Teams Can Benchmark BK's "Wallets of Value"...

Is your organization looking to implement a unique guerrilla marketing strategy? Are you looking to drive attendance at your games in a way that gives back to the community?

With current economic conditions forcing consumers to become increasingly price-conscious, Burger King has rolled out a new "Reverse Pick-Pocketing" campaign designed to heighten awareness for its value meal menu. To support the initiative (and BK's classic media campaign around the King), the QSR chain has reached out to its agency partners to execute a unique guerrilla marketing campaign.  

As part of the "Reverse Pickpocketing" guerrilla campaign, agency partners are calling on each of their employees to drop five (5) wallets around major cities and high-traffic areas. The employees are asked to drop the wallets on buses, trains, sidewalks, etc. and gauge the reaction of consumers when they pick the wallet up. Inside each wallet, agency partners included a BK gift card, a fake ID of the King, between $1-$10 cash, and a fake dry cleaning receipt.  In total, 5,000 wallets were dropped in high-traffic areas of the city of Chicago alone.

Thus far, the guerrilla marketing campaign has proven to be a huge success with citygoers and the media. The campaign has created tremendous BK buzz in each of the executed markets and consumers are even tracking their discoveries on Twitter, blogs, and, Facebook.

So what does all this have to do with sports and partnerships?

Burger King's "Reverse Pick-pocketing" guerrilla strategy is a great example of an initiative that teams can implement to drive ticket sales and awareness. Team representatives can create a similar campaign (integrating coupons of corporate partners in the wallets) that entice people to come to the team's games. The team can "drop" wallets around their local city that include two (2) free ticket vouchers (good for any date between XXX and XXX), $10 in concessions dollars, etc.

By integrating supporting corporate partners into the mix, these "dropped" wallets could become a very hot commodity. Properties could mirror BK's strategy by placing a mascot's picture and information in the wallet. To accomodate the promotional tactic in-venue, teams can use one a tier of 50-100 seats, an unused suite, or standing room only passes in-venue.

On a smaller scale, teams could implement said promotion in and around their venues. To drive concessions and merchandise sales, teams could drop wallets in the concourse level that contain "Buy 1 Get 1 Free offers", coupons ($2 off any purchase of a hot dog), promotional tools (Buy a team jersey and receive a plush toy), free ticket vouchers to a future game, etc.

It's all about driving the value in the current economy. Consider creating similar value-based initiatives that drive brand buzz and demonstrate ways that your property gives back to its fan base and the local community!

A special thanks to Josh Hafer of the Columbus Blue Jackets for his contributions to the column. I also want to direct attention to, who posted the pictures of the BK wallet on the Web.