The NFL’s New Bag Policy & Your Marketing

photo from blacksportsonline.com

photo from blacksportsonline.com

Football season is upon us, and this year that poses a unique set of challenges for fans who have traditionally carried a large pocketbook, zippered cushion, duffel bag, tote, or cooler into NFL stadiums. That is because as a safety precaution, the National Football League this year is requiring individuals to either carry a 12” x 6” x 12” clear tote bag or a small clutch purse into games – all subject to search, of course.

Some people are outraged by this change in NFL policy. Many women are saying that it is discriminatory because men don’t have to deal with it – it’s a female-only issue because most guys do not carry handbags. Other fans think that the clear bags are a way for teams to boost their revenue by preventing fans from sneaking in their own food and beverages; thus, forcing them to buy at the stadium. But the NFL says that the new bag policy is neither a discriminatory move, nor a way to increase profits: in light of the Boston Marathon bombing, the League says that it is an effort to increase fan and player safety. Personally, I’m OK with the new restrictions at football games – if everyone at a game has to carry an ugly bag, then so be it if that’s what it takes to keep fans safe. Plus, from my perspective, it is a great marketing opportunity for absolutely any company.

Anyone who attends an NFL game is going to need an approved bag to carry into the stadium, so why not put your logo on them and give them to the employees who are going to use your company’s season tickets to entertain clients? Along that line of reasoning, why not give them to the clients that the employee is bringing to the sporting event? Neither employee nor client probably has a correctly-sized, clear bag, so I’m sure that they (or their significant other) would be grateful and would use it at the game. And when they carry it around your hometown stadium, think of how many pairs of eyes will see your logo! At a venue that can hold 50,000+ individuals, that is a lot of potential logo impressions – and good marketing on your part!

Even if your company does not participate in pro football events, you can still give away NFL-approved bags. I know that the University of Miami Hurricanes football team is going to go the way of the NFL and require fans to carry clear or small bags, and I’ll bet that many other college teams will do the same. Other pro sporting events might also climb onboard the clear bag train too. Ultimately, who knows how many crowded events/areas might implement bag policies? Giving away imprinted, clear, properly-sized bags will save your customers and employees the headache of having to find and the expense of having to buy their own – all while marketing your organization.

Time to Start Planning for October

pink ribbon Although Breast Cancer Awareness Month isn’t until October, now is the time to start planning if your company plans on honoring the cause in any way. There are all sorts of ways that you can raise money and awareness for the cause, both within your organization and your community – and as a bonus, doing so will help you gain marketing exposure.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Breast Cancer Awareness Month the first thing that springs to mind is Race for the Cure. While this nationwide series of run/walks does not take place exclusively in October, I think it is the most prominent breast cancer related event (in my mind at least). It’s a great, easy way to get your company or organization involved with the breast cancer cause. You can simply put together a team, raise money, and participate in the race, which is always a fun day. If members of your organization go that route, I’d have them wear matching t-shirts with your logo and maybe a catchy slogan. Such a simple way to show your company’s support to the thousands of other participants and spectators at the Race!

Perhaps you already have a Race for the Cure team and you want to do even more for the cause. If that’s the case, then consider some sort of fundraiser. A gala whose proceeds benefit cancer treatment is one way to go, but I like the idea of an event in which the kids can get involved (start teaching them about cancer and good health early). Wouldn’t a carnival be fun? You could bring in rides, games, and food and donate all of the proceeds from ticket sales to breast cancer research. Advertising the event would bring lots of brand exposure, which could be increased if the prizes that children received were imprinted with your company’s name and an awareness ribbon. Wouldn’t it be great to see dozens of kids walking around hugging a stuffed animal that had your logo on its little t-shirt? Happy children are great marketing!

Breast cancer impacts everyone – I can’t think of a sole I know who it hasn’t touched in some way, shape, or form – so acknowledging it during Breast Cancer Awareness Month is essential. It is a great time to raise awareness, collect donations, and help find a cure any way possible. Fortunately, doing so can also bring your brand exposure, so start planning for October now.

Driving on Water is Great Marketing

photo from fiatusa.com

photo from fiatusa.com

Have you seen the Fiat commercial where several of their 500 model cars are driving along the Italian coast, when they suddenly veer into the water only to surface in the United States? I think it’s an adorable ad, although it is chock full of “do not attempt” disclaimers, which always make me laugh because who is going to drive their car into the ocean in an attempt to cross it? Well, Fiat might need to add more warnings because recently in Miami, it went against its own advice and drove 500’s in the water!

