In 2004, at a gala event held in Austin, Texas, the Lance Armstrong Foundation quietly distributed 1,000 silicone wristbands as a giveaway item for attendees. Little did the foundation know that those yellow wristbands—imprinted with only one word, “LIVESTRONG”—would be the catalyst for one of the most successful cause-marketing campaigns in history. And at its center was a promotional product.
For Feature Friday, Promotional Consult Today shares this excerpt from the May issue of Promotional Consultant magazine, outlining the opportunities in cause marketing programs.
Designed in partnership with the foundation’s corporate sponsor, Nike, the iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband became the catalyst for a groundswell of support that began in Austin and eventually swept the nation. The wristband became so popular that it ultimately raised more than $100 million and created priceless awareness for the foundation’s cause.
“After those initial 1,000 wristbands were distributed in Austin, they went on sale online (at www.livestrong.org) as well as at Nike retail outlets,” says Rachel Armbruster, the former director of development for the Lance Armstrong Foundation who managed the Nike relationship that created the LIVESTRONG bracelet campaign. “As of 2011, 84 million LIVESTRONG silicone bracelets have been sold.”
Options And Opportunities
Armbruster has specific suggestions for distributors who may want to pitch their idea to either a for-profit company or nonprofit organization. When pitching a nonprofit, ask for the organization’s fundraising director. To pitch a for-profit, establish inroads with the company’s community relations director or cause-marketing director.
- Position yourself to have a seat at the table sooner rather than later to understand the core of what they are trying to accomplish and what the best premium is to do that.
- Cause-marketing campaigns don’t have to be conducted at a national level; they are just as effective when implemented locally.
Source: Brittany Glenn writes about current issues, trends and the economy for consumer and business-to-business magazines. She is a former associate editor of PPB magazine.