On-demand car service Uber is teaming up with online social club Grouper, the companies announced this weekend. With a new program and promotional event called #UberGrouper, users can sign up for an exclusive deal in their city allowing them to use Uber as their luxury mode of transportation of choice on their Grouper meetups. To kick off the launch, Uber is giving away round-trip Uber rides, free drinks and more in 11 cities across the U.S. and Canada: New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Philly, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Toronto.
For those unfamiliar, Y Combinator-backed Grouper brings its members together for “Groupers,” which are basically like group dates. Though positioning itself more as a social meetup group than a dating site, it often appeals to the younger generation who are used to more casual “hangouts,” than they are a proper date, e.g. the classic “dinner and movie.” Instead, on Grouper meetups, users sign up, get matched with nearby friends, and prepay for a round of drinks. The service then sends them out to meet with the other members attending, usually at a local bar. Groups are limited to two groups of friends: three guys and three girls.
The #UberGrouper contest will give away free round-trip Uber rides for those attending their Grouper meetup, two rounds of drinks at the chosen location, and VIP matching from Grouper.
Not everyone can be a winner, of course, which is why the companies have also partnered to bring the Uber option to anyone interested. By signing up at at joingrouper.com/uber, they’ll have the option of adding the Uber ride to their next Grouper outing. For first-time Uber and Grouper users, the ride will be free through this link. (It’s a $20 credit for Uber, actually).
This isn’t the first time Uber has partnered with other companies to get the word out about its car service. In the past, it has also worked to arrange special deals with Trulia, Eventbrite, Virgin America and others. It even once experimented with sending out ice cream trucks on demand in select markets, which not only tested the concept, but also introduced the Uber brand to new users.