Monday, November 14, 2011 | Edited by Daniel Moores
||How Product Giving Is A 'Slam Dunk' For Retailers
Donating unwanted products to organizations that help people in times of need is undoubtedly a win-win for retailers. But as many companies have found, getting the right products to the right people isn't always easy. Recipients have to be vetted, distribution has to be arranged, and goods often have to be tracked. Doing this project on your own can be time-intensive, frustrating and sometimes totally fruitless.
That's where Good360 comes in. The organization, which used to be known as Gifts In Kind International, is a full-service product donation company that makes the process as easy as possible for retailers. Their partners include many of the top retail brands including Walmart, Gap, Kohl's, Williams-Sonoma, The Children's Place, CVS and more.
With many companies thinking about product donation in the run up to the holiday season, we reached out to Good360 President and CEO Cindy Hallberlin to share details about what retailers can gain from product donation (hint: it's not just about the warm and fuzzies -- there are sustainability and tax benefits too) and how businesses can go about sharing unwanted goods with people who really do need them. Read on for her insights.
What types of products can retailers donate during the holiday season to best meet the needs of the nonprofits you work with?
Because we serve more than 22,000 nonprofits, product needs are broad. Women's shelters need clothes, personal care products, mattresses and bedding. After-school programs need books, sports equipment, and toys. And communities trying to rebuild from floods, hurricanes, fires and earthquakes need building supplies, tools, housewares or home furnishings. But one thing is certain: everyone needs technology -- whether new or refurbished—and especially computers.
How does the holiday season compare to the rest of the year in terms of donations? Is this a busier time of year for you?
This season is our busiest because our corporate donors want to quickly turnover year-end inventory, including holiday returns, and garner the enhanced tax benefits from product donation. At the same time, nonprofits are desperate to get goods to those in need to make the season jolly and help keep people safe, healthy and warm. Mix it all together and you have a very dynamic environment at Good360!
What are some of your favorite stories about the communities and individuals retailers have helped during the holiday season?
There are many but one in particular comes to mind. Last fall, Anna's Linens found themselves with brand new fleece blankets that they were not able to sell because of a misprint on the packaging. They contacted Good360 and we were able to find groups that could go directly to one of their nearly 300 stores to pick up the blankets. As a result, we helped Anna's Linens distribute tens of thousands of fleece blankets to individuals just in time for the coldest months and were able to clear out the stockrooms in time for the holiday rush.
You work with many big names from the retail world -- The Home Depot, Disney, Bed Bath & Beyond. What about smaller retailers? Can they donate smaller amounts of goods on a more local basis through your website?
Absolutely. It's as easy as going to our website, www.good360.org. We have a team that will vet each donation opportunity, whether it's one-time or ongoing, to make sure that it matches the needs of our nonprofits.
The concept of retailers donating excess inventory to causes has been around for a while. How has it evolved over time?
For us, we've really seen the conversation shift from just asset management to how product donations can advance the business in a more strategic way. Retailers can achieve multiple objectives including waste diversion, loss prevention, brand enhancement, employee and community engagement, energy and bottom line savings. In fact, Indiana University recently completed some research that will be released shortly, which lays out a compelling business case for product giving.
As well as helping people in need, donations from retailers can also have positive effects on the environment. Can you tell us more about this?
Each year, we divert literally tons of products from landfills into the hands of those who need them most. A perfect example is The Home Depot's Framing Hope Program that has saved $1.4 million in energy costs, about 2500 garbage trucks worth of landfill space, enough power to cover 119 homes a year, 3.3 million kWh of energy consumption, and CO2 emissions equivalent to planting 517 acres of pine forest!
Good360 has been named one of Forbes top ten managed charities. Congratulations! What are some of the secrets to your success?
Our success is in our people and their unwavering dedication to helping nonprofits help those they serve. Their passion builds resilience during tough economic times and creates a culture of continuous improvement; we are constantly in search of creative ways to improve efficiencies and reduce expenses.
Some retailers may find the prospect of donating excess inventory a little daunting, as there must be a lot of work involved in terms of tracking donations and distributing goods. What does Good360 do to help retailers walk through these processes?
That's exactly why we're here -- to make donating products as easy and impactful as possible for companies. We listen to what donors want and customize solutions in response. We provide a turnkey, full-service operation, that includes vetting all recipient charities to ensure they are qualified 501(c)(3)s, schools or libraries and understand donor restrictions around use of the products donated. We handle logistics, tracking, distributing, monitoring, reporting and troubleshooting for every donation.
How did you get involved in the charitable giving business?
