The Clippers and Kawhi Leonard Want Fans to Give Away Their Promotional Backpacks to People in Need
Remember when Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard gave out a million backpacks to kids in the L.A. area? The Clippers kept that goodwill train rolling by doing something similar, but implementing an even stronger sense of giving.
Last Friday, the Clippers gave out branded backpacks to every fan at their game against the Denver Nuggets, and each backpack came with a message card from Leonard.
"Fill it with food and give to someone who's hungry, a blanket for someone who's cold, books for a child who has none," it said. "Or do your own thing. I get that. Go be great."
You're gonna see backpacks alllll over Staples Center on the broadcast of tonight's Nuggets-Clippers game, thanks to Kawhi Leonard. Here's the cool thing he wants fans to do with them: pic.twitter.com/ZUGK47iXhN
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 29, 2020
The Clippers are calling this campaign "Kawhi It," turning the player's last name into a verb which it defines as "to approach a task with extreme focus, confidence and determination," according to the OC Register.
Typically, the goal of a promotional product campaign is for the item to live in the recipient's home for as long as possible to maximize brand exposure and reputation. To give something away with the clear instructions to re-gift it seems counterproductive, but the positive light it sheds on the Clippers organization makes it a bullseye for the team.
Either the recipient holds onto it and keeps it themselves, or they do end up "Kawhi-ing" it and donating it to someone who needs it more. And, in that case, the new recipient will use it even more and have an even more special impression of it and, by extension, the Clippers.
Show the world how you #KawhiIt!
— NBA (@NBA) February 29, 2020
It also is sort of an "in your face" to all of the critics who want to dismiss promotional products as "trinkets and trash" destined for one night of use and then eternity in a landfill. It's using promotional product giveaways to affect real change in the community.
The simple design of the backpack, which is just black with the Clippers logo in white, might make it stand out among other Clippers gear, too. When people see the bags around L.A. and elsewhere, they'll know where the bag came from.
Promotional campaigns should tell a story. And, as Leonard instructed fans to do with this giveaway, the Clippers are letting their actions do the talking.