Groundspeak Joins Criminal Underworld

Groundspeak is moving into the racketeering business – but it’s all to help best-selling American author John Grisham flog his new legal thriller.

From today, the Seattle firm will begin marketing The Racketeer – which deals with the murder of an United States federal judge – in conjunction with publisher Doubleday, although Grisham’s 25th novel won’t officially hit bookshops until October 23.

Groundspeak’s PR manager Eric Schudiske says: “Doubleday’s promotion taps into the power of Geocaching.com to engage readers in a fun, interactive campaign that mirrors the book’s plot, in which ill-gained gold bars are moved from place to place.”

During the campaign, 5000 Racketeer geocoins will be released across the US. As the below image from Grisham’s own website shows, each has been minted with its own trading number and the tag line “999.9 Pure Suspense”.

Finders will have the opportunity to win prizes, “including autographed first editions of The Racketeer and a grand prize 1oz bar of pure gold”, Schudiske added.

He expects the campaign will generate “far more than a million impressions online”, adding that the associated trackables touching “more than 50,000 people, in-person”. 

The Racketeer’s loot: A 999.9 Pure Suspense geocoin.

Doubleday is the latest in a series of “powerhouse brands” to align with Geocaching.com as a way to hype new products, Schudiske says. Previous partners have included Expedia, GEICO, Jeep, Timberland, and 20th Century Fox.

“Geocaching.com promotions boast a nearly-endless life cycle and tap into a growing community of five million adventurers around the world … The hi-tech campaigns are augmented with additional brand touch-points via social media, direct emailing and online advertising.”

*Are you thrilled by the idea of this GC.com campaign? Or does it leave you cold? Tell us below …


  1. thebitchycacher

    It is interesting that geocaching.com does not allow any solicitation of any kind either on logs, cache descriptions or forum posts, but happily jumps on something themselves that is obviously commercialism

  2. lostinthewoodswithasmartphone

    This promotion was one of the featured stories in the latest geocaching.com weekly newsletter, too. I’m going with the title of your post on this one. I didn’t pay for a membership to their site so that I’d be a more convenient marketing target and I’m certainly not moving these on when I see them.

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