I was a Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at US Foodservice and, in that capacity, I started the company's first corporate charitable giving program. In less than a year, we donated over $4 million in food to Feeding America. I experienced first-hand the tremendous satisfaction in donating goods for the greater good. This led me to my current position as CEO of Good360.
Tell me something retailers might not know about charitable giving.
Product giving is becoming a movement...in fact it's a growing portion of the overall charitable pie. Today's economic realities mean that companies have less cash to give -- not less heart. And now there's actually a business case that lays out the ROI of product philanthropy that makes it a compelling option over liquidation, and a slam dunk over disposal. Every day, someone or some community is experiencing a crisis or disaster. That's why Good360 is here -- to help fill the product gap when needs are acute, for those crises that don't rise to national or international attention; or when media attention wanes after a disaster and communities begin to rebuild. That's when the needs are often greatest but the desire for action has dissipated.
(Source: National Retail Federation), 11/09/11)
||Cell Phone Makers Expand Sponsorship Portfolios
Established and Upstart Companies Sign New Deals to Build Brands and Promote New Products
While their marketing budgets may not be as deep as AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and other wireless service providers, the world's leading cell phone manufacturers are quickly making up lost ground.
Both established and upstart cell phone marketers are signing new deals to hype new products, promote brand positioning, gain platforms for retail promotions and fend off competition from Apple Inc.'s wildly successful iPhone.
That activity is fueled in part by the growing number of Chinese, Korean and other Asian imports looking to build their brands in the U.S. market. Case in point: Pantech Wireless, Inc. earlier this year announced a new partnership with the Dew Tour and Winter Dew Tour, while Huawei Technologies Co. has teamed with MetroPCS Communications, Inc. to co-present Enrique Iglesias' fall 2011 tour.
Some of the industry's more established players also have recently expanded their portfolios. LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A., Inc. last month sponsored Milk Made Fashion Week in New York City. The company earlier this year sponsored the Ones to Watch concert tour featuring The Dirty Heads and other bands.
Cell phone makers also have been active outside the U.S. Motorola Mobility UK Ltd. earlier this month announced a new partnership with NFL in the U.K., a tie that supports its parent's long-running sponsorship of the pro football league. In addition, Nokia Corp. in August announced four-year title of the Champions League Twenty20 cricket competition in India.
Nokia also is reportedly gearing up a massive marketing campaign around last week's launch of the Lumia smartphone. The beleaguered company -- whose global market share fell from 34.7% in the second-quarter of 2010 to 24.5% in 2Q 2011 -- is expected to use a heavy dose of experiential marketing to support the "Amazing Everyday" campaign and reenergize its brand.
While Nokia cell phone shipments have declined, the overall industry has posted solid growth. Global handset shipments grew 13 percent to 361 million units in the 2Q 2011, up from 320 million in the year-earlier period, according to Strategy Analytics, a market research and consulting firm.
Sponsorship Hot Buttons For The Cell Phone Category
Below, IEG SR highlights four things to consider when pitching wireless handset manufacturers:
Help promote new phones. Like other consumer electronics marketers, cell phone makers frequently use sponsorship to demonstrate new products.
For example, Pantech uses The Dew Tour to promote the Pursuit II and Breeze III, both of which were rolled out this summer.
"Dew Tour is a perfect platform for the Pantech brand that allows us to directly interact with our core audience," said Erin Magee, Pantech's director of channel marketing, in a statement.
Cell phone makers also use sponsorship to tout product functionality. LG Electronics earlier this year hosted a private New York City performance by Jane's Addiction to promote the launch of the Thrill 3D smartphone. Concert-goers used the camera to capture footage of the concert; LG used the content to create a 60-minute documentary that was posted on the LG Thrill YouTube channel.
Offer platforms for retail promotions. Cell phone companies frequently look for tickets and other inventory that can be used to drive store traffic.
Pantech leverages the Dew Tour with appearances by Team Pantech members at local AT&T stores. The team includes skateboarder Bucky Lasek, BMXer Brett Banasiewicz and two other action sports stars.
Provide content from Apps. Cell phone companies are increasingly activating deals with cell phone Apps that offer event updates and behind-the-scenes content.
Case in point: Pantech offers schedules, results, athlete bios and other content on the Dew Tour App, while Research in Motion Ltd. has developed a Blackberry App around its new tie with the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
In addition, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB this year leveraged its title of the Sony Ericsson Open ATP/WTA tournament in Miami with a smartphone App that offered game results and other information.
Make room for service providers. Cell phone companies almost always sponsor with wireless service providers, and vice versa. As such, sponsorships in the handset category typically include pass-through rights for service providers.
LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A., Inc.
