Successful Promotions

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Summer 2004

NEWS : Successful Promotions

Success Stories

Batons Give Boost To Big Game

By Karen Akers & Michele Bell
There are games and then there are games. When NBA division rivals the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers met for the last time in the regular season, you better believe it was a game. Not only was it a meeting between bitter rivals but, since both teams had identical records (54 wins, 25 losses), it was also one that would help decide the division title. It’s one of those games that fans live for.

To help Kings’ fans show their support and enthusiasm, game sponsor Wells Fargo decided to give something unusual away. Also, since the event would be nationally televised, it wanted a giveaway that would create maximum exposure. With the help of promotional consultant Carole Friedman, it decided upon a glowing baton that would feature the Kings and Wells Fargo logos. “Wells Fargo wanted a unique promotion that would stand out, that was long-lasting, sustaining, re-usable and that fans would bring back to games over and over again,” Friedman explains.

The batons were given to the first 20,000 fans as they entered the Kings’ home stadium, Arco Arena. Then, when the lights were turned down for the Kings’ player introductions, the glow-in-the-dark batons could be seen all around the arena. While the lights were on, fans could be seen supporting their team by waving the batons. “[People were] excited and waving them throughout the game – people of all ages,” Friedman says. And, fans had a lot to cheer about that night, as Sacramento scored the first eight points and led throughout the game, beating the Lakers 102-85.

Perhaps the best indicator of the promotion’s success was seen days later, when some fans brought the baton back to the next home game – one such fan was even interviewed on TV. “We saw them on TV during the [Lakers] game, and also saw them on TV at the next Kings game when a sportscaster was talking to a little boy who brought his baton back to that game,” Friedman says. “It accomplished what [Wells Fargo] had hoped for.”

Pizza Promo Proves Profitable

As if cold calling wasn’t bad enough, recent telemarketing laws have taken a sometimes-daunting task and made it downright risky. Thankfully promotional products provide an alternate way in and, if properly executed, they can even entice prospects to call you.

When promotional consultant Cliff Quicksell Jr. wanted to market his creative services to potential clients, he made sure his promotion wouldn’t be easily overlooked. The product he decided to give out: pizza cutters. Seem strange? Read on. These weren’t ordinary pizza cutters. Quicksell had each utensil laser-engraved with the name of the intended recipient. He then packaged each one in a custom-printed pizza box that read “Sometimes a slice of … creativity is all it takes.” The inside of the box also contained promotional copy that explained the services the company offered and prompted recipients to call for more information.

Then, for the coup d’grâce, Quicksell had the packaged hand-delivered to each prospect at 11:30 a.m., along with a straight-from-the-oven medium cheese pizza. The tempting aroma of a freshly baked pizza got recipients’ attention, and the personalization of the pizza cutters ensured that recipients would have a lasting reminder of the unique promotion. “A lot of people laughed and scoffed at me and said, ‘Come on – a personalized pizza cutter?’ But, in all seriousness, of the 12 that I sent out, there were no less than six who commented that they had their own personalized pizza cutter,” Quicksell recalls. “It obviously struck a chord. It really was a terrific emotional trigger to tap into.”

Indeed it was. Every one of the 12 recipients arranged a meeting with Quicksell – a remarkable 100% response rate. In all, the promotion, which cost $240, resulted in $27,000 in new business.