Sports & Outdoors Promotions

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How to Market Your Tourist Destination


Marketing your tourist destination is a unique challenge. After all, what you’re really selling is an experience—one that most folks save up months, if not years, to buy. Further, unlike a product or even a service in some cases, it’s simply not returnable. For these reasons, most people tend to be especially selective when deciding where to travel. The good news? With a smart, strategic marketing plan in place, you can ensure your tourist destination stands out amongst the competition.

There’s plenty of pros and cons to marketing as a tourist destination. Let’s start with the pros. Wherever your business is situated, the surrounding area is typically rife with cafes, bars, shopping, and services. This provides visitors with plenty to see and do with little effort on their behalf to seek these things out. Safety is another concern for a lot of travelers, especially families. Tourist destinations connote a sense of safety simply because they are popular and crowded.

Unfortunately, seasonality is always an issue for tourist destinations. However, by employing clever marketing maneuvers like those below, even seasonality can be overcome. (Quick tip: extend your season with discounts and consider cultivating a niche offseason market with a festival or convention.)
In this piece, ePromos offers some of our best advice for successfully marketing your tourist destination, whether you’re a boutique hotel, quaint bed & breakfast, grand resort, or a public official looking to bring crowds to your dreamy location.

Start with a Strategy

The Internet has made the world wonderfully small in many ways, allowing people access to places they otherwise would never have heard of, let alone considered visiting. What does this mean for you? You’ve got to work even harder to stand out. Developing a clear marketing plan is imperative to making sure your location doesn’t get lost in the overwhelming pile of Google search results.

Before you do anything else, you’ve got to come up with a strategy. This will lead every decision you make going forward. We know, it sounds like a big deal. It is. A clearly defined marketing strategy is the only way to stay on track for the long haul—ensuring each move is targeted at meeting your KPIs and overall business goals. Otherwise, it’s too easy to get side-tracked and veer off course. Not only is this an internal nightmare, you risk confusing, or worse, losing, your customers.

Define Your KPI’s

Your strategy should include how to plan to engage in the best marketing channels for your business. There is a wide range of available channels, from search engine optimization, to email campaigns, to influencer marketing, to traditional print—just to name a few. How do you pick the important ones?

The answer will depend on your specific audience and KPIs.

What advice can we offer? Don’t try to dominate every channel. Instead, set to task mastering a few. As you get comfortable with those, then consider testing out additional efforts. Marketing channels aren’t a one-size-fits-all. Some will even flat out fail you. For this reason, it’s also key to have a short- and long-term strategies with accompanying goals.

The short-term should be made up of tactics you’re fairly confident will work—AKA bring in profit so that you can continue operating. Of course, if you only focus on the short-term, you’ll be shooting your business in the foot by lacking a viable plan for growth over the long-term. Mapping out both versions, which should complement one another, create a roadmap for immediate and future growth.

Creative Ideas for Marketing Your Tourist Destination

Once you have a strategy in place, it’s time to have some fun and get creative. Below, we discuss some key creative marketing ideas to get the word out about your tourist destination. With your strategies and goals mapped out, it should be easy to cherry-pick which ideas work for your business!

1. User-generated Content: Word of mouth is still an old favorite when it comes to getting social buy-in. Why? For most folks, there’s something inherently trustworthy about a real-life review, even if from a total stranger. The motivation to “sell” isn’t there the same way it can feel like it is in other marketing tools. Use this to your advantage. Folks are leaving usable content all over the place—Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, travel sites… all you have to do is find their content and ask to share it on your own channels. Also, hello! It’s essentially FREE CONTENT for you!

Another great idea for UGC is to partner with influencers who can spread the glory of your destination in enviable Instagram posts and the like. You’re essentially borrowing their fanbase to promote your destination in exchange for a free trip, service or experience. Both local and non-local influencers can be a serious boon to your biz.

2. Cultivate a Tribe: A great place to get user-generated content? Your very own tribe. These are the folks who know why your destination can’t be beat—and they’re happy to wax poetic about it to anyone that will listen. You want these people. Hell, you need them. And they’re out there, even if you don’t realize it yet.
Some businesses identify and grow their tribe a membership or loyalty program. People love perks, no matter how big or small. It feels good to be notice and appreciated—use that to your advantage. A loyal following is worth its weight in gold.