10101 Old Grove Rd.
San Diego, CA 92131
Carl Brown, director of trade marketing
Sponsorship/Activation Strategy: LG largely focuses on music and fashion to promote its contemporary, hip positioning. On the fashion front, the telco this year inked a new partnership with Milk Made Fashion Week in New York City, around which it hosted a panel on technology and fashion. In the music space, LG sponsored the Ones to Watch concert tour that featured The Dirty Heads and other up-and-coming bands. The company also hosted a July 25 concert by Jane's Addiction to promote the launch of the Thrill 4G 3D phone. Audience members used the phone to capture footage of the concert using the device.
Current Deals: Ones to Watch powered by LG concert tour, 44 stops; Milk Made Fashion Week, New York City.
Additional Comments: LG uses NCAA partnership to promote mobile phones, consumer electronics and home appliances.
Motorola Mobility, Inc.
600 N. US Highway 45
Libertyville, IL 60048
Bill Ogle, senior vice president, chief marketing officer
Sponsorship/Activation Strategy: Motorola Mobility was formed in early 2011 following the spin-off of Motorola's smartphone business into a stand-alone company. The company was subsequently purchased by Google Inc. in a roughly $12.5 billion transaction. Motorola largely focuses on its long-running partnership with the NFL; the company recently expanded the partnership with a tie to the NFL in the U.K. The sponsorship afforded rights to the Oct. 23 game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at London's Wembley Stadium. Motorola is activating the tie through www.Motorola.co.uk/NFL; consumers that visit the site can play an online game that dangles a VIP trip to the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. Motorola's NFL tie includes marketing rights with the league’s 32 teams.
Current Deals: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am; MLB Chicago White Sox; NBA New Orleans Hornets; NFL.
Additional Comments: Leverages St. Louis Rams and other NFL teams with Motorola Tweet the Headline social media campaign. Deal with NBA New Orleans Hornets is largely in trade. Motorola Solutions, Inc.'s portfolio includes Wisconsin’s EAA Airventure Oshkosh and the WNBA Chicago Sky.
102 Corporate Park Dr.
White Plains, NY 10604
Chris Weber, president
Sponsorship/Activation Strategy: The world's largest cell phone manufacturer has trimmed its sponsorship portfolio amid declining market share. The Espoo, Finland-based company focuses on the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, a tie it largely uses for brand exposure. Sponsors Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships to support partnership with snowboard maker The Burton Corp.; the two companies have used the tie to develop Push Snowboarding, a technology that promotes the snowboarding experience through Nokia phones. Nokia is reportedly gearing up a major marketing campaign to promote the new Lumia smartphone.
Current Deals: Title: Nokia Theatre L.A. Live. Cosponsor: Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships; MLB San Diego Padres; Monterey Bay Aquarium, Calif.
Additional Comments: While Nokia has cut back on ties in the U.S., it has signed a handful of new partnerships in other markets. Ties include five-year title of the Champion League Twenty20 cricket tournament in India and an expanded partnership in 2012 with the FIFA World Rally Championship.
Research In Motion Ltd.
295 Phillip St.
Waterloo, ON N2L 3W8
Roger Baxter, vice president, brand communications
Sponsorship/Activation Strategy: The marketer of the ubiquitous Blackberry has cut back its sponsorship portfolio this year in the face of increased competition from Apple's iPhone, Google's Android devices, employee defections and slipping market share. Dropped ties include the NHL and mega music tours such as U2 and the Black Eyed Peas. On the flip side, RIM this year inked a new tie with Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. On the music front, Blackberry earlier this year teamed with the Foo Fighters on a promotion that dangled the chance for the band to play a live performance in the garages of eight lucky fans; the promotion supported Wasting Light, an album recorded in Dave Grohl's garage.
Current Deals: Rugby World Cup, New Zealand; Food Lion Speed Street 600 Festival, Charlotte, N.C.; NHL Florida Panthers.
Additional Comments: Rugby World Cup affords exclusivity in the handheld mobile device category; RIM is activating the tie with a free App that offers live match scores, game highlights and other information.
Recently launched BBM Challenge, a promotion that gives teens and twenty-something's the chance to become a protégé of one of six young adult celebrities including actress Michelle Trachtenberg, singer Greyson Chance and celebrity blogger Jared Eng.
Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC
1301 E. Lookout Dr.
Richardson, Texas 75082
Paul Golden, chief marketing officer
Sponsorship/Activation Strategy: Samsung is using its co-presenting sponsorship of Keith Urban's Get Closer world tour to promote the Infuse 4G device. The telco is activating the tie by having Urban use the phone to post vignettes on www.KeithUrban.net. Samsung is promoting the phone at tour stops with green screen photo ops and brand ambassadors who take photos of attendees. Samsung and AT&T also are activating with a Facebook promotion that dangles backstage passes; consumers have to like the page to enter the contest.
