Fans at Super Bowl XLVIII scored way more than the Denver Broncos did with the “Warm Welcome” kits they received at the big game. The kits, provided by the NFL, warmed up, and lit up, the 84,000 fans in attendance, offering an array of ultra-cool gifts that were intended to keep fans comfortable in chilly Northeastern temperatures. The gift packages were housed within Super Bowl-themed seat cushions and placed on every seat in MetLife Stadium before the gates opened.
NFL's distributor partner coordinated with League officials on ideas for upgrading the commemorative seat cushions that are typically given out to fans most years. Since this year's Super Bowl was the first to be played outdoors in a cold-weather city, the NFL wanted to guarantee fans would be comfortable even if conditions turned chilly.
The cushions and contents got a lot of media playtime. NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman showcased the kits during a January 22 press conference, which was covered by several major media outlets. The kits got additional buzz when hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, a former player for the New York Giants, devoted a 4 ½-minute segment to the Warm Welcome kits on their morning talk show.
The kits contained a slew of products to combat the cold: a “video ski hat,” branded ear muffs, texting gloves, a hand warmer pouch just like the quarterbacks wear, a Gator Dana neck wrap, lip balm, drink sleeves, hand-warmer packets, a small radio with earbuds and tissues. In addition to the 84,000 kits distributed at the game, 30 kits were sent to select TV, radio and print media.
The ski hats, which were beanie style and bore sponsor Pepsi's logo, took on a starring role in the halftime show. The caps contained LED lights and an infrared receiver that, when activated remotely, turned the entire stadium into a backdrop of flashing lights. A Montreal-based multimedia company called PixMob created the technology that allowed fans to become a human light display during performances by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Brainstorming for Super Bowl XLVIII began well before the previous Super Bowl. The products that ultimately made the cut were chosen because they could be used by fans long after the game, or be displayed alongside other keepsakes.
Besides coordinating the Warm Welcome kits, the NFL's distributor partner also operated the official onsite NFL Super Bowl League Store. The store, which was inside NFL headquarters, was fully stocked with a combination of Super Bowl XLVIII and NFL Shield products. This League store was open exclusively to league employees and family members, NFL officials, NFL alumni and sponsors. There's also a client gifting program for NFL buyers and partners. Gift bags are sold, and kitted with a variety of merchandise from the Super Bowl catalog and distributed to owners, players, sponsors and network affiliates.
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Recruiters from Northwestern College wanted something that would capture a potential applicant's attention and bring them to a decision point during the college fair. That item turned out to be free ringtones.
To kick off the program, Northwestern offered visitors to their booth a branded digital reward card redeemable for a free ringtone. When prospective students accessed the online site printed on the back of their ringtone card, they were asked to provide information about their future education and career interests. This enabled Northwestern to gain future contacts while promoting the educational opportunities the school provides. The student info was then given to a staff member for follow-up.
The ringtone gift could only be redeemed if the prospective student answered the questionnaire. Northwestern found out students were happy to trade personal information for the ringtones. For not much more than the price of a pen, the opportunity to use branded cards to get qualified people to visit the Northwestern website and leave personal information turned out to be a great investment. What's more, the gift made Northwestern stand out from the crowd.
Use innovative techniques to connect prospects to a school's offerings to boost school enrollment. The best methods to do this use promotional products and a strong partnership with your distributor, who can show you great ways to incorporate branded items into your campaign.
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Back to School Items
Though homework, tests and finals are coming to an end and summer is just gearing up, the first day of the new school year will be here in no time. Of course, even before classroom doors open, the fall sports teams and marching bands will have already started practicing. Get ready now and contact your distributor partner for the best back-to-school promotions.
Carry On This denier nylon backpack has a zippered main compartment with padded back, front organizer compartment, two outside pockets and two drawstring mesh side pockets. asi/61125
It’s A Cinch Made from recycled material, this U.S. Certified cinch bag has a spacious main compartment, front mesh beverage pocket and pen loop for added convenience. asi/66887
In A Flash This oval folding USB 2.0 flash drive measures 2" x 1" x 3/5" and features a full-color imprint. Ideal item for high schools and college book stores. asi/74400
Friday Night Lights This football-shaped cell phone holder is also a stress reliever, and would make a great item for football fundraisers and booster clubs. asi/74779
Touchdown! Performance fleece hoodie has athletic mesh inside three-panel hood with top stitching for mascot/number, and hidden cellphone pocket inside. Coordinating pants available. asi/79954
Cheer Up This 12" bear dressed like a cheerleader would make a perfect fundraising item for the cheer squad or as a gift for an end-of-season banquet and senior appreciation night. asi/38228
American Adventures Month
August is set aside as the month to explore this fabulous country. From coast to coast, and north to south, the United States has so much to offer in terms of entertainment, adventure, relaxation, culture, history and more. While this is a natural tie-in for the travel and hotel industry, any company can plan a creative promotion that focuses on America. Run a daily or weekly online contest where participants answer questions about the company's products and where they are, à la Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego. Daily winners should receive a small logoed item, while the grand prize winner at the end of the month should be given travel-related prize. Your distributor partner can help you build the campaign and contest from start to finish and furnish the logoed prizes, too.
5 National Night Out
A grassroots effort to fight crime is practiced on a local community level. Traditionally, neighbors and community organizations spearhead efforts to “patrol” towns by either sitting on porches or walking the streets. Businesses can get involved by participating in the areas that they're headquartered. This community outreach effort should be coordinated with appropriate logoed products including flashlights, whistles, T-shirts and caps.
12 United Nations: International Youth Day
This worldwide event focuses on 10 areas that include education, hunger, poverty, health, environment, drug abuse and others. Programs are developed to address these issues and to foster good decision-making skills by young people. A corporation can get involved by sponsoring events on a regional or local level. You can also do your part by initiating year-long mentoring programs for at-risk youth. Your distributor partner can help with details and securing ideal logoed products.
18 Bad Poetry Day
You're a poet and you… never do anything about it. Here's a fun idea – create a contest for your clients, vendors and employees to write poetry about the company, products and services. The campier, the better. Use social media to advertise and inform the masses. And select a winner (or would it be loser?) who provides the worst verse. Don't forget logoed prizes for all participants and something special for the winner.
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Diamond Cosmetics offers fun, fashion-forward, and fully customized promotions. Great for give-aways and GWPs. Over 200 nail and 20 lip gloss shades to choose from. Sell these in advance because everything is made to order AND made in the USA. asi/49640
Custom Deluxe Wish Bar, sprite & Cookie Combo WF364X
Impress them! They'll wish for more after sampling a variety of individually wrapped Fairytale treats: 12 different brownie flavors, six chewy cookie flavors and nine blondie bars in six flavors; your logo printed on the lid. asi/53518