball fans online—one that is having a major impact on sales.

About a year ago, owner Bradley Rosen began working with Geofeedia, a location-based marketing firm that allows the merchant to track consumers that are posting on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks in the immediate vicinity of Wrigley Field in Chicago, where the Cubs play. These consumers often post from their smartphones and “Check In” to various locations in the area, which require that location-based services be enabled on their phones in order for them to be tracked. 

The few square blocks surrounding Clark and Addison streets are taken up by the ball field as well as bars and restaurants often filled on game days with Cubs fans watching the game on television. That leads Rosen to assume that most people in the immediate area—at least while the Cubs are playing—are fans. Therefore, those consumers are prime targets for buying his Cubs jerseys, hats or other gear, either online or in the retailer’s one bricks-and-mortar store across the street from Wrigley Field.

Geofeedia technology lets Rosen target ads for gear at the Twitter handles and Facebook accounts of people who attended a game or talked about the Cubs at a nearby restaurant. It monitors all posts on social networks that originate from this area, compiles lists of these users and then places targeted ads to these consumers. These ads ran during the playoff season, during which Cubs fervor peaked in 2015, and the results were far better than Rosen anticipated.

“Our online sales in­creased drastically, and the Geofeedia geo-targeted segments were extremely effective,” he says. “The campaigns generated an overall increase in online sales, and Sports World saw an 88% return on its investment. Addi­tionally, the Geofeedia ads campaign drove over 4,000 custom­ers to the online site during the campaign period.” The campaigns also drop an increase in store sales, as the merchant tweeted at fans during games to pop in its area store after the game.

Geofeedia would not disclose pricing of its services, saying it varies widely by the volume and duration of social campaigns. 

SportsWorldChicago also keeps these targeted lists handy for other marketing opportunities in the off-season. During the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to Christmas for example, the merchant ran Sponsored Tweets and Sponsored Posts on Facebook reminding these same fans to come back to its online store for Cubs-related holiday gifts.

These efforts contributed to an 8.3% increase in online sales during the holiday season, Rosen says. does not disclose its e-commerce sales figures, but Rosen says sales  between Thanksgiving and Christmas accounted for about one-fourth of the merchant’s online sales in 2015.




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