Derek Jeter’s Secret “Ladies Night” Promotion Goes Public. Teaches Lessons.

Anyone in marketing knows the value of a good promotion in creating positive awareness or reinforcing positive perceptions about you, your product, service, brand or institution. Here are some winners from sports, education, retail and even birdseed marketing.

Mr. Clutch

Promotions can be used to reinforce a positive experience. I’ve always admired Derek Jeter for his hustle and hard work. He just hit 30 and he’s going strong. I’ll never forget one time at Fenway when Derek leaped headfirst into the seats behind first base to snag a foul. He emerged with a bloodied face, but didn’t leave the game. Derek’s nickname among team members is “Captain Clutch” and he’s earned it with five World Series championships.

Come to find out, Derek’s a bit of a “clutch player” off the field too. (He’s a Commander at 168 Index who is naturally concerned with his reputation. See the modality chart below. Test your DecisionMODE free at Comcast Sports announced recently that Derek Jeter has a policy of sending his favorite dates a classy gift basket the next day, topped with a signed Derek Jeter baseball. Jeter’s unique promo became public recently when reportedly he mistakenly sent one date two separate baskets, a few months apart. She spilled the beans to the media. Come to find out, Derek is pretty good at PR disaster control too. Right after the story hit, he announced his engagement to long time girlfriend Minka Kelly. The wedding was set for November 5. (I wonder if he has any gift baskets left.)

Jeter provides a good example of how a promotion can reinforce a positive experience.

University Thank You Notes

Many universities and independents realize the value of post-decision promotions, and send hand-written “thank you” notes from student recipients to alumni who make scholarships/financial aid gifts. It’s a nice gesture of “thanks“ and increases the likelihood of future giving. Radio stations, like CBS Boston, are great at creating fun promotions, oftentimes free.

Free is Cheap!

Of course the best promotion is one that’s FREE, like the shopping spree CBS affiliate WEEI-FM launched with Boston professionals age 25-44. Listeners were invited to enter a “Newbury Street Shopping Spree” worth thousands in gifts and goodies. The winner began the day with breakfast at the Ritz Carlton followed by shopping for complimentary jewelry, high end cookware, fashion clothing, a wonderful lunch, and a facial. Over 10,000 listeners entered. The best part was that all the gifts were provided free by the Newbury Street businesses in return for positive on-air publicity. Promotions are also great as an incentive to fill out a survey, even if it’s about birdseed.

“Win Your Weight in Birdseed!”

In one research survey we in-packed mail-back surveys into 50 pound birdseed bags. To catch people’s attention we offered them a chance to “Win Their Weight in Birdseed.” It sounds weird, but it generated over 2,000 replies, giving the client valuable new marketing information regarding their most important buyers. For example, we discovered that the company should in-pack dog food coupons, not cat food coupons. Birdseed buyers don’t generally have cats.

With a little creativity, and possibly some research to pretest promotions, marketers can extend marketing dollars and create positive impact. Try it. It works.

Kim Wallace
Wallace & Washburn’s DecisionMODE
(781) 235-8882


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