The Skinny on the St. Paul Saints On any given night, the clean-up hitter on minor league baseball’s St. Paul Saints likely wouldn’t be called skinny. Muscular maybe or occasionally a tad overweight, but from August 3 thru 9, all of the players were dubbed the “Skinny Saints.” This was part of a unique naming rights deal that the Skinny Water brand struck with the team.
Visitors to the ballpark that week found that it was renamed “Skinny Water Field.” Here, the Skinny Water flag flew next to the American flag, and logos adorned the field. Behind home plate, the beverage’s tagline “0 calories 0 sugar 0 guilt” was emblazoned.
The roughly 10,000 fans that watched the team daily were handed free samples of Skinny Water as well as mementos such as rally towels and water bottles. “We are looking for promotional opportunities that not only give us an opportunity to promote the brand, but let them experience it and taste it in an environment beyond just handing them a sample,” says Michael Salaman, chairman of Skinny Nutritional. “Minor league baseball is a great environment to have them experience Skinny Water.”
The enhanced water brand, which includes multi-vitamins, antioxidants and an energy boost, is working to expand its distribution across the country. The Saints were chosen because distribution “is really starting to take off in the St. Paul/Minneapolis market,” says Salaman.
The samples, promotional products and naming rights “introduce the product to a large number of people and support our retail partners,” Salaman says. Now that’s phat.
Cause Breathes Fire into Dragon Boat Festival Dragon boat racing originated as an ancient Chinese ritual intended to win the good graces of river dragons. Today, it’s a widely growing sport, reminiscent of crew – and at least one group of cancer survivors has adopted it as a way to win back their well-being. This past summer, the group, called Dragon Boat Charleston, organized Charleston’s first-ever Dragon Boat Festival.
“The festival was used as a fundraiser for the Medical University of South Carolina’s Hollings Cancer Center Survivorship/Outreach Services,” says Grandee Ray, president of an ad specialty distributor company, and who is also a dragon-boater for a non-cancer sister team called Charleston Surge. “Each corporate team paid a fee to enroll in the festival, and each person racing made a donation of $80 to paddle.”
The distributor worked on a huge number of festival-related promotional items, including T-shirts for each team and for volunteers, performance shirts, window decals and tattoos. In addition, they provided promotional items for a film project, Awaken the Dragon (awakenthedragon.com), that is documenting the Dragon Boat Charleston team.
“Liz Oakley has been following this group for the last four years and has taken many hours of film,” Ray says. “She is in the process of editing the film for a documentary supported and endorsed by Women Make Movies out of New York City.” An Awakenthe Dragon tent sold imprinted merchandise and “tattooed” festival attendees with the film logo.
Overall, the event was as hot as a dragon’s breath. “The festival was well received,” Ray says, “with a record-breaking 51 corporate teams – the best the festival organizers had ever experienced for a first-time festival. A record $72,000 was raised for the cause.”
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