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Google Offers promotes local deals via Wi-Fi sponsorship

Google Offers is sponsoring free Wi-Fi access in New York this summer to make it easy for on-the-go consumers to access offers and deals from local businesses.

The Wi-Fi service is being provided by Boingo Wireless, enabling New Yorkers on the go to surf online and avoid data overage charges. The free Wi-Fi is being offered from June 25 to Sept. 7 in six NYC subway stations and at more than 200 Boingo hot zones across Manhattan.

“The free Boingo Wi-Fi provided by Google Offers this summer will allow all New Yorkers to get online at six subway stations for the first time, and help people looking to get connected on the street avoid data overage charges and overloaded networks,” said Dawn Callahan, vice president of consumer marketing for Boingo Wireless, Los Angeles.

“The free Boingo Wi-Fi will allow New Yorkers to check their email, post to social networking sites and check out local Google Offers deals above or below street level this summer,” she said.

“Our primary goal is to get as many New Yorkers and Big Apple visitors hooked up with a good Wi-Fi connection, and some great Google Offers, as possible.”

Google did not respond to press inquiries.

Summer in the city
To access the free Wi-Fi, mobile users can launch any Internet browser and connect Wi-Fi enabled devices to the “Free Boingo Wi-Fi” SSID.

Users will then see a branded Google Offers landing page which gives them the option to sign up for the Google Offers nearest them, as well as the option to simply get connected for free.

Google Offers launched in NYC a year ago and brings personalized deals to users from local businesses on their PCs and mobile devices.

By sponsoring  Boingo’s “Summer of Free Wi-Fi,” Google Offers hopes to introduce new customers to deals from local businesses.

All six of the subway stations where the sponsored Boingo Wi-Fi is available feature branded Google Offers signage highlighting the free Wi-Fi and providing the SSID for access.

The signage includes posters within the subway stations as well as signage at the entrances and exits of the subway stairwells.

For the first week of the program, Boingo will also have brand ambassadors handing out information in the subway, alerting passengers about the service.

The subway stations where the free Wi-Fi is available are: The A, C, E station at Eighth Ave. and West 14th St.; the L station at Eighth Ave. and West 14th St; the C, E station at Eighth Ave. and West 23rd St.; the 1, 2, 3 station at Seventh Ave. and West 14th St.; the F, M station at Sixth Ave. and West 14th St. and L station at Sixth Ave. and West 14th St.

Mobile ad network
Boingo is partnering with Transit Wireless, the exclusive wireless service provider to the MTA, to bring Boingo Wi-Fi to 36 New York subway stations by the end of the year, including Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Columbus Circle.

Over the next five years, Boingo Wi-Fi is expected to be available on all 270 plus New York subway stations. This will create a unique mobile advertising and sponsorship network enabling advertisers to deliver specific, location-based messages.

“The network provides a really unique mobile advertising and sponsorship opportunity for our advertising partners – giving them 100 percent share of voice within a captive portal, which drives massive engagement,” Ms. Callahan said. “And because we know where someone is getting online, we enable advertisers to deliver very specific, location-based messages.

“So of course with this launch one of our goals is to educate potential partners about this singular opportunity to reach consumers on-the-go,” she said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York