PROMOTIONS IN PARADISE
There are big orders, and then there are big orders. The deal Nelson Penalver recently orchestrated with Sandals resorts certainly belongs to the latter category.
The vice president of LOI Marketing (asi/255497) and his Miami-based team designed a custom travel wallet for the client, which operates resorts in the Caribbean. Sandals ordered more than 100,000 of the wallets – an attractive combination of leatherette, fabric and classy Sandals branding. LOI worked with an overseas factory to ensure the wallets were created flawlessly. The diligence paid off, and LOI delivered the wallets to the delight of its client. Given to guests who booked a stay at Sandals resorts through an approved travel agent, the wallets projected luxury while being perfectly practical for storing tickets, passports and other items. “It’s a unique custom piece that has the same high quality and luxury as their resorts,” says Penalver.
Fortunately for the ad specialty pro, the order was far from a one-off. Sandals is a loyal client for which Penalver has engineered a vast range of orders. Not long ago, for instance, LOI put together a promotional offering for a youth-outreach initiative the Sandals Foundation was working on with the Wade’s World Foundation. The two organizations had joined forces to rebuild urban basketball courts in Miami so local teens and children could have nice areas to play on. The swag package – which included shirts, hats and a bag – was given away at an event related to the courts project.
For Penalver, the key to winning Sandals’ loyalty – and that of other resorts’ clients – has been to consistently deliver creativity and tireless, top-notch service. “It’s about relationships,” he says. “You have to understand what these accounts want and earn their trust – earn the right to do business with them.” Clearly he is on to something. Beyond Sandals, he works with other major players in the hospitality industry, generating about 45% to 50% of his sales in this strengthening sector.