Asics GT-1000 PR for Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women

If a sponsor is going to cap a donation at a certain maximum amount, what’s the right minimum amount to donate?

In this campaign, which benefits Right Action for Women - The Christina Applegate Foundation, Asics has put out a special pink running shoe with black satin laces and the iconic pink ribbon embroidered on the heel collar. During October, $2 from the sale of each shoe sold benefits The Christina Applegate Foundation, with a maximum donation of $100,000.

Actress Christina Applegate is a breast cancer survivor. The shoes retail on Amazon for $90.

So what should the minimum donation be?

Way back in the day we’d structure these kinds of deals so that there’d be no mention of a minimum donation. After all, the sponsors would be on the hook and we didn’t want to scotch a deal by committing them to a minimum amount. Plus, we were pretty confident that we’d never really get less than $250,000 out of campaigns like this.

In time, as cause marketing became more accepted, we started adding minimum donation amounts to contracts and promotional copy. Minimum donations reflect better on the company, because to consumers they represent a guaranteed donation.

So then the question becomes, how much spread should there be between the minimum and the maximum?

In this case, Asics probably made a limited production run of these GT-1000 PRs. They’re probably happy to run out of stock, but they don’t want send 25,000 people away disappointed and empty-handed. The maximum donation, therefore, was probably determined in part by the size of the production run.

And what determined the size of the production run? I’d guess it was a matter of estimates about how many they could sell.

So, how high to set the minimum donation? Part of that calculus has to include things like budgets, projected sales, projections of remaindered or discounted stock, etc.

But Asics also has to weigh how they want to be perceived by their customers, because, again, the higher the minimum the more it seems like a guarantee.

In this case, Asics set the minimum at $75,000.

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