Skip to main content

The World Series of Cause Marketing

The winner of the 2011 World Series will be determined tonight at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. But four causes, recognized during the first four games of the Series, have already won the big spotlight that the Fall Classic brings. Those causes are: Welcome Back Veterans; the Roberto Clemente Award; Boys and Girls Clubs of America; and Stand Up to Cancer.

Each was separately highlighted during the 2011 Series.

This is no small thing. Game 2, for instance, had 14.69 million viewers. Not quite ‘Dancing With the Stars’ numbers, but respectable given the two teams playing for the Championship this year.

The cause featured in Game 2 was the awarding of the 2011 Roberto Clemente Legacy award to David Ortiz, the designated hitter of the Boston Red Sox. The Roberto Clemente Award recognizes the MLB player who “best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field.”

That’s video of Ortiz being recognized before the start of the game at the left. There was a little more to it than what’s shown in the video, but not much.

Indeed, every week during football season in college and professional stadiums across the country similar awards are given at halftime to students-athletes, community leaders, or alumni who have done their alma mater proud.

The major difference is that Chevrolet is footing the bill for the Roberto Clemente Award. And, of course, Game 2 had those 14.69 million television viewers.

Because such awards happen so frequently and because they always take the same approach, they’re almost unwatchable for anyone who isn’t personally involved. Both in the stadium, and on television. And, of course, they’re forgotten almost as soon as they’re over.

Roberto Clemente was a famous humanitarian. He died December 31, 1972 in an airline crash trying to deliver relief supplies to the victims of the massive Managua, Nicaragua earthquake that had happened earlier in December. His remains were never found.

So imagine if instead of showing Ortiz behind the statue of Clemente shaking hands with MLB and Chevrolet officials that instead they told the story of someone who has been helped by Ortiz doing whatever it is that won him the award.

Remember, people don’t get worked up over statistics of millions of people in jeopardy. Or, for that matter, millions of people helped. What moves them are the narratives… the stories… of individuals.

Imagine if Chevy and MLB offered a ‘Roberto Clemente Fellowship’ to a few hundred young fans to spend three months or six months doing service in rural Latin America, where Clemente did so much humanitarian work... and where MLB gets so many of its best players these days. Now imagine that their stories were told to MLB's fanbase.

Imagine if Chevy offered to match donations that TV viewers made via their cell phones to the ‘Roberto Clemente Memorial Education Fund’ to build schools in rural Latin America.

Imagine if MLB really wanted to get innovative with its cause partners and come up with something better than a static award presentation.


Popular posts from this blog

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…

Cause-Related Marketing Meets Microfinance and Mix it Up

You’d have had to have been in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia the last year or so to have missed the run up of microfinance. Between 2004 and 2006 more than $4 billion of capital flowed into microfinance institutions. All told experts say the total loan microfinance loan portfolio may be as much as $12.5 billion. And of course the father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Microfinance is now so respectable, so effective, (so profitable!) that it’s already enjoying its first global backlash.

Actually that first sentence is hyperbole. Because even in Ulaanbaatar… far from almost anywhere on the vast, frigid steppes of Mongolia… microfinance is thriving such that the earliest recipients of micro loans there are now complaining about taxes and government bureaucracy! And May 29-31, 2008 the Conference of Microfinance Institutions will convene in Ulaanbaatar, the eleventh such annual conference.
Now Advanta, a credit card issuer to small…

Cause Marketing Beer with BOGO, Brew One Give One

On Monday’s post I touched on the topic of telling people what your cause marketing campaign accomplished when completed. I’ve recommended this approach to clients as a way to keep open the lines of communication with customers and clients and to get extra value from the campaign.

In other words, you’ll want to hold back some of the promotion’s budget to continue to activate the effort until the very end.

But what if that really cuts across the grain in your organization? What if it’s just not in your corporate DNA to do anything but to frontload your cause marketing activation? Well, then, add the report back to the activation of your next cause marketing effort.

New Belgium Brewing of Ft. Collins, Colorado, said to be the seventh largest brewery in the United States, did just that with this ad in Sunset magazine. I found this ad in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database.

New Belgium donates $1 for every barrel it brews and sells. It’s a BOGO cause marketing effort, Buy One Give One. …