As your tribe grows, encourage word-of-mouth referrals. Like user-generated content, your tribe’s reviews will come off as more trustworthy than a whole arsenal of other marketing tools.

When getting referrals, don’t forget: love is a two-way street. Remind your tribe how much you appreciate them by thanking them publicly or even gifting them promo items. The gift might depend on your destination. For a seaside escape? Branded beach towels, sunglasses, and flip flops are all necessities. Nestled in a winter wonderland? Accessories like scarves, gloves and mittens, and luggage locks are little giveaways that can go a long way in building goodwill and loyalty.

You can gift these items in a number of different ways. Did someone tag you in a raving Instagram post? Thank ‘em and privately message them for their address send out a little promo gift. These random acts of love are guaranteed to floor your tribe. You can also create a clear system with rewards for referrals. For example, one referral or online review gets 10% off the next visit, five gets a thank you gift basket, 10 gets a discount on a one-night stay, gift card, or other more generous repayment.

3. Collaborate: Looking to make a real splash? Strike a partnership with someone with megawatt appeal. Celebrity appearances are a surefire way to get noticed. And ‘celebrity’ doesn’t have to be an actor: it could be a sports hero, someone local from a popular news story, or recognized professional within an industry that complements your own.

If Hollywood isn’t your vibe, you might also consider teaming up with a charity, nonprofit organization, or even a local bar or restaurant for a good cause. The amplified dual-marketing will get you in front of folks you likely wouldn’t capture yourself.

4. Be Where Your Customer Is: And yes, we do mean physically! You’ll want to market your brand wherever your customer considers “home”, as well as at their “home away from home”.

Consider tourists and locals, if both are your customer. For tourists, how can you help them learn more about you while they’re researching their trip at home? On the flight over? Making plans in their hotel room? Don’t just “pray and spray”! So long as you have data on your customers, you likely have a good idea where they call home, and how they learned about your business. And if you don’t have any data, you might want to start there before shelling out for marketing strategies!

For locals, your marketing tactics may be more traditional, but think back to cultivating your tribe—a community from your home base. For example, if your main demographic is older, are those people hanging around local malls and shops? Exercise classes? Activity centers? Consider setting up a table at a local event, printing and promoting traditional coupons, or posting flyers with discounts and information on their daily boards. If your demographic is teenagers and 20-somethings, your best bet for reaching them may be online (check out our Marketing to Millennials piece for some staggering stats). For that age group, you’ll need to be sure you’ve got a killer social media game.

Take it up a notch by having ePromos create a customized logo and other artwork that can be used for a cohesive strategy on social media, like Snapchat filters. Another idea: engage your audience by hosting Twitter chats about travel, or something else that your destination is known for (surfing, eco-tourism, etc.—what makes you stand out?)

5. Become Known for Something Locally: Stand out from the pack by becoming known for something wonderfully unique. It’ll create a buzz that, eventually, will carry itself with little effort from you. A fantastic example is a Philadelphia restaurant, Barclay Prime, which became known for being the home of the $100 cheesesteak. Is it a tad gimmicky? Sure. Did it land them on Letterman, countless news sites, and all over social media? You bet. And guess what? Almost 15 years later it’s still a thing—their thing. It stuck.

Discover what you can or do do well—better than anyone else around—and foster it, promote it, love it like no other. Set a record, or invite customers to attempt to set one at your place. Be the company who did or does that thing. Folks will notice. Then, they’ll get curious. Then, you’ve got them where you want them. Make their trip worth the visit, and they’ll come back with friends.

Marketing your tourist destination can have huge financial benefits, not just for your business, but the local economy. With a comprehensive, creative marketing plan using the tips above, you can guide your way to a successful, well-loved destination for folks across the globe.


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Promotional Product Ideas For A Walk, Run, Or Cycle Event


Are you organizing a walk, run, or cycling event? Need some promotional product ideas? You’re in the right spot. Whether it’s for a great cause or just some friendly competition, events like these are great for bringing the community together.

People of all ages, sizes and shapes come to participate or support loved ones. Whatever the nature of your business, walkathons, marathons, cycling events, and the like give you the perfect exposure – that is, if you’re active enough to have the perfect promotional products.

