Golf Warehouse ties gift cards to Facebook credits

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Multichannel retailer The Golf Warehouse launched a program December 15 offering 25 Facebook credits for purchases of gift cards.

Consumers who buy a gift card with the Redcats USA subsidiary can use the credits to buy virtual items in more than 200 games and apps, such as Farmville, Mafia Wars, Pet Society and Bejewled.

“This offers an alternative dimension to [the typical] Facebook promotion,” said Brad Wolansky, CEO of The Golf Warehouse. “We compete in an industry where other people sell golf things online. During a given promotional period there are [only so many] different levers we can pull. We can take percentages off at the store or we can give free shipping. The Facebook program is another arrow in our quiver.”

The Golf Warehouse hopes to reap the benefits of the popular social gaming market. The market is also ideal for marketing because of its diversity, said Wolansky.

“All kinds of people are playing these games,” he said, “so we had to figure out how we could connect with these customers.”

Scott Silverman, cofounder and VP of marketing at IFeelGoods, the online promotions company responsible for the Golf Warehouse program, said the idea behind the promotion is “if someone buys a gift card for someone who loves playing golf, that person gets something for his or herself.”

IFeelGoods estimates that more than 290 million people take part in social gaming.

Many retailers did not have an alternative to traditional incentives for decades, added Silverman.

“This is the first real alternative that retailers have had,” Silverman said, “and it's tapping into a very vibrant market.”

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