Pennsylvania Partners With Foursquare to Offer First Groundhog Day Badge
Unique Badge Available Via Shout from Anywhere in the World
HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — While waiting for Punxsutawney Phil’s prognostication, Foursquare users can take steps to earn the inaugural “PA Groundhog Day” badge Feb. 2, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office announced today.
“There is only one weather-forecasting groundhog: Punxsutawney Phil in the Pennsylvania Wilds. This year, anyone will have the opportunity to earn a badge featuring his likeness from visitPA,” said Mickey Rowley, deputy secretary for tourism. “This is a one-time only opportunity to proudly sport a badge on your virtual chest as we discover the fate of winter.”
Pennsylvania became the first state to partner with Foursquare last May by populating the network with more than 200 state tourism attractions and creating three custom badges: “PA Shooflyer” (dining), “PA Retail Polka” (shopping), and “PA 4 Score & 7″ (history). Travelers earn badges by checking in as they visit locations throughout the state. Since the launch, visitPA has amassed more than 30,000 followers and has awarded more than 12,000 badges.
Now anyone, anywhere in the world can earn the “PA Groundhog Day” badge by:
- Following visitPA on Foursquare www.foursquare.com/visitPA; and then
- Checking in to “shout” the word “groundhog” on Feb. 2.
A shout is Foursquare’s version of a status update or a tweet. You either shout when you check in at a location, or you can create a standalone shout.
“We’re thrilled that visitPA has been able to enhance the experiences of so many visitors through the use of our platform,” said Eric Friedman, director of business development at Foursquare. “Pennsylvania’s continued enthusiasm and openness to new partnership opportunities and Foursquare’s ability to attract and reward people combine to make a powerful partnership.”
In a tradition dating to the 1800s, Groundhog Day is celebrated each Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh in the Pennsylvania Wilds. According to folklore, if the groundhog emerges in the early morning and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of wintry weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.
A Webcast of the Groundhog Day festivities will be available at www.visitPA.com/groundhog, including links to Punxsutawney Phil-related videos on YouTube.
Foursquare is a location-based, mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. By “checking in” via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges.
Foursquare guides real-world experiences by allowing users to bookmark information about venues that they want to visit and get relevant suggestions about nearby venues. Merchants and brands leverage the Foursquare platform by using a set of tools to obtain, engage, and retain customers and audiences.
The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, under the state Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to inspiring travel to the State of Independence. For more information, go to visitPA.com or call (800) VISIT PA; become a fan at facebook.com/visitPA, follow us at twitter.com/visitPA, share photos at flickr.com/visitPA, friend us at foursquare.com/visitPA, or watch us on youtube.com/visitPA.
For a free subscription to Pursuits Magazine, click visitPA.com/pursuits.
Media contact: Michael Chapaloney, 717-720-1388
Editor’s Note: For additional Pennsylvania tourism story ideas, follow us at www.twitter.com/patourismpr.