Skip to main content

Racy Cause Marketing

On Sunday, Sept 18, 2011 the Goodyear tires on cars racing at the NASCAR Geico 400 and O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA National Top Fuel and Funny Car races featured a show of support for the troops and will benefit the nonprofit charity called Support Our Troops.

The tires, which sported a custom Support Our Troops graphic on the sidewalls, have now been pulled from the cars and will be autographed by their respective drivers and auctioned off online to support the cause.

This is the second year that Goodyear has conducted this campaign.

But for 2011 the company has added some new elements. Goodyear’s website asks you to donate directly via the site or by text-to-donate. The text-to-donate option generates a $10 donation by adding that amount to your mobile phone bill. Goodyear also invites customers to donate all or part of their rebate when they purchase tires during Goodyear's 'Traction in Action Tire Sale.’

Lastly, Goodyear has also developed an event that shows promise, even if it looks under-developed right now to me. Called the Goodyear Bootcamp Challenge, the contest pits drivers from NASCAR vs. drivers from the NHRA in a physical contest that uses Goodyear racing tires. Goodyear is the official tire provider from both NASCAR and the NHRA.

I say it shows promise because much depends on how well the event is executed. It appears that the Bootcamp Challenge has already taken place, although the website and the promotional video are vague on that point. But the website does describe six stations in the Challenge: Spin and Run; Tire Slalom, Sergeant Slide; Leapfrog; Find the Key; and, Water Balloon Toss.

Based only on those names it sounds like a snoozefest. Too often the thinking that frames fundraising events is based on what could be easily/quickly put together, rather then what 'customers'...whatever that means to you... would want to see or participate in.

Here’s what I suggest to augment the Challenge for 2012.

NASCAR does a lot of direct-to-fan outreach, making their athletes much more accessible than NFL, NBA or MLB players. It’s a great point of differentiation. As a starting point, Goodyear ought to auction off the right to participate in next year’s Challenge with a favored driver to the highest bidders.

Secondly, they need to rethink the tire course stations. I mean water balloons! Really?

People pay good money to watch NASCAR and NHRA drivers drive. But how much of what NASCAR driver Joey Lugano (seen in the ad at left) or NHRA driver Tony Shumacher is all-purpose skill and how much is vehicle specific skill?

So imagine them driving something besides their usual vehicles; golf carts, lawn mowers, Cushmans, race prepared electric kiddie cars, horse and buggies, bikes, swamp buggies, snowmobiles, etc. It would be like a decathlon where athletes are rewarded not for being the 'world’s fastest human'…in the Olympics that title belongs to super-sprinter Usain Bolt. Instead, champion decathletes are considered “The World’s Greatest Athletes.”

In a like manner Goodyear could crown “The World’s Greatest Driver!” in benefit of Support Our Troops.

That I would watch.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Five Steps To Nurture a 30-Year Cause Marketing Relationship

Last Monday, July 22, 2013, March of Dimes released the annual results of its campaign with Kmart... now in its thirtieth year... and thereby begged the question, what does it takes to have a multi-decade cause marketing relationship between a cause and a sponsor?

In the most recent year, Kmart,the discount retailer, donated $7.4 million to the March of Dimes, bringing the 30-year total to nearly $114 million. March of Dimes works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Too many cause marketing relationships, in my estimation, resemble speed-dating more than long-term marriage. There can be good reasons for short-term cause marketing relationships. But most causes and sponsors benefit more from long-term marriages than short-term hookups, the main benefit being continuity. Cause marketing trades on the trust that people, usually consumers, put in the cause and the sponsor. The longer the relationship lasts the more trust is evidenced.

There's also a sponsor finding cost that…