5 Perfect Promotional Product Ideas

1. Custom drawstring bags.

custom drawstring bag

Let’s start with the basic race necessity. Drawstring bags allow participants to keep all their valuables in one safe spot and are still comfortable enough to wear while being active. When the #1 racer is wearing your logo, others will have to chase after it.

2. Promotional t-shirts.

logo t-shirt

Hand them out at the registration table before the race so everyone can wear your logo during the competition, or hand them out at the finish line as a congratulations gift. There’s nothing better than being so exhausted you feel you’re about to pass out and then being immediately resuscitated by an awesome new free t-shirt. Trust me – I’ve been there.

3. Logo sunscreen.

logo sunscreen packets

It’s going to be a beautiful day out! Promote your image by protecting others’.

4. Custom water bottle.

custom water bottle

This is perfect for keeping athletes’ water ice cold all day and is a lot more eco-friendly than handing out disposable bottles of water. Stay hydrated people!

5. Promotional rally towel.

custom rally towel

Give these to the athletes to wipe their excellence (or, you know, sweat) on, or you can hand out the towels to spectators to swing around in the air as the athletes race past.

All of these promotional product ideas are perfect examples of giveaways that can be used over and over again. When athletes continuously use the water bottle at their gym or rock their awesome new t-shirt around town, you and your business will be right there with them. Keep your business active by putting your logo in the hands of the active.  


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The Top 10 Zaniest MLB Promos For 2014


the coolest promos of the 2014 MLB season

It’s Opening Day, y’all, and the return of America’s national pastime brings with it the promise of some awesome promos.

Yes, there will be t-shirts and bobbleheads (lots of them). But there’s also a wide range of cool and quirky giveaways on teams’ promotional lineups this year.

MLB teams have been giving out promotional items since the 1960s to lure fans to games, and it’s a strategy that’s still effective more than 50 years later.

When he was the Mets’ Vice President in 1968, James K. Thornton told the New York Times: “People like something for nothing. Everybody comes to the fair.”

It’s true. Free stuff is a powerful motivator to get fans to the ballpark. Here’s a look at our roundup of the season’s 10 most buzz-worthy MLB promos.

1. Arizona Diamondbacks: Promotional slippers

Here’s a cool promo from the Snake Pit – and it’s especially for moms. The first 10,000 D-back moms get a cozy pair of slippers when they head to Chase Field on May 18. It’s definitely not an expected gift in the hottest state in the U.S., but still, we like it. We’re all for pampering moms with a great promo a week after Mother’s Day (May 11).

 

promotional etch-a-sketch
2. Chicago Cubs: Custom Etch-A-Sketch toys

The Cubs are ringing in 10 decades of Wrigley Field history, and they’re celebrating with a colorful assortment of throwback promotional giveaways: custom die-cast train engines, yo-yo’s, and Rubik’s Cubes just to name a few. Our favorite, though, is a nostalgic joy: custom Etch-A-Sketch toys. They’ll be handed out to the first 5,000 kids on July 13. Photo via chicago.cubs.mlb.com.

 

3. Cincinnati Reds: Mr. Redlegs mustache

Reds fans aren’t waiting for Movember to rock their ’staches – 20,000 of them will be sporting a groomed handlebar mustache a la Mr. Redlegs at the July 26 game. It’s a fun giveaway that captures the spirit of the Reds game experience, and will likely draw hordes of people to Great American Ball Park.

 

custom mug
4. Houston Astros: Custom cowboy boot mug

Texans are in for some sweet cowboy swag at the August 8 showdown between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers – the first 10,000 fans will receive a custom mug shaped like a cowboy boot. It’s perhaps more fitting for the rodeo, but this is Texas, and anything cowboy goes. There’s even a cowboy hat giveaway the next day to bring the theme full circle. Yeehaw, y’all! Photo via www.crawfishboxes.com.

 

 

 

 

 

cowboy rally monkey
5. Los Angeles Angels: Cowboy rally monkey

Angels fans will be getting some cowboy promos all their own – a plush version of their beloved mascot: the Rally Monkey. He’ll be all gussied up in a Western shirt, cowboy hat and Angels bandana for fans to grab at the July 8 game. He’s so cute we can’t imagine this giveaway lasting long. Photo via www.stadiumgiveawayexchange.com.

