How to Use Promotional Products After a Tragedy
I have competed in two road races since the Boston Marathon bombing: The Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville on April 27 and the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia on May 5. My rather poor decision to run two races in a row had a silver lining: It taught me how to use promotional products after a tragedy.
Despite the short turnover time since the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, both races showed tribute to Boston with promotional items like bracelets, stickers, shirts and socks. The promotions are testaments to the quick-thinking distributors and event planners who ordered last-minute products for events typically planned years in advance. They are also lessons to other distributors on how to do cause marketing, even on short notice.
The Country Music Half Marathon
The fate of the Livestrong bracelets may be undecided, but the Country Music Marathon proved silicone bracelets still have a place in cause marketing. I was impressed when I picked up my bib for the half marathon on April 26 and the event volunteer handed me this bracelet. Every event participant received one. Most people put them on right away and kept them on through the race the next day. The Boston theme is front and center, but there is a still a callout to the event with the guitar logo between BOSTON and 04.15.13 (the event is run by the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series).
I purchased this tech running shirt at the half marathon expo after confirming the proceeds went to One Fund Boston. The shirt was from a booth advertising the Franklin Half Marathon in Tennessee. It advertises the event and shows support for Boston--a good two-for-one promotion. I like the sneaker design on the front and the Boston skyline on the back. It reminds me of the Boston Magazine cover after the attack.
Broad Street Run
The stickers given out at the Broad Street Run expo are my favorite Boston tribute from the races. The design is simple, but still sends a powerful message. Runners wore them on their bibs or apparel on race-day. The stickers show cause marketing does not need to be on a grand scale; simple items like stickers can make a big impact.