Elevate Brand Marketing’s self-promotion wasn’t just the proverbial business home run: It was a monster-sized grand slam to the upper deck. The sports analogy is appropriate, as the Dallas-based firm’s initiative targeted professional teams in the U.S. and Canada.
Sports are big business in North America – a market projected to reach $75.7 billion by 2020, according to a study by accounting firm PwC. Elevate was eager to make inroads into the lucrative vertical. Executives knew their team had the branding creativity, service capabilities and sourcing acumen to excel for sports clients. They just needed a way to cut through the cacophony of competitors and get the eyes of decision-makers on Elevate. They brainstormed; the result was the Stadium Box.
A dimensional mailing piece, the Stadium Box is a custom-designed, turned-edge box with a magnetic closure. It features Elevate branding in attractive graphics, and the tagline “Extending The Reach of Your Brand.” Inside, Elevate placed products it believed would appeal to prospects. Items included a polyurethane picture frame, a rally towel, a sublimated beanie and a unique product Elevate helped invent – a jersey-shaped pocket-sized holder for a screen cloth, with the cloth featuring team schedules. Products were not personalized to each team, but featured mock-up artwork based on various teams to awaken recipients to the possibilities.
With the aid of a researcher, Elevate identified key contacts at 120 teams across the NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA. Next, the distributor emailed prospects, tipping them off that they’d be receiving the Stadium Box. Then, the boxes shipped. “We knew we had great products. If we could just get them in the prospects’ hands, and get those prospects to look at what we could do, we knew it would have an impact,” says Dave Sedlin, VP of marketing at Elevate.
As of mid-summer 2018, the Stadium Box had resulted in requests-for-proposals from about 20 teams. “That’s a 17% response rate, which vastly exceeds industry averages for direct mail,” says Sedlin.
Perhaps even more compelling, the Stadium Box led to Elevate landing orders with three teams so far, including two in the NHL and one in MLB. For the Texas Rangers, Elevate provided about 20,000 caps for “University Days,” a co-promotional initiative between the baseball team and 10 universities. Created in sets based on the color of each partner university, the caps feature the Rangers logo and the school’s logo.
Given the success of the self-promo, Elevate plans to do more Stadium Box mailings. “We’ll include different products each time,” says Sedlin. “It’s been impactful.”