How Sprint Scored Big at Copa América Using Mobile Wallet

Sprint recently teamed with Urban Airship to bring soccer fans an unforgettable experience via mobile wallet technology. As a major sponsor of the 2016 Copa América Centenario, Sprint helped celebrate fans’ passion for soccer in the tournament’s 100th year, which was held for the first time ever outside of South America in 10 locations across the United States. As part of the sponsorship, Sprint offered a sweepstakes with the chance to win daily prizes — the first ever sweepstakes of this magnitude to utilize mobile wallet passes — to expand the reach of their investment to new users.

The Client

Sprint’s aim was to connect soccer fans with the latest news and results from the tournament, provide customized information for app users (by favorite team or other customized feed) and give fans instant coverage on their favorite team via push notifications — thereby increasing their mobile engagement with their target users. Adding a wallet pass created an alternate mobile channel by which to reach their fans and promote the sweepstakes.

The Strategy

To fulfill both short- and long-term customer engagement objectives, Sprint enabled sweepstakes participants to download a personalized mobile wallet pass powered by Urban Airship Reach. Leveraging Urban Airship Reach with Apple Wallet and Android Pay offered an ideal solution for Sprint to engage with soccer fans in a highly visible way and on a short timeline — from conception to execution, the mobile wallet marketing campaign only took three weeks.

“In the short-term, we hope to add value to the sweepstakes and the Copa experience via fans’ mobile wallet,” said Sprint’s Digital Lead of Multicultural Marketing Luis Martinez. “In the longer term, we hope to create a new marketing channel, targeting soccer fans with relevant messaging and offers, ultimately designed to move the passholder down the funnel to conversion.”

To participate in the sweepstakes, users simply registered at Sprint’s dedicated Copa website and named their favorite team, earning them additional sweepstakes entries based on the number of goals their team scored throughout the tournament. Entrants were then given the option of downloading a personalized mobile wallet pass and/or opting into to email communications from Sprint.


The #Sprint4Copa mobile wallet pass shown on both Android and iPhone.

The Results

According to Martinez, Sprint “actually had more sweepstakes entrants install the mobile wallet item than opt in to other forms of communication, which shows the potential receptivity of this medium on the part of the customer for continuously communicating with them on mobile. We’re just getting started with our understanding of the impact mobile wallets can drive for the customer and our business, but we’re already seeing value.”

Sprint’s Copa wallet pass served as a highly visible way to engage sweepstakes entrants throughout the tournament. Images on the front of the pass updated before each game, while the back of the pass included links to Sprint’s dedicated Copa website and Sprint’s social channels where various activities also earned extra sweepstakes entries. Apple Wallet passholders also received lockscreen reminders an hour before matches started, and Sprint enabled its customers to watch every match live for free with no data charges when they signed up for the fuboTV app.

Retention rates for the mobile wallet pass were extremely high. “We saw an uninstall rate of less than 1%, which speaks volumes given the amount of messaging we sent throughout the tournament and demonstrates that those downloading the pass formed a qualified and engaged audience base,” Martinez noted.

Martinez explained how his team is exploring smart ways to use the pass in the future, which may involve leveraging users’ location and known affinity for soccer to invite people currently using other carriers to experience the reliability and cost effectiveness of Sprint’s network.

Martinez concludes: “I’ve definitely crossed the threshold in understanding the value of mobile wallets as a digital marketing channel. The agility, flexibility and visibility mobile wallets offer should get any marketer excited.”

"The agility, flexibility and visibility mobile wallets offer should get any marketer excited.”

Exploring Mobile Wallet Marketing? We Can Help

We’ve helped brands in a variety of verticals implement mobile wallet campaigns. If you have questions about what your brand might be able to accomplish using mobile wallet marketing, or want to hear our ideas, get in touch with us today.