Case Study

FanUp pivots their text-to-win contests to engage fans at home

Thousands of new email addresses added to list through SMS contest.

FanUp is the leading fan engagement platform, delivering valuable offers to fans in exchange for engagement with specific brands.


How do you engage fans when fans can’t attend live events?

As the leader in fan engagement, FanUp seeks exciting ways to connect their clients with their fans to help them accomplish their engagement goals. To date, SMS has proven an easy and effective way for FanUp to engage in-venue consumers. Through text messaging, fans can text a keyword promoted during the event to receive an offer or promotion in return.

However, with COVID-19 limiting in-person events, FanUp needed to get creative to keep fans engaged digitally. They sought a way to bring the excitement of live event participation to their fans watching from home.


Connect at-home fans with the sports they love with a new spin on text-to-enter contests.

Having previously partnered with Upland Mobile Messaging (UMM), FanUp knew they could trust UMM to help them drive effective fan engagement for clients – even without in-person events.

FanUp instantly pivoted away from traditional in-event text promotions, such as upgraded seats and in-person giveaways, towards text-to-win contests aimed at digital audiences. These contests could engage fans at peak moments, during streaming events, on social media, and beyond.

The power of all-digital experiences was put to the test as Professional Bull Riders (PBR) held one of the first live sporting events to air nationally and without fans since the start of the pandemic. FanUp’s clients, PBR and Can-Am, teamed up to offer bull riding fans an exciting way to engage with the event from home through SMS.

Over five weekends of televised and live-streamed bull riding, FanUp kept fans connected with “The Toughest Sport on Dirt” through a text-to-enter contest. Sportscasters promoted the contest between riders, and the keyword call-to-action appeared on-screen during the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge. Fans who texted this keyword received a link in return, where they could submit their email address, view the terms and conditions, and enter the contest.

Using Upland Mobile Messaging’s API and FTP integration, FanUp could control the contest parameters and messaging with ease. A custom workflow connected to the FanUp solution, managing keyword entries and preventing underage fans from entering the contest. FanUp could then set the number of winners, winner notifications, and timing from their side.

FanUp selected one instant winner each night to receive prizes, including a Bluetooth speaker, Can-Am accessories, and a virtual meet & greet with professional bull riders. All participants had a chance to win the grand prize, a Can-Am ATV valued at over $10,000.


High engagement for fans, high email capture rates for FanUp.

FanUp measures client success by email capture rates, participation, and prize redemption, and this promotion certainly proved successful.

Throughout the five-week promotion, PBR and Can-Am collected thousands of new email addresses using FanUp’s integration with Upland Mobile Messaging. They captured email addresses from 81.78% of all participants who texted into the promotion and earned a 71.4% offer redemption rate.

“Working with Upland allows FanUp to offer our clients peace of mind through the compliance expertise and support we receive through our partnership. Thanks to Upland’s airtight compliance, integration with FanUp’s specialty software, and ability to handle high volume engagement, we can meet the needs of any client.” – Ryan Rickert, FanUp

The performance of this initial campaign led PBR to commit to an identical promotion for the second half of their season. FanUp is quickly working to provide versions of this promotion for their other clients as well.

In a time marked by uncertainty, the ability to pivot promotions is critical for keeping fans engaged. Text messaging allows brands to engage their fans, both in-person and at home, making it a crucial part of FanUp’s commitment to delivering successful outcomes for their clients.

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