We are proud and honored to have worked with the Chicago Bears since 2011 to build and support their mobile app. Matt Koch, Director of Digital Media at the Chicago Bears, is a fearless champion of innovation and constantly pushes the envelope when it comes to mobile apps.
Matt’s catch-phrase is, “Wouldn’t it be cool if …. ?”
In 2018, Matt came to us with a great idea — to build a mobile-first auction inside their team app, so that Bears fans could bid on and purchase exclusive game-used gear, autographed items, as well as unique once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The proceeds from this mobile auction were to benefit Bears Care, an organization focused on helping disadvantaged children and families in the Chicago area.
To participate in the Bears Care auction, fans would register through the Bears app through a Single Sign-On. Fans can view and bid on auction items at any time, with the Bears adding new items throughout the year. Fans are notified via push notifications of new items as they become available for bidding, and also if they are out-bid on any auction item. Fans can also donate directly to the Bears Care organization via the mobile app. To date, the Bears Care mobile auction has raised over $250,000, all through the Chicago Bears mobile app.
I thought, “Can we own this experience and then send push notifications and
draw people into the app and let them know when items are available?” And it has worked out very, very well for us. I think we first launched with some kind of experience, bringing fans into our facility for the Draft. And then, of course, we got the coins that officials flip before the game. We’ve got some game-used items. And so it’s evolved. And now we’re at the point where every year, our biggest thing that we offer up is the week of our crucial catch game, all of our players wear special jerseys during practice during the week. We take those jerseys. We auction off every single player’s practice jersey that week. It’s this huge thing and you’d be surprised to see all the activity and all the players. Even players that are on the practice squad, fans are bidding on their jerseys to own their jerseys. When we did it in 2019, I want to say there were only — out of your 53 man roster plus your practice squad, I want to say we only had three jerseys that weren’t claimed at the end of the auction. They just got soaked up. Everybody loves it. The best ones, the best items that go for us are the experiential ones. We offered for our playoff game in 2018 against the Eagles — I think we offered up an experience where the winner would get tickets, of course, tickets and parking passes, pre-game field passes, and had the opportunity to be an honorary captain and stand at center field for the coin toss. Had a lot of excitement, a lot of response on that one, of course, because it was a playoff run. But, hey, it all benefits our charity. So every little bit helps and every big bit helps as well. — Matt Koch
Here are some of the items that the Bears have auctioned off:
- A visit to Halas Hall for two to meet new Head Coach Matt Nagy and attend the Brian Piccolo Award Ceremony on Tuesday, April 24
- A game-worn Leonard Floyd navy jersey from the “Thursday Night Football” contest vs. the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sept. 28, 2017
- A VIP table for 10 at the 2018 Miller Lite Chicago Bears Draft Party on Thursday, April 26, at Soldier Field, including gift bags, beverage credit and meet-and-greet with a current Chicago Bears player
- An authentic game coin tossed at midfield by Referee Jeff Triplette prior to the 2017 home opener
- An official NFL football autographed by Bears lineman Kyle Long and his father, Hall of Famer Howie Long