To be more accurate, the Fiat 500’s floated and must have been affixed to some sort of boat because they were actually cruising atop the water off of Miami Beach. It happened in late June and it sure was good viral marketing for the automaker – I know that several of my friends who live on the Beach posted photos and videos to Facebook and Twitter, which brought the stunt to my attention even before The Miami Herald. At first I assumed that the videos were fake, but really Fiat had just converted the cars so that they would appear to drive across the bay: talk about a neat promotional product!

Apparently local rapper Pitbull has a new song out and its corresponding music video also features these Fiats cruising off of South Beach. Probably-not-coincidentally, Pitbull happened to be performing in Miami while the cars cruised our coast, so their presence was also excellent marketing for him and his new album.

Miami is a town full of huge, lumbering SUV’s so anything that a company who makes tiny cars can do to get attention to this audience is a great idea. Driving Fiat 500’s through Miami’s waters is a great tie-in to their TV spots, it’s a smart way to get some viral buzz, and it helps our native son Pitbull to boot. Overall, I’d say that Fiat did well to bring its flotilla of cars to Miami!

Check out the Fiats zipping through the water by clicking on the YouTube video below:

Promos to Recharge Your Marketing

In this video blog post, Danette Gossett, fearless leader of Gossett Marketing and InterestingMarketingTidbits.com, sits down with Eric from Spector & Co., our preferred supplier of executive promotional products. Spector launched a line of technology accessories, so Eric stopped by to show us his favorites – power banks designed to re-charge personal electronics.

The first item that Eric shows Danette has 3000 mA of current, which is enough to charge not one but two iPads. They are also FCCC certified, easy to carry, gender neutral, have a large imprint area (perfect for displaying your company’s logo), and come elegantly gift boxed. All of these attributes make them wonderful promotional marketing products. The second power bank that Eric displays for Danette is slightly smaller than the first, making it easier to carry in a handbag, pocket, or briefcase. Although smaller, it will also charge an iPhone 5 or a tablet computer.

Everyone – even my grandmother! – carries some sort of personal electronics with us on a regular basis, meaning that at some point we all need to re-charge them. So why not give away useful promotional products that do just that? They’re useful and give your logo great marketing exposure. Give Gossett Marketing a call or leave a comment on this blog post and we’ll help you recharge your branding efforts! (ha – see what I did there?!)

iphone charger

Promotional Marketing for the Next Generation

Next Generation
It’s 2013 and many of Gossett Marketing’s suppliers have begun showing new items for the new year. While we did not attend the ASI Show in Orlando or the PPAI Convention in Las Vegas, many of our reps have come to see us, so we’ve seen a good number of the new products. The overwhelming trend that we’ve noticed so far is tech products. Everyone these days has a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop, an e-reader, etc., so the promotional marketing industry is jumping on the tech train and outfitting those items in logoed accessories. Here are my 4 favorites so far:

  1. Styluses – Anyone who has a touch-screen device can use a stylus. It keeps the screen cleaner, it allows the user to utilize the item while wearing gloves, and it keeps people from having to touch germy public tech devices (like ATMs or airport check-in kiosks). The nice thing about giving out imprinted styluses (or stylus/pen combos) is that the user holds it in his or her hand and will see your logo as he or she uses it, which is great marketing exposure on a daily basis.
  2. Cases – We have seen cases that are specifically designed to fit a specific piece of technology like a Kindle Fire, but we’ve also seen those that fit a variety of sizes: for instance, a holder that will accommodate any member of the Kindle family. Say you work in the marketing department of a business school that issues the newest iPad to each of its students – it would be a great idea to give each of them a case specifically for that device that is imprinted with the school’s logo and with their initials so that they can identify their own. But if you weren’t sure whether the students had Apple or Windows tablets, it would be a better option to give them each a case that would fit either device. That way, they’d be sure to carry it and show off the school’s logo regardless.
  3. Bluetooth Speakers – Several of our suppliers are showing Bluetooth speakers this year – they connect wirelessly to tech devices to play audio, plus many act as a conference call speaker. These handy items, some of which are made by known brands like Brookstone, are an excellent idea for your sales staff – it would be great for your salesman to be able to sit next to a customer and have a conference call with another individual (during which the customer would see your company’s logo on the speaker). These little speakers would also be an excellent leave-behind gift for a good customer, particularly if he or she travels a lot.
  4. Headphones – We’ve all seen images of professional athletes walking into stadiums wearing their Beats headphones, which has made this type of listening device incredibly popular over the past few years. Our suppliers have noticed the trend and capitalized by creating their own headphones – some look like Beats, some have noise canceling properties, some have their own unique design, there are various price points, etc. No matter which style you choose, these are a great giveaway because your customer or employee will literally be wearing your logo on her head while she exercises, rides the subway, or just rocks out!

