Boston Bruins Use Pinups to Score Again for Kids with HIV

The Boston Bruins are teaming up with iParty and Fuddruckers again to raise money for The SPARK Center. This program was a great success last year, raising $45,000.

The B's have been a great partner, as have iParty and Fuddruckers. While this year hasn't proven to be the dominating season last year was for the Boston Bruins, the team is still first in the hearts of all the kids, parents and staff involved with The SPARK Center.

1st Place Bruins Score Hat Trick for Kids with AIDS

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It was just last spring that I was driving through downtown Boston the day of the parade for the world champion Boston Celtics. All around me was a sea of green and white. It was just an incredible sight after seeing so many parades with Red Sox red and Patriots blue. Yeah, we've had a good run in Boston.

I remember thinking, "Wow, wouldn't it be awesome if the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup and we had a black and gold parade down Boylston Street!" Well, it's looking like that may happen as the Bruins are playing great hockey this year (although @shannonpaul may see things differently!)

The best part of their success is that the Bruins  haven't forgotten the people of Boston who love them so much. That's one of the reasons why they signed for a special program to support our pediatric AIDS program, The SPARK Center, with restaurant chain Fuddruckers and party retailer iParty.

Having the Bruins aboard made the program a snap to sell because they offered special incentives, including player appearances and promotion at Bruins games at the TD Banknorth Garden.

In addition to scoring two partners, the Bruins scored a hat trick by putting us on the radar of Virgin America, which will begin service out of Boston next month.

The Spark Center is one of the charities that could win $25,000.  All you need to do to help us win is to vote here.

But if you look at the list of charities involved you'll see a lot of good ones. All very deserving. But The Spark Center program here at BMC helps some of the most vulnerable and poorest kids in the City. Kids who literally have no other place to go. These services are not covered by health insurance. And with the economy lurching, it's uncertain if there will be any funding beyond the generosity of people like Virgin America and you to keep this program alive.

It's a shootout the Bruins plan to win. So do we.

Cause Marketing Resolutions

januaryYesterday was the first day everyone from the team was back in the office from the holidays so it was a good time to catch up about our cause marketing resolutions for 2009.  I'm unsure how much I've told you about my team in the past but it's comprised of a wonderful group of marketing, sales and event professionals who plan and execute multiple cause marketing programs each year.  As a team in 2009 we agreed that we would:

Focus more on affiliate cause marketing.  We believe this is the key to landing more partners and to raising more money.  While we love creating and developing our own signature programs like Halloween Town, building your own programs from ground-up is very time consuming and labor intensive.  We need to turn other people's assets into money-making opportunities with businesses.  Let me give you an example of a program we're rolling out with the Boston Bruins next month.

Boston is a baseball town so our NHL team can use all the visibility and promotion it can get.  And that's what we offer with our point of sale programs with retailers.  But what could the Boston Bruins offer us in exchange to woo potential partners?  It turns out a good deal.  Like player appearances at retail locations.  Check presentations at Bruins games.  Promotion on the jumbotron above center ice.  The good news is it worked.  Two of three partners we recruited for the program were new and one of them, Lowes Home Improvement, is a major hit for us!

So now we're looking for new sources of affiliate cause marketing.  We have a local food show here in Boston called the Phantom Gourment that we've partnered with to work on their outdoor BBQ event this summer that attracts 50,000 people.  Yesterday we met with a casual dining chain to pitch them on the opportunity and they said it was the only opportunity we could have put in front of them that would have interested them.  That's the power of using affiliate cause marketing and having a selection of different wares to share with your prospects.

Work harder for clients.  We work pretty hard for our clients already, but they really need us in 2009.  One partner has pared their marketing team to a sole marketer.  We need to assure our partners that we'll be there to help them execute programs, and that our program is the one to keep, not cut, in the new year.  For prospects, now is a good time to show them that our team can be an extension of theirs and can actually be a real asset to them in these times of uncertainty and attrition.

Move beyond point of sale.  Anyone who follows my blog knows that I'm a big fan of point of sale programs, and with good reason.  They're relatively simple to execute, effective and lucrative.  But they're not the only  program  that can work with retailers.  We'd like to work more with Changeroundup.com and mGive, especially the latter.  I really believe text giving has a bright future, and as we work with more sports teams--like the Boston Bruins--that attract large, attentive and captive audiences, I can see us tapping text giving more as a fundraising tool.

Wave the flag of cause marketing.  For all the misery in the marketplace right now, it's a helluva good time to talk about cause marketing.  The way we sell it it's completely free to businesses, it differentiates you from competitors, builds an emotional connection with consumers, delivers valuable cross-promotion and event marketing opportunities.  In short, I LOVE being in line behind TV, radio and newspaper reps.  Cause marketing cost nothing, is more effective, builds deeper bonds and offers more than all of them, combined.  There are a lot of things that are hard to sell these days (e.g. media, real estate).  Cause marketing shouldn't be one of them.

So now me, Joanna, Holt, Jessica, Ashley, Kayla and Leslie need your help.  We think we have a pretty good list of cause marketing resolutions, but they may be incomplete.  What do you think?  What would you change or add to the list? 

You can respond to me here or on Twitter.  And, of course, I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year!