Cause Marketing And Brand Support In A Down Economy Still Effective

As budgets get cut and sponsorship dollars and budgets are frozen due to the economy, brands and other organizations continue to reshuffle the deck in hope of finding a correct mix…literally cause and effect…to keep the dollars flowing, the brand growing and the opportunities interesting. Even today with Chrysler declaring Chapter 11, one of the stories pointed out that one of the groups that could be hurt the most with dealer cutbacks would be local Little League sponsorships, so the trickledown to the small guys continues. One great example of a group that can rise to the occasion to assist those in need…more through equipment than dollars, and equipment may be even more of a need, is the group Pitch In For Baseball. The not for profit links corporations or groups with baseball equipment and then takes the equipment and finds it a home. Whether that can be Mizuno cleats in Ghana or Gatorade and fence supplies to rebuild fields in Galveston doesn’t matter. What matters is that equipment and potential marketing dollars go directly to a cause with immediate grassroots impact…and that impact translates into awareness, brand loyalty for those effected, and good will in a community that can have a pebble in a pond effect for brands…marketing dollars combined with philanthropy get community, cause and brand exposure for a triple payoff. A recent example of Pitching For Baseball was this story on FoxSports.com, where the group is filling the needs of a Little League whose equipment was stolen.. Brands who have excess fill the local need, serve in a philanthropic manner and create a legacy for the community, a great payoff for all involved.

Some other good reads…the Washington Post had a good piece on Mike Flacco, brother of Ravens QB Joe, and his rise in baseball in college…the New York Times visited with Little Leaguer Patrick Schuster as his four straight no-hitter streak ended…and wsj.com had an interesting read on how Procter and Gamble is changing its focus more from women to men in their product marketing…

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