Case Study – Bi-Lo



Based in Greenville, SC, BI-LO is a grocery chain with locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. With intense grocery competition in these States, BI-LO has turned to aggressive sports marketing to create a point of difference in the marketplace.

With all the competition, BI-LO wanted to focus on two things:

    1. Increase store traffic
    2. Induce trial of in-house generic brand, Southern Home

BI-LO, like most grocers, has a frequency card used to track consumer behavior and spending habits. The BI-LO BONUSCARD is their frequency card, and a tertiary goal of all of our sports marketing partnerships is to grow the number of cardholders and provide more benefits to BONUSCARD holders.


In year one, we created and executed a plan of attack at the University of South Carolina with the idea of accomplishing all three goals at once. BI-LO No Dough, as it is accurately named, is a promotion whereby fans can attend any conference basketball game for free! BONUSCARD holders that purchase seven (7) Southern Home products in one transaction will receive a voucher to attend a USC basketball game for free. Fans can redeem their voucher at the ticket office for one free ticket to the conference game of their choice.

In the second year of the promotion, we added baseball to the mix, which extended the promotion into the spring. In year three we decided to take this promotion to Clemson where 1,000 tickets are available for the first two football games and the same will be available for fall 2012.


In the first two years of the program and during just a 6-week promotional window, all 1,000 USC basketball tickets available with the No Dough program through incremental purchase sold out. Furthermore, stats revealed that 50% of all customers who made this incredible incremental purchase of Southern Home products redeemed their voucher for free tickets. The addition of baseball has proven to be equally successful with every ticket being accounted for in the first two years. The promotion was so successful in basketball and baseball in year three that BI-LO chose to purchase more than 1,000 additional tickets over their contract to allow their loyal customers to attend free athletic events.

In Clemson, early returns were amazing. Two weeks into the program and all 1000 football tickets were redeemed.