A Well-Crafted Cause Marketing Effort Using Merchandise

Within the next few weeks you can count on seeing a lot of pink merchandise; garden shears, NFL Player’s shoes, cupcakes and more. But before you go pink golfer Phil Mickelson and his sponsors want you to think blue first.

When you buy Mickelson’s blue cap for $29.95 from KPMG’s Phil Mickelson website, $7.50 will go to First Book, the children’s literacy charity, with a guaranteed donation of $50,000. The hat is the same one Mickelson is wearing on the PGA Tour this year. It features KPMG’s logo on the front and Calloway’s logo on the back, two of ‘Lefty’s’ major sponsors.

The ad at the left was in Fortune magazine early this year and comes from the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database.

The $7.50 figure is in the fine print on the website. KPMG promotes the purchase of the hat as bringing First Book three books. To promote the campaign in the social media, when you Tweet a picture of the hat using the hashtag #PhilsBlueHat, you’re entered to win a VIP trip to Mickelson’s home base in San Diego to meet him.

Listen here as Phil explains it.

You can see where this could go. KPMG could issue limited-edition hats every year that it sponsors Mickelson, which seems likely to continue for at least a few more years. Although Mickelson has already had a 22-year career, he won’t be 50 until 2020, at which point he’s eligible for the Champions Tour.

Mickelson’s record includes 40 career wins, and 4 majors over his 22-year career.  That puts him ninth on the all-time PGA Tour Win List 

All in all, a well-thought-out cause marketing campaign based on selling merchandise.

There is one curiosity, however. The fine print also says this: “For one year, beginning March 15, 2012, KPMG will donate 100% of the net proceeds ($7.50) from each hat purchased to First Book.”

If you do the math, $29.95 minus $7.50 is $22.45. I have a really hard time believing that the cost of the hat and other expenses is really $22.45. Even if the hat was $11 that would be an expensive wholesale price for a ‘lid.’ There must be some money in there for a promoter or a licensing fee, or they dumped a lot of expenses into the cost of the hat.

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