Party City and the NY Giants Team Up to Celebrate Halloween

Retail partners looking for new, creative ways to leverage their team partnerships should consider benchmarking a recent initiative implemented by Party City and the New York Giants.

Party City partnered with the Giants to feature a contest on the team's website that gave fans an opportunity to vote for which Halloween costume rookie linebacker Mark Herzlich would wear on the team's official visit to a local hospital.

Party City promoted the initiative by inviting several veterans on the Giants roster to visit a local Party City store location and pick out Halloween costumes for all of the team's rookies to wear to the event as well. The retailer did a terrific job capturing footage of the event, as the players seemed to have a great time picking out embarrasing Halloween costumes for their peers, with some even trying them on in the store.

The footage is a great publicity piece for Party City as it demonstrates to consumers firsthand that Giants players do in fact frequent their stores and has viral potential! Party City could easily repurpose the content to feature on the jumbotron during the game, on, or via social media.

Check it out below:

Wendy's Lets CFL Fans Compete to Kick for a Million Dollars

Over the past seven years, Wendy's has captured the interests and attention of millions of football fans throughout Canada by offering a Kick for a Million promotional platform that rewards CFL fans for eating at its chain locations.

The QSR chain leverages its status as an official partner of the Canadian Football League as well as a media partnership with TSN to feature a live halftime promotional contest that offers one lucky fan a chance to kick a 50-yard field goal for the chance to win $1 million. In addition, Wendy's grants the participant an opportunity to also attempt field goals from 20, 30, and 40 yards for the chance to also win a Samsung $25,000 Family Package, a 2011 Nissan Titan Crew Cab Pro, and $100,000 cash.

Fans can participate in the Kick to Win contest by visiting participating Wendy's locations throughout Canada to receive a game cup that offers a chance to win a variety of instant prizes, including Nissan automobiles, Samsung Galaxy tablets, Reebok merchandise, and Wendy's gift cards and food prizes. Fans who purchase Wendy's on a regular basis can also receive bonus entries for the chance to kick for $1 million.

The structure of the promotion, offering a series of lower-tier prizes, demonstrates how league partners can collaborate to amplify promotional events - both in-stadium and at retail. In total, Wendy's Kick for a Million contest generated 18 million entries - the most ever in the history of the contest. Wendy's has even attracted 11,000+ fans to "like" the promotion's official Facebook page.

Check out Wendy's Kick for a Million promotional video below:

Check out Wendy's Kick for a Million contest execution here:

A special thanks to Kelsey Philpott of GMR Marketing for his insights and contributions to this column!

Centauro Helps Brazilian Soccer Fans Feel The Weight of Five World Titles

Brands and retail partners looking for new ways to impact consumers in a retail setting should take a close look at a recent strategy implemented by Centauro, Brazil's largest sporting goods chain. Just prior to the World Cup, Centauro impacted thousands of consumers shopping for Brazilian soccer apparel across the country with the use of a simple, weighted hanger.

There is a common expression in Brazil that every time a player sports the country's distinct yellow soccer jersey, they are wearing the weight of Five World Titles on their shoulders. That is because Brazil has won more championships (5) than any other team in World Cup history.

Centauro capitalized on this expression by hanging all of the Brazil World Cup jerseys in its stores on a special 2kg hanger that sported a branded tag, "Feel the Weight of Five World Titles". The simple, weighted hanger became an unexpected and impacting communication platform, driving curiosity and buzz amongst consumers at retail. The campaign, implemented across 120 retail locations, served as an effective way for Centauro to drive awareness for its Brazilian jersey offerings in-store.

Check out a viral piece that captured consumer reactions in-store below:



adidas Goes Guerrilla with Star Wars Characters

Are you looking for new ways to leverage partnerships in an effort to drive retail traffic? Are you looking for new ways to leverage mascots and non-traditional characters?

adidas recently drove awareness and traffic to its flagship store on Orchard Road in Singapore by executing a terrific Stars Wars guerrilla marketing stunt. The exhibition, designed to promote the launch of adidas' 2010 Originals x Star Wars collection, featured approximately 20 Stars Wars characters (led by Darth Vader) raiding the adidas store, purchasing goods, and engaging with consumers while walking the streets of Singapore with branded adidas bags in tow. adidas teamed up with the 501st Star Wars Costume Group to execute the stunt.

Sports properties looking for new ways to drive traffic and buzz at retail should consider ways that they can benchmark adidas' creative Star Wars stunt. For example, properties and retail partners can easily team up to hire a team of actors wearing football equipment (resembling the team's players) running through a mall and into a desired store location during a busy shopping weekend.

Retail partners can even drive team affiliation awareness by featuring actors (in uniforms) doing touchdown celebrations/plays at high-traffic street corners and offer tickets/discounts to passerby consumers. Consider ways that you can leverage mascots and non-traditional characters (e.g. actors in uniform) to drive traffic and awareness to your location. For the price of store appearance by a premier player ($750+ for 90 minutes), retailers can deliver as much (if not more) value with a set of qualified actors performing a unique marketing stunt!

Check out adidas' Star Wars stunt below:

Trader Joe's Leverages Sports... Without Paying for It

Are you looking for new ways to leverage sports at retail without having to incur high sponsorship fees? Are you looking for creative ways to enhance the consumer's shopping experience?

Trader Joe's, a privately held chain of grocery stores located nationwide, does a tremendous job leveraging sports to enhance the consumer's shopping experience... without having to pay steep sponsorship fees.

Their strategy? Independent store locations use a hometown sports thematic to welcome consumers (fans) as they enter the store. Select Trader Joe's locations tap into the passions of sports fans by featuring a simple "Kick off the season with Trader Joe's" welcome message that resonates with fans. Inside, store shelves and walls are decorated with murals and stuffed animals of local team mascots (who female shoppers normally gravitate to).

The hometown sports strategy is so simple, yet (cost) effective. Consider new ways that your brand can leverage sports without paying for it!  

The Panthers and Harris Teeter Team Up at Retail...

Are you looking for creative ways to leverage partnerships at retail? Are you looking for new ways to sway consumer buying behaviors?

The Carolina Panthers have teamed up with Harris Teeter in 2009 to create a "Total Tailgate Sweepstakes" that will reward one (1) customer with an ultimate tailgate party for 20 people at the Panthers-Redskins game on October 11, 2009 at Bank of America Stadium. For the chance to win, consumers just have to use their VIC card (points rewards card) at any participating Harris Teeter location to accumulate points (the more total points, the greater chance of winning).

Each time a consumer makes a purchase while using their VIC card (from July 22nd and September 15th), they receive one (1) point. However, consumers who purchase one (1) of fifty (50) participating brands featured in the store will receive an additional five (5) points at the end of the sweepstakes period.  

The most interesting aspect of the promotion is the way the Panthers and Harris Teeter have teamed up to promote it in store. The grocery retailer is featuring prominent promotional labels with the team's marks and the promotional offer on select product price tags throughout the store:

The VIP tailgate package includes twenty (20) upper deck tickets to the game, 20 hospitality passes to a private tent location outside the stadium (inclusive of food, beverages, etc.), roundtrip transportation for 20 guests from select Charlotte Harris Teeter locations, and 20 gift bags (a package worth $5,500).