Ubiquitous technology is here to stay, so use it to your strategic advantage by giving away appropriate accessories – it’s promotional marketing for the next generation!

Unique Golf Giveaways

In this, our most recent video blog post, Danette Gossett of Gossett Marketing and InterestingMarketingTidbits.com sits down with Rob from SanMar, our preferred apparel supplier, to discuss golf giveaway ideas. As it turns out, the options for these types of promotional marketing products have come a long way!

The first shirt that Danette picks up is actually the one that she and her team wore in the Executive Women’s Golf Association’s national championship tournament. Unlike the golf polos of yore, this one has a more feminine shape and fit, but it still features the moisture-wicking technology that ladies want on the course. Rob also points out a few other trends, including brand name golf shirts (the one he holds up is a Nike polo – you can see the “swoosh” on the arm), saturated jewel tones, heathered fabrics, and various patterns. You name a style and chances are that it’s now available for the golfers out there – with your logo embroidered upon it, of course.

Another unique golf giveaway is a hanging toiletry kit. It can accommodate all of the essentials such as tees and golf balls, plus it’s handy in the locker room after a round. Naturally, this toiletry kit can also be branded with your company’s logo, making it a great marketing tool when given away (or even sold) at golf tournaments.

Give away or sell imprinted golf apparel and accessories and you will make a splash both on the course and off!

nike golf shirt

Any Event is a Promotional Marketing Opportunity

dachshund
The 11th annual South Beach Dachshund Winterfest was recently held on Miami Beach, and although I did not attend, the pictures are just about some of the cutest things that I have ever seen! The festival, touted as “A social gathering for Dachshunds and their people,” is a fun event in which owners get to meet fellow enthusiasts and learn more about the breed, wiener dogs play with one another, show their skills in a talent show, and maybe even win a raffle prize. Winterfest benefits Dachshund Rescue South Florida, so not only is it surely a blast, but it’s for a good cause, which explains its popularity.

Dachshund Winterfest is a pretty specialized event – it’s not even geared towards dog people, it is specifically for doxie-lovers – but it’s still a great marketing opportunity for the right person. For example, these low-slung pups are known to have back problems, so it might behoove a veterinarian to have a table at the festival: that way concerned canine parents would have someone to talk to about potential health issues. That same vet would be smart to give away Dachshund calendars with his clinic’s logo and contact information because anyone who cares enough to go to an even celebrating the breed would definitely want a year’s worth of cute sausage dog photos, thus giving him 12 months of exposure.

The event is held as a benefit for Dachshund Rescue South Florida, meaning that that organization is very visible during the festivities, but what about after? Well, I’d suggest that the rescue society give cute, imprinted t-shirts to any wiener dog that visits its booth during Winterfest. Owners seem to love dressing up these pups, so I’m willing to bet that they’d adorn their canine companions with those t’s at a later date. What a cute way for Dachshund Rescue to get their logo out and about!

Something like the South Beach Dachshund Winterfest is a highly specific event, but it still provides a great opportunity to distribute promotional marketing materials. Keep an eye out for similar opportunities near you – even underwater basket weavers need marketing!

Did you know that the Dachshund has its own song? Appropriately called the “DachSong,” you can click on this YouTube video to hear it:

A Great Tribute that’s Great Marketing

ray lewis baltimore ravens
I am a Miami native and my husband works for the University of Miami, so although I didn’t attend UM, I am a pretty ardent Hurricanes fan. As such, I tend to pay attention when I hear about The U’s famous alums – and one of those has been in the news quite a bit lately. In case you missed it, Ray Lewis, who played for UM from 1993-1995, recently announced that he will retire from the NFL at the end of the season. Well, fortunately for his fans his team, the Baltimore Ravens, has gone deep into the playoffs! One Baltimore hotel is using this as an opportunity to celebrate Lewis’s career, the team’s success, and to gain a fair bit of publicity.

Before every home game, Ray Lewis famously eats a clump of turf and dances “the squirrel.” He slides left and right, sort of wiggles, and then roars in excitement – his signature dance has been pumping up Baltimore crowds for 17 years! Well, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront has created a laser light show of the squirrel, which is being projected onto the side of the building nightly until the linebacker’s last game. It’s a remarkably accurate rendition, and I for one think that it’s a great tribute to the star. It also happens to be turning the side of their building into a giant movie screen – a screen that also happens to display the hotel chain’s logo. The display is attracting locals, tourists, and the national media (I read about the laser show on Yahoo). If you ask me, the hotel is turning itself into a kind of promotional marketing product for itself!

