If you don’t have a PopSockets on the back of your phone, chances are you know someone that does.
In 2017 alone, David Barnett, a former Philosophy professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, saw 35 million units of his handy invention delivered.
During the early days of the company and even up until this point nearly six years after he first debuted the product on Kickstarter and four years after the product became available for sale, marketing spend was limited.
Seeing as celebrities and YouTube influencers were seen rocking them and free PR was easy to come by, there wasn’t a massive need to spend to reach an audience they were already getting in front of.
As the company looks to continue its growth, it turned to Learfield to help deliver a cross-program partnership that would see Miami, Colorado, Alabama, and Penn State produce social content around the item and leverage their “Swipe Up” features to drive conversions on Instagram.
For PopSockets, the campaign was about tapping into the passion and affinity college football fans have for their favorite team and university.
“There’s a certain passion, loyalty and fan affinity that’s unique to college sports,” said Becky Gebhardt, PopSockets’ CMO. “This was an exciting opportunity for us to do something different, share our message and products with key audience groups and immerse ourselves into what we consider a larger-than-life type environment, the college fan base.”
Working alongside Learfield, the brand chose four distinct universities out of the 130 that Learfield represents.
The four selected were chosen because of their “engaged fanbases” and the fact that “four of the leading conferences in the country were represented” according to Jack Patterson, VP of digital and social media at Learfield.
Created by Learfield, Patterson and his team lead the way with the concept, taking it from ideation to helping the four partner schools execute the creative.
When it comes to the partnership, the most appealing part of the opportunity was the chance to get in front of a group known for its engagement and desire to share relevant content with their friends.
Examples of the content created included everything from asking fans how they held their phone with the PopSockets to showcasing mascots like Sebastian the Ibis being able to take a better selfie.
“Our audience (college students and passionate alumni) is more likely to share content with friends and make purchase decisions based on engaging social content in their feed,” said Hunter Ansley, director of social media for Learfield. “For this partnership, we focused on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Stories to reach the key demographics that the client requested.”
Not only were they able to get the content in the feed, they did so in a way that showcased the product and its uses, something that Patterson noted added value to the partnership beyond just the awareness generated.
“Weaving the actual product into the content creates a more lasting and more shareable connection with a retail brand.”
Not only did PopSockets and the university benefit, but so did Learfield, which was able to showcase how brands can work with the company to engage with digital audiences according to Patterson.
“This is allowing us to win business with brands and agencies of all sizes and leverages the unparalleled enthusiasm found in college athletics.”