Skip to main content

March Madness Cause Marketing

It’s conference tournament time in college basketball in the lead-up to March Madness, the best sporting event in America other than the Super Bowl. Soon the NCAA Tournament seedings will be announced and brackets will start rolling off of office printers nationwide.

In homage to the Madness, here’s a cause marketing promotion you could run next year in conjunction with the Tournament. It features local celebrities, a sweepstakes component, and numerous possible extensions.

Here’s how it could work: local celebrities are pitted against each other in something like a NCAA Tournament bracket. Then people vote on who they’d like to see advance based on the parings on Facebook or at the website. If there’s no seedings, it’s basically a straight popularity contest. The person who picks the most brackets correctly wins a cool prize; perhaps tickets to March Madness.

Local businesses are the sponsors of the brackets. In addition to selling the brackets, you’ll need to get permission in your market to use the names of 64 local celebrities. Alternatively, you could use corporate names.

If the brackets were filled with company names, you could ask for a donation to participate in the brackets. A donation of $250 from 64 companies, which is in-reach for even small businesses, would generate $16,000!

Or you could seed the companies based on their donation amount. Perhaps a $1,000 donation gets you a #1 seeding, while a $500 donation gets you a #8 seeding and so on.

In a lot of states, although not mine, you could ask for a fee to submit a bracket. It’s not so different from bingo. Get 500 participants at $10 a bracket sheet and that’s an extra $5,000. At $50 a bracket sheet that’s an extra $25,000 your charity tourney takes in.

There are too many other possible wrinkles to mention. But plainly this idea is Madness.

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…

Unconventional Metrics of Cause Marketing Power

The printed edition of Fortune Magazine runs a regular feature called ‘My Metric’ wherein business leaders identify informal but telling measures of current economic activity.

In the January 17, 2011 Michael Glimcher, CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust cited as his metric an increased number of black cars on the streets of New York City as a sign of the U.S. economy’s (still pending?) resurgence.

That got me thinking, what unconventional metrics evidence the power of certain cause marketing efforts?

One immediately leapt to mind, although only General Mills, which makes Yoplait yogurt in the U.S., can measure it.

The Yoplait lid at left... which I purchased in December 2010... can NOT be redeemed for a $0.10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Instead it promotes Yoplait’s sponsorship of Komen’s Race for the Cure events, which are numerous.

But I’d bet you a six-pack of Yoplait Greek Honey Vanilla that people nonetheless still send in some number of the lids above in an attempt to redeem th…