Groupon invites fans to Gronk’s house for Super Bowl party

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Experiences marketplace Groupon and NFL tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski are giving one winner and 15 of their friends the chance to “Party Like a Player” at his Foxborough, Massachusetts, mansion while he is away during the Super Bowl on Feb. 13, per a press release.
  • Fans can enter the contest daily via the Groupon app and on a microsite until Feb. 2. The winner will be flown to Boston to take over Gronk’s house for a watch party with local Groupon experiences, including beer and wine tasting, mini golf, an indoor bounce house, axe throwing and a hot stone massage station.
  • Groupon is using an experiential activation to highlight its own experiential offerings, both of which have suffered setbacks as the pandemic continues to disrupt in-person activities. Fans who are not selected as the grand prize winner will have the chance to enter through Feb. 20 to win other experiences.

Dive Insight:

Groupon’s “Party Like A Player” contest uses an experiential activation timed to the Super Bowl to highlight the type of experiences the company offers in its marketplace. Both its offering and the experiential tactic were sidelined by the pandemic, but are returning in more tailored ways and with limited capacities as companies and consumers grapple with the pandemic’s persistent effects while seeking ways to return to normal activities.

“Even if you’re not able to party like a player, we all know that experiences connect us and create unforgettable memories that last a lifetime. With thousands of incredible experiences, we hope consumers will think of Groupon when they are looking for the biggest selection of local experiences any one marketplace has to offer,” Groupon’s Vice President of Brand Melanie Hellenga said in the press release.

Groupon’s move taps into interest around one of the NFL’s most popular players as the playoffs heat up and the Super Bowl approaches, while avoiding the high cost of running an ad during the big game. Gronkowski, whose Tampa Bay Bucaneers have been eliminated from the running, infamously unretired in 2020 after a year away from the game, and could potentially look to retire again. Known for his outsized personality and antics, Gronk has frequently partnered with marketers, including a stint as Bud Light’s “Secretary of Summer” last year.

The chance to stay and party at Gronk’s house during the Super Bowl follows similar experiential activities that used stays at iconic or otherwise notable locations to engage consumers. Over the holidays, Airbnb and vacation-rental site Vacasa rented out the Chicago-area house from the original “Home Alone” and a version of The Grinch’s cave on “Mt. Crumpit,” respectively. Similarly, KFC continued its travel-based activations by offering a three-day, two-night vacation at a secluded Kentucky retreat.

Along with the Super Bowl stay at Gronk’s house, Groupon is extending the effort with other giveaways. Fans who are not selected as the grand prize winner will have the chance to enter through Feb. 20 to win other prizes, including a trip to Las Vegas from MGM, a trip to Cancun from Great Value Vacations, a VIP New Kids on the Block concert experience from Live Nation and a Blue Man Group Experience in New York or Chicago. These experiences could attract consumers who are not interested in the Super Bowl.

The effort is being promoted with a campaign that includes online video, over-the-top, paid and organic social and display advertising, per details emailed to Marketing Dive.

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