Albright Digital, a Capitol Broadcasting company, is teaming up with businesses and the city of Durham to promote Bull City businesses with a new mobile app titled “Bull City Buck$.”

The app debuts on Wednesday.

“By simply downloading the Bull City Buck$ smart phone app, Downtown Durham visitors can scan QR codes at participating restaurants, entertainment spots, shops or community destinations to earn varying amounts of Bull City Buck$,” Albright says.

“Those Buck$ can then be used to purchase prizes in the app’s prize store. Initial prizes include an iPad, tickets to DPAC shows and Bulls games as well as fun experiences like the chance to become a beer brewer for a day.”

Participating merchants include:

• Durham Bulls
• Durham Performing Arts Center
• Bull City Burger
• Mellow Mushroom
• Tobacco Road
• Fishmongers
• Old Havana Sandwich Shop
• L’uva
• Cuban Revolution
• Beauty and Bull Urban Spa
• 201 (restaurant at Durham Marriott)
• YMCA

Vickie Gibbs of Albright Digital talked with WRAL Tech Wire about the program.

What were the key drivers for creating of the app?

Bull City BUCK$ was created as a partnership between Capitol Broadcasting and University Ford/KIA of Durham to provide visibility to the many great places in downtown Durham.

Bull City BUCK$ accomplishes this goal by providing a fun program for users to participate in, which encourages exploration and experimentation of businesses and other places in downtown Durham.

University Ford and Kia just celebrated their 26 year anniversary – when they first moved to Durham, the tobacco factories were still functioning, and there wasn’t much to Downtown Durham except the Durham Bulls and Brightleaf … University Ford and Kia have watched Durham grow and change, and they are excited to support the growth by bringing the best of Downtown Durham to more users through Bull City BUCK$.

Were merchants proactive in wanting such an app created or was this an Albright generated idea?

The idea came from both Capitol Broadcasting and University Ford/ KIA. Both companies are networked well within the Durham community and recognized the need and opportunity to provide more connectivity between visitors and patrons of downtown Durham and the variety of businesses.

They also recognized that the patrons of downtown Durham are media centric, so creating a web-mobile application for a loyalty program that rewards users for doing the things they love, with prizes that encourages trial of businesses new the user seemed like the perfect fit.

How does the app fit into the Albright mission?

Albright Digital’s mission is to provide technology and services to auto dealers that enable them to create tighter relationships with new and existing customers. Bull City BUCK$ is a customized program that enables University Ford / KIA to provide an engaging application to users, which enables those users to learn more about downtown Durham, while at the same time providing visibility and branding to University Ford/ KIA, through an exclusive sponsorship of the application and integrated connections through redemption of prizes and bonus points for certain activities, such as test driving a car.

How does Albright make money from the app – or is it a community service?

Albright Digital does not make any money from the application. We are creating it as part of the partnership between Captiol Broadcasting and University Ford/ KIA.

Do participants have to pay or contribute goods in order to be on the list of apps spaces?

Businesses do not have to pay to participate in Bull City BUCK$. We ask that in order to be included, they must participate on the scan & earn, as well as the redeem for prizes side. That way the system works in a virtuous cycle, providing value when a customer purchases/ visits and business as well as when the user collects BUCK$ and redeems them for a prize.

How do individual participants win prizes?

User win prizes by collecting enough BUCK$ to win the prizes that they want. A variety of prizes are available in the Bull City Market — these may vary from Free Specialty Coffee at Old Havana Sandwich Shop, to a Free Appetizer with a purchase of a large pizza at Mellow Mushroom, to tickets to a DPAC show, to a day with the brewer which includes the beer that you brewed that day from Bull City Burger and Brewery.

(Note: Capitol Broadcasting is the parent firm of WRAL Tech Wire and WRAL.com.)

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