Uber drives rewards program with free rides for Super Bowl's losing fans
- Ride-hailing service Uber is offering fans of the Super Bowl's losing team a free ride home as part of a promotion for its loyalty program, according to a company blog post. Members of Uber Rewards, the loyalty program that launched in November, in the game's losing city can get a free ride up to $50 within the hour after the final whistle on Feb. 3.
- On Sunday, fans in Boston or Los Angeles can open the Uber app on their smartphone and tap the "Unhappy Hour" message at the bottom of the screen to unlock a special promo code to use if their team loses later that day. People who aren't loyalty members can then register.
- The campaign to promote the new loyalty app kicked off on Jan. 29 and will run on Twitter and Instagram through Sunday night. Uber is partnering with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson tweeted a 15-second clip and the message: "#UberRewards is there when you need it most. Like when an entire city wants to go home and cry after the game on Sunday."
Uber's "Unhappy Hour" is a creative way to piggyback on the media hype leading up to the Super Bowl, the most-watched live event of the year, without having to buy an expensive game-day ad. The campaign is the brand's latest effort to increase visibility and usage of Uber Rewards and drive repeat usage as the ride-hailing competition heats up with rivals Lyft, Via and others gaining major traction. Uber's loyalty program lets passengers earn points to exchange for rides and food orders from its Uber Eats delivery service. The loyalty program could help Uber stave off competitor Lyft, which also launched a rewards program in November.
The ride-hailing company's campaign highlights the convenience and safety of Uber's service to people who have spent the evening partying and shouldn't get behind the wheel. The Super Bowl is notorious for higher incidents of drunk driving and DUI arrests, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging fans to play it safe.
Uber is looking to develop more lines of business as the company prepares for an anticipated initial public offering (IPO) in the stock market. The company seeks to expand from its taxi-like service to a wider transportation platform that eventually includes public bus and train tickets. It's also developing a service to ferry passengers to and from mass-transit systems after creating an internal team to focus on partnerships with local transit officials, The Wall Street Journal reported.
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