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Performance marketing tactics and techniques have worked themselves into nearly every corner of the digital world. From payday loans to wedding services, if you can name it, there’s probably someone out there on the Internet promoting it. So, this got us thinking—as consumers we’ve grown used to seeing famous athletes or celebrities endorse products on TV or the radio, but how are performance marketers utilizing fame to sell things on the Internet? That question led us to, a brand new technology startup that’s exploiting an area of performance marketing that you probably haven’t seen before.

Choosly is taking professional/product affiliation right to the eyes of the consumer via strategic placement of data into e-commerce stores. Essentially, they collect data on entire leagues of professionals (in sports and life) and use that to sell related products to interested online users.

To provide a little more in-depth insight into his product, CEO Rory Houston is here to tell us more about how and why Choosly works.

By: Rory Houston, CEO,

You’ve read them. You like them, and I’d hazard a guess that at some point in your life you’ve used them to influence your decision to purchase. Product reviews that is. Zappos conducted a little market research and discovered that after photos and video, reviews were the next logical stop for a consumer. But reviews these days are from people like you and me. What if we could get a review from the subject matter experts? You know, that guy kicking the goals you watch on TV most weekends that uses those boots every day, relying on them for performance. The professionals. What if you could get a review from them?

It turns out, in a round about way, you can. Down at the Choosly offices we’ve been working on a handy new concept to bring the consumer some recommendations from the pros. I know what you’re thinking, the pros are paid lots of money to wear those boots and kick those goals, it’s just another marketing stunt by the big brands. True, in a number of cases. But what you’re probably not aware of is that there is, in fact, only a very small percentage of sports professionals that are sponsored to wear a particular boot, or swing with a particular club. Did you know that Ping golf clubs don’t pay a single PGA pro to use their clubs? So why are there pros swinging them? Or that in the Australian Rugby league only the top five players of each team are allowed to gain outside sponsorship? The rest of the not-so-special pros have to do something a little crazy, pick products for themselves! In fact, that’s the case for the vast majority.

Now Cristiano Ronaldo’s soccer boot is one thing, but what if I told you that the most popular boot in the English Premier League, and the UEFA Champions league combined, is made by Adidas. It’s the F50 Adizero, and it’s used by over 180 players! Yes, they get those boots for free, a quick phone call to Adidas with their player number and those cleats are in the mail quicker than you set fire to petrol. But, over 90% of those 180 players chose those boots.

Choosly does something unique. We collate all that data. What each professional uses in a number of genres, from sport to photography to cooking knives. We then design widgets that are placed in strategic places in retail stores to enhance user engagement, and as a flow on effect turn a browsing consumer into a buying consumer. It happens everyday in brick-and-mortar stores, cardboard cutouts of your favourite player are placed strategically behind the sliding doors as you enter. Our research came back with some very interesting figures. Those cardboard cutouts have a huge effect on the product being up-sold. To the tune of 90% of stores responding in the positive, some putting quite an emotional tone to it. It’s time that relationship was taken online. So here’s what they look like.



How it works is fairly simple. The consumer loads the page where the Nike Mercurial is sold and just below the product is the image on the left. When they engage and click on the “Who’s this player?” button, the image on the right is revealed. It show them Theo Walcott uses the Nike Mercurial, as well as the aggregated stats as an unassuming add on. Retailers pay for the service, but they get increased sales and user engagement. We allow them to select which pages they wish to have widgets displayed and which products are displayed in the widget, the database pulls the required data and creates the widget. It’s a very simple process for the retailers.

To find out more about Choosly, check out their website at, or follow their blog at for the latest in professionals and the gear they use to be the best. If it’s good enough for the pro’s, it’s good enough for me, no doubt!

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