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Foot Locker runs SMS sweepstakes to drive consumers in-store

Sportswear giant Foot Locker is running an SMS sweepstakes promotion to drive traffic to its stores.

Foot Locker is giving away a total of $50,000 to the winners of its "Cash for Kicks" promotion and the grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 check. What's more interesting is that a campaign of this size is using the mobile channel exclusively to communicate with registrants.

"SMS allows consumers to respond to a sweepstakes promotion immediately, wherever they are," said Patricia Clark, vice president of sales at 4Info, New York. "Your phone is rarely more than an arm's length away.

"SMS is also an easy, measurable way to leverage traditional media promotions for additional consumer participation as well as to activate and track your print, television and out-of-home advertisements," she said.

4Info is not powering the mobile sweepstakes for this campaign. However, the company has served ads for plenty of other big names brands such as JC Penney, Philips-Norelco, Toyota, Ford, GM, Amtrak, Coors, McDonalds, and Marriott Hotels.

Headquartered in New York, Foot Locker Inc. is an American sportswear and footwear retailer operating in 20 countries globally.

As the successor corporation of the F.W. Woolworth Company, Foot Locker Inc. operates the retail outlet chains of Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker along with Champs Sports, Footaction USA and Eastbay/Footlocker.com.

Powered by CBS Outdoor, the mobile calls-to-action can be found online and through out-of-home advertisements.

"SMS is great for running sweepstakes promotions because it is immediate," said Matthew Valleskey, head of marketing for mobile services at Neustar, Sterling, VA.

"You don't have to sit at a desk in front of the computer or mail something in or fill out a card," he said. "Consumers can respond right when they see the call-to-action."

To enter, consumers must text the keyword KICKS to the short code 64444 for a chance to win one of 600 prizes.

Consumers will then receive an individual six-digit code made up of alphabetical and numerical characters in a text reading: "UR code ######. 2 see if U won check code @ FL stores. No purc. nec. Ends 9/20. Rules: m.cbsoutdoor.com. Help? Txt Help Kicks. Msg&Data rates may apply."

The message encourages registrants to find a store to check if they have one of the winning codes.

Foot Locker then sends out an additional message offering a mobile coupon and the option to receive one message a month from Foot Locker concerning sales and special deals.

The second message reads: "$15 off UR purch. of $50+ @ FL. Store Code #####. Online Code: ########. Exp. 10/31/09. Reply YES to recv. more from FL (1msg/mo). Quit? Reply STOP FL."

"The greatest benefit of SMS as a marketing vehicle is reach," said Mr. Valleskey. "Mobile has the greatest reach of any other medium out there. Plus, there is great ease-of-use with SMS. Consumers can respond to a call-to-action fairly easily from their mobile device."

Not only does the first message give consumers a reason to visit stores, but the second message adds a value exchange in the form of a mobile coupon.

While Foot Locker does not specify this, the winning codes can also be found within the full list of the mobile program's terms and conditions at http://m.cbsoutdoor.com.

Along with the $10,000 grand prize, 100 first prize winners will each be awarded a $100 Foot Locker gift card. Six hundred second prize winners will each be awarded a $50 gift card.

Residents of the United States who are at least 13 years old at the time of entry are eligible to participate.

The sweepstakes will be live from Aug. 10 to Sept. 20.

"SMS is the one mobile channel that anybody can access," Ms. Clark said. "It is immediate, easy to use, has high reach, and is formulated to allow an interactive conversation. These elements make SMS a highly effective marketing channel."