 

6. Minnesota Twins: Custom barbecue tongs

It doesn’t get more all-American than baseball and barbecue. The first 10,000 Twins fans at the May 26 game will score a great promo – custom barbecue tongs – they can use all summer long to show off their Twins pride. And grill up some mean burgers.

 

custom sunglasses
7. Philadelphia Phillies: Custom sunglasses

Okay, so they’re not technically sunglasses – they’re more silly-nose-and-mustache glasses – but the “Phillie Phanatic Phun Glasses” are so different and fun, they had to make our list.  Fans age 14 and under will snag a pair at the May 18 game, which incidentally, is the Phanatic’s birthday. Happy birthday to the green, furry creature that’s undeniably one of the best sports mascots around. Photo via www.stadiumgiveawayexchange.com.

 

 

custom beanie
8. San Francisco Giants: R2-D2 custom beanie

Lots of teams – MLB and minor leagues – have a “Star Wars Day,” and the Giants are taking things to the next level this season with custom R2-D2 beanies. The first 20,000 fans through the gate on August 16 will score an R2-D2 beanie with a Giants logo for Stars Wars Day. If you’re a baseball-loving Star Wars fan, this is the day to go. Photo via www.nextimpulsesports.com.

 

 

 

 

9. Seattle Mariners: Custom beard hat

Yes, that infamous custom hat is back in the Mariners’ promotional lineup this year. Be one of the first 20,000 fans on April 25, and you’ll score the hat that’s part ski cap, part faux facial hair. An update on this year’s hat – it’s blond!

 

DJ Kitty plush hat
10. Tampa Bay Rays: DJ Kitty plush hat

The hip-hop kitty that Rays fans love to love is going down in history as one of the coolest (and quirkiest) promo giveaways. The first 20,000 fans at Tropicana Field on May 10 can adorn their heads with the very cute DJ Kitty plush hat. It just makes sense to turn the most swagtastic feline around into a wearable promotional product. Photo via www.tbo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, there you have it: Our rundown of the top 10 wackiest MLB promos of 2014. We love a great bobblehead as much as the next baseball fan, but these giveaways would definitely get us out to the ballgame.

What promotional giveaways are you most excited about?

Photo credit: bryce_edwards via photopin cc


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How To Run A March Madness Promotion In Four Simple Steps


Hey, HR managers: Are you planning a March Madness promotion? More than 50 million Americans participate in March Madness office pools, according to MSN.

This year might just draw more participation than ever – there’s $1 billion on the line if you have a perfect bracket.

Warren Buffet, who ranks 4th on Forbes’ list of top billionaires, is kicking in $1 billion to anybody that correctly picks the winners of all 63 games in this year’s NCAA men’s college basketball tournament.

How’s that for some March Madness?

Instead of staffers having to slink around to stream games and check scores (which they’re going to do anyway), why not organize a March Madness promotion for your basketball-enthused employees?

OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service, says it’s smarter for managers to acknowledge the appeal of March Madness than to ignore it.

Robert Hosking, Executive Director for OfficeTeam, said in a Forbes article: “When enjoyed in moderation, there are potential benefits to March Madness activities at work. They can be a morale-booster and bring out team spirit in the office. It provides an opportunity for employees to bond as they talk about scores and root for their favorite schools.”

custom basketball hoop set

You can even eliminate the gambling aspect of traditional office pools by allowing people to participate for free – no buy-in required. Instead, winners score some awesome promo items as prizes – gifts such as custom Beats-style headphones or Bluetooth speakers.

Want to put a March Madness promotion into play at your office? Follow these four steps:

1. Get people pumped up about the promotion.

There are dozens of basketball-themed promotional products – from mini basketball hoops to notepads and stress balls – to introduce the promotion. Staffers already have basketball on the brain, and by handing out promo items, you’re building a buzz for the festivities.

2. Make a bracket.

Pass out copies of the bracket (here’s where you can print out the brackets) to employees who want to participate, and then gather them up before the tournament begins. You’ll also need a big bracket to hang up in a common area such as a break room or kitchen. It’s as simple as grabbing a ruler and sketching out the bracket on a poster.

3. Keep track.

After each game’s final buzzer, write it up on the big bracket. Everyone’s likely already keeping track on their own, but it fosters a sense of community when employees can gather in a central place to celebrate victories or lament defeats together.