Current Deals: Title: Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Texas. Co-presenting: Keith Urban Tour; Rohto Ironman 70.3 Miami. Cosponsor: MLS Seattle Sounders FC; Texas Motor Speedway.
Additional Comments: Sponsors Urban tour with AT&T.
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB
Lund, Sweden 221 88
Stephan Croix, vice president and head of global marketing partnerships
Sponsorship/Activation Strategy: Joint venture between Sony Corp. and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson uses its six-year-old tie with the WTA as a global marketing platform. The company this year used the sponsorship to promote Xperia Play, a new smartphone and mobile gaming device. Sony Ericsson activated the tennis tour with Xperia Hot Shots, an online reality program designed to give tennis fans an inside look at the life of rising female tennis stars. Sony Ericsson spokesperson and WTA pro Maria Sharapova unveiled the athletes during a media event in Miami Beach prior to the start of the WTA Sony Ericsson Open. The company this year also inked a new tie with Major League Gaming on behalf of Xperia Play.
Current Deals: Title: Sony Ericsson Open ATP/WTA tournament, Miami. Cosponsor: Major League Gaming; WTA.
Additional Comments: Sony Ericsson is in the second year of a three-year sponsorship of the WTA. The company restructured the tie in 2009 after titling the tour from 2005 through 2010.
(Source: IEG Sponsorship.com, 10/31/11)
||What Stations Are Doing: Honoring Our Military Heroes
Clear Channel Renews Its Deal with the Military-Support 'Fisher House Foundation'
Think of Fisher House like a Ronald McDonald House for the families of military personnel being treated at VA and military hospitals. Starting last Monday, November 7th and culminating on Veteran's Day on Friday, Clear Channel's 850 stations promoted the second-annual, week-long 'Operation Fisher House,' and encouraged listeners to tune to the main fundraising event on Veteran's Day.
Clear Channel encouraged donations via online or text message to the Fisher House Foundation through live discussions, on-air mentions, interviews and a series of public service announcements.
"Clear Channel's remarkable reach and continued support is an amazing force for our military families," said Ken Fisher, Chairman of Fisher House Foundation. "Fisher House and Clear Channel's powerful message will continue to help veterans and their families across the United States."
"Clear Channel is committed to addressing issues that engage and impact our listeners across the United States," said Jessica King, Clear Channel's Director of Community Engagement. "A recent study shows that more Americans are involved with supporting troops than any other social issue today, and it is important for Clear Channel to support organizations that our listeners care about -- like Fisher House."
From its past efforts, Clear Channel stations have raised nearly $1 million for Fisher House, and given the cause $5 million in media time.
(Sources: Taylor on Radio-Info, Radio Ink, 11/07/11)
Fox Sports L.A. Honors Vets with Radiothon
In an effort to pay tribute to the men and women who have fought for our country and give back to those who have incurred a catastrophic injury, AM570 FOX Sports Los Angeles honored U.S. military veterans with its 4th Annual commercial-free radiothon from 12:00 p.m. -- 7:00 p.m. on November 9th. AM570 FOX Sports Los Angeles set a goal of $120,000 and all proceeds benefit the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
The PVA is an organization dedicated to providing veterans' rehabilitation, access to medical services, job training, and continuing research in finding a cure for paralysis. The station encourages listeners to reflect on all the securities our nation's military has provided to this great country, and to let our veterans know how much we value their service.
"This is a chance to give back to our family members, friends, neighbors and fellow Americans who have become paralyzed while fighting for our freedoms," commented AM570 FOX Sports LA's General Manager Don Martin. "This is our way of giving thanks for their ultimate sacrifice."
In conjunction with the live radio-thon, AM570 FOX Sports Los Angeles created a silent online auction at www.am570radio.com. Unique items went up for bid including autographed sports memorabilia and exclusive opportunities to experience the greatest sporting events in the world. Donations were accepted online at www.pva.org/klac and via phone lines.
(Source: Radio Ink, 11/09/11)
Daily Sales Tip:
As any NFL QB might say to a wide receiver, "go deep." If you are going to spend the energy and effort developing a campaign with one decision-maker, make certain you secure appointments with all of the others as well. Some top sellers have several programs running concurrently in the same company. So what are you waiting for? Get in the Big Game!
Source: Brandeis C. Hall, RAB, BHall@rab.com, (972)753-6786