MLS Checks In With Foursquare, Extends Partnership With Site


(from Sports Business Journal, March 18, 2013) After a year of partnership between Major League Soccer (MLS) and Foursquare, a location-based social network site, the partnership has been renewed for the 2013 season. Although financial details were kept private, Chris Schlosser, Vice President of MLS Digital, said MLS received 4 million impressions through the 2012 season partnership. “That’s a strong number that we’d love to reach again and strive to surpass. We love Foursquare’s innovation. Our partnership allows us to leverage their check-in functionality with our very tech-savvy fan base and to offer special deals to fans in our stadiums,” said Schlosser.

Fans will receive discounted options for the MLS Live viewing experience on mobile devices through Foursquare’s welcome message throughout the opening weeks of the 2013 MLS season. The fans that show up to the events will be able to unlock offers on Foursquare just by checking in. These offers will allow them to purchase merchandise at the respected venue at discounted prices. The advertising is done in an unconventional way that allows the fans to feel like the special offers are being “earned.” The deal even provides a pocket guide for club members, suggesting different places to visit inside the venue. Even some restaurants and bars are allowed to create some of their own deals through Foursquare, which is new to this season’s deal.

Foursquare does not receive a part of any revenue from the league or the teams, but what it does receive is the promotion through social media, national TV broadcasts, and through in-stadium announcements. With the exposure gained through the 2012 season partnership, Foursquare has created deals with a few teams in the English Premier League as well. J. Crowley, Director of Media Partnerships for Foursquare, stated that the deal was more of a “promotional agreement” and added that this was Foursquare’s largest sports deal, even over their deals with the NFL and NHL. With the deal being non-exclusive, MLS still retains the rights to work with other social media platforms.