4. Bestow the prizes.

Reward those with the most basketball prowess with some worthy prizes. Some of the biggest trends in custom logo merchandise now are custom audio gear and technology items. It’s important to select promotional products that participants actually want to receive. For help choosing the right prizes for your March Madness promotion, just call or chat with one of ePromos’ expert Brand Consultants.

Running a March Madness promotion can be a win in your workplace – and it can be done in just four moves. Don’t balk at your company’s basketball fans this time of year – give them a way to celebrate the season together.

You’ll be promoting camaraderie (and a fun company culture), and you’ll help boost employee morale. You know what that means – increased employee retention, lower turnover, more productivity in the long run, and most importantly, a jump in sales and profits.


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Tee Off With Logo Golf Balls


FORE! The ever famous duck and cover call yelled out by golfers who just sliced right. Or maybe they hooked left. Regardless, that ball is in the bushes and you may or may not find it.

However, the next golfer to send that ball careening into the thick of unfortunate fauna might pick up that ball you could not find days ago. One person’s loss is another’s gain. Wouldn’t it be nice if losing a ball could actually make you money? Imprinting your company or business logo on a golf ball could very well do just that.

Create Logo Golf Balls for Your Company with ePromos

Pull out that driver and tee off with logo golf balls. Using major golf ball brands such as Titleist, Nike and Taylor Made, your custom creation will be remembered long after the turn. For fairway fanatics, this is a great marketing tool to help get your brand out there. Like any promotional tool, a good strategy is key when dispersing your logo golf balls throughout your market.

Logo Golf Balls Are a Hole in One Gift

Golf balls are a popular gift around the holidays, especially for an occasion such as dad’s birthday or Father’s Day. Think about the life span of a golf ball for a moment. No golfer ever keeps their balls until their golf-game retirement. Golf balls are traded, lost, and lent out all the time and as they pass from one person to another. Many people showcase their golf ball collections in their homes or offices. Having your logo on the ball, along with a web address or contact information, can be a creative form of word of mouth advertising and marketing.

Depending on what type of business you are in, logo golf balls can act as great giveaway items and can assist in recruiting new business. If you are representing at a tradeshow or a big conference, a golf ball serves as a memorable free gift that instantly markets your brand. Custom logo golf balls also make a unique leave-behind gift. From training a new staff or giving a sales presentation, leaving behind a logo golf ball is a creative approach to branding.

Whether you are a golfer or not, a logo golf ball is a fantastic promotional tool for companies of any size. Create your custom balls with ePromos and get them out on that course and tee off to put your business in play.


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Werner Co. Sponsors NCAA Championship Ladder, Scores Huge Brand Exposure


We have to hand it to Werner Co.—the ladder manufacturer knows how to get major brand exposure. It created a custom, nine-foot stepladder as the official 75th NCAA championship ladder.

When Louisville surged ahead to beat Michigan in last week’s NCAA championship game, that ladder gained Werner Co. some impressive exposure. Nielsen estimates that 23.4 million people tuned in to watch the game—a bigger audience than the last two men’s championship games, and easily the most-watched program on primetime TV last week.

custom ladder

As if that’s not enough, as the official ladder, Werner Co. was part of the iconic net-cutting tradition. The custom, in which the winning team gathers around the basket and collectively cuts down the net to celebrate its victory, dates back almost 100 years.

In the 1920s, the legendary Indiana boy’s high school basketball team would celebrate winning the state title by cutting down the nets as souvenirs.

The tradition lives on.

When the buzzer sounds, a ladder is positioned under the hoops and logo scissors (the scissors are, of course, sponsored too) are brought out.

“The net-cutting ceremony is a rewarding tradition for the winning team, and we are thrilled the ladder will be part of this unforgettable moment,” Chris Filardi, Werner Co.’s Vice President of Marketing, said in a press release.

Louisville took home the commemorative ladder to display for the next year. The ladder is remarkably unique, featuring plaques that highlight each year and the schools that won the tournament dating all the way back to 1939.

It was a glorious moment for Louisville, and Werner Co. was right there for it all. With that kind of brand exposure, there’s no doubt Werner Co. was a winner as well.

Promo know-how tip:

Sponsorship is a way to build prestige for your brand and gain that coveted exposure. Consider using logo signage and custom table covers for immediate visibility, and handing out promotional items to leave your mark on the event.