Whether you love or loathe Ray Lewis, his dance is undeniably fun and I know I’ll miss seeing it. Click on this YouTube video and you too can enjoy “the squirrel” as a laser show:

Cheers to Smart Promotional Marketing

Moet & Chandon Moet & Chandon considers itself to be the “Champagne of Cinema,” so it’s no surprise that the legendary champagne house would be a prominent sponsor of one of Hollywood’s biggest nights, the Golden Globe Awards. Moet was the official champagne of the evening, and if you watched even a few minutes of the ceremony, then you almost certainly saw the magnum bottles of Imperial placed in ice buckets at the center of star-studded dining tables. These large format bottles were wisely placed so that TV viewers and attendees couldn’t help but see them – it was a great marketing strategy that made the champagne visible to millions, even as it enhanced the brand’s cache by associating it with movie stars!

While I was struck by Moet’s marketing method in the official Golden Globe’s telecast, I was equally impressed with how the brand used the red carpet arrivals to its advantage. As I’m sure you well know, the red carpet is where stars give quick interviews and show off their designer duds. Unlike the broadcast of the actual awards ceremony, the red carpet is shown on various channels, so it most likely reaches a broader (and wider-ranging) audience. Well, the team at Moet did not let that fact escape them, and they brought their product to the people of the red carpet! Obviously it would be difficult to have someone lug a magnum of champagne around outside, so they went in the opposite direction, handing out mini bottles and flute-shaped toppers imprinted with their logo, designed to make sipping bubbly easy. Now, I didn’t see any TV or movie stars guzzling miniature bottles of champagne, but I absolutely noticed the people standing behind them doing just that – and because I spotted the flute-like bottle toppers, I immediately knew whose champagne they were enjoying.

As a luxury brand, it’s smart of Moet & Chandon to try to associate itself with A-list celebrities, and its sponsorship of the Golden Globes left no stone unturned in doing just that. Ultimately, the company’s product – fine champagne – and the promotional product that it distributed – the aforementioned flute-shaped bottle toppers – were all the marketing the brand needed to reach a wide audience of Golden Globes viewers.

Promote Health in 2013 (it’s great marketing)

gym It’s the very beginning of the New Year, which means that most of us are probably still sticking to our resolutions. I feel like the majority of these resolutions have to do with health – people want to lose weight, exercise more, and generally improve their well-being. I know that I, for one, have been eating at least one piece of fruit every day (fruit isn’t my favorite but I know it’s good for me, so I’m trying to make a habit of reaching for it more often…as opposed to the scoop of peanut butter that would normally assuage my sweet tooth). It’s hard to stick to New Year’s Resolutions, so this is the perfect time of year to give away items that promote a healthy lifestyle, which will help your employees and customers remain resolute while marketing your company.

For example, the best fitness-related promotional marketing product that I have received is a Headsweats running visor, given to me by Team FootWorks. Headsweats is a known brand name in the running community, and for good reason: their products are great! My particular visor is incredibly light-weight, keeps sweat out of my eyes, and washes well, so I wear it every single time I run. That’s great for FootWorks because it is imprinted with their logo, so everyone who sees me run by has the opportunity to see their name! My Headsweats visor was probably on the expensive side, but because I have worn it probably 100 times and it’s been seen by dozens of people during each run, that logo’s rate of exposure is exceptionally high, making the $20-ish that they spent a worthy investment.

I can completely understand if you don’t want to spend $20 on health-related promotional products, and fortunately you don’t have to! I think that water bottles and gym towels are both excellent promotional products because people do carry them around. Even if your employee isn’t on a health kick, if you give him a nice, insulated water bottle, then chances are he’ll utilize it – or give it to someone who does hit the gym, who will bring your logo with them when they work out. Similarly, a gym towel is a wonderful giveaway because really anyone can use them. Whether you spin, practice yoga, or even golf, small towels are useful – and they have a large imprint area, meaning that your logo is visible to anyone in the vicinity!

I could keep suggesting fitness-related promotional products, but I think you’d get bored and leave the blog, so I’ll spare you. Suffice it to say that healthy promos are a great way to help your customers and employees stick to their New Year’s resolutions, plus they get your company’s name out into the community, so they’re really an ideal giveaway any time of year.

And if your New Year’s resolution involves weird and hilarious exercises for your face, click on this YouTube video – this is for you!

FEATURED VIDEO


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