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!

Modell's Uses Athletes in Disguise to Create a Hit Viral Series

Over the past few months, Modell's Sporting Goods has released a terrific viral series featuring professional athletes disguised as employees trying to sell their own jerseys.

The series kicked off in December when Modell's teamed up with Reebok to send Patriots RB Danny Woodhead to a retail location to push apparel. Standing 5-feet-9-inches tall, Woodhead served as the perfect athlete in disguise, as he went largely unnoticed and was even referred to as being "too little" by a shopper. The stunt, secretly captured on camera, became an instant hit with fans across the globe and generated 1MM+ views in a matter of days.

The second segment of the series featured prominent Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson posing undercover at a Modell's location in the greater Philadelphia area. Unlike Woodhead, Jackson was recognized by several shoppers but the filmed publicity stunt still managed to generate a significant amount of traction online with 108K+ views on YouTube. 

After producing two (2) viral hits, Modell's continued the series in February by sending New York Knicks rookie guard Landry Fields to a select retail location. An extremely animated Fields did a tremendous job posing as a Modell's employee named Leeroy Fields. The 6'7 forward did just about everything possible to call attention to himself (and his jersey), helping Modell's create yet another viral sensation.

Check out the three (3) classic retail stunts below: 

New England Patriots Running Back Danny Woodhead

Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson

New York Knicks Guard Landry Fields

Leverage Endorsers to Drive Buzz for Launch Dates

Brands looking for new ways to leverage notable athlete endorsers should consider using them to support product launches at retail. With a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding the release dates of video games, DVD's, shoes, phones, and apparel, ample opportunities exist for brands to film the excitement of their athlete endorsers as they head out to select retailers at midnight to pick up the newest release.

For example, EA Sports could drive a significant amount of buzz around the launch of its Madden '11 title in the social media marketplace by secretly filming NFL players heading out to their local Best Buy store locations at midnight to pick up their favorite new game the night it is released. The virals would effectively show how athletes share the same excitement as fans when purchasing their favorite video game titles and could even detail their interactions with consumers at retail. After purchasing the game, EA Sports marketers could film players opening the packaging, running to their outlandish car in the parking lot, and playing the game on televisions mounted inside the headrests, even before they get home or have to head to training camp in the morning. 

Check out a quick visual of how these virals could live - filming players as they head into the store, waiting in line to purchase the new release, stripping the packaging, sharing their excitement with fans, and playing the title for the first time:

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:


Source: AdsoftheWorld.com 

Jones Soda Takes Its Seahawks Partnership to New Heights at Retail

Are you looking for new ways to drive sales at retail? Are you looking for new, innovative ways to leverage team marks?

In 2009, Jones Soda did an incredible job bringing their Seattle Seahawks team partnership to life at retail. The niche soda brand created a unique line of packaging that featured Seahawks cartoon and even included a line of trading cards.

The packaging does a terrific job demonstrating how partners (with permisison) can use team marks in non-traditional ways to connect and engage with consumers with a variety of interests. For example, this type of packaging caters to sports fans (largely due to its originality), children, and consumers with an interest in comics/science fiction. Jones Soda is sold at a variety of retailers across the Northwest, including Albertson's, Safeway, Sam's Club, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, Winco, and Fred Meyer.

As more brands look for ways to integrate sports and comics (as seen recently with adidas' World Cup campaign), it will be interesting to see if there is additional media integration.

Check out some pictures of Jones Soda's unique retail initiative below:    



Here are some additional pictures of the packaging.

Billboard of the Week - Chick-fil-A

Are you looking for new ways to drive buzz at retail in the marketplace? Are you looking to leverage sports without investing in corporate partnerships?

The Chick-fil-A location in North Canton, OH recently used its outdoor marquee signage to poke a little fun at the hometown Cleveland Browns. The franchisee posted a sign that read "Like the Browns We Take Sundays Off" - a message that remained up for two (2) days.

While this messaging strategy could possibly backfire (alienating avid Browns fans, especially right in the team's backyard), it also could serve as a pivotal way to drive buzz. After all, Browns fans can take a creative joke these days about their favorite team's demise, right? Either way, consumers will remember the signage (and Chick-fil-A in general) each time they pass the location, especially during football season.  

The signage serves as an excellent example of ways that retailers can leverage sports without investing a significant amount of dollars in corporate partnerships. By simply recognizing sports and related events taking place (similar to Trader Joe's local market strategy), retailers can tap into the passion of fans without actually being directly associated. Look for more creative examples of sports branding at retail to come in future weeks!

Source: DC Sports Daily's Twitter Feed