To support school, licensee and retail partners during the holiday gift-buying season, Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) is launching Holiday Cheer, a national collegiate retail marketing program in approximately 3,500 retail locations. The program, which began earlier this month, also has a major digital component through a partnership with Fanatics.com.
Holiday Cheer creates excitement in collegiate licensing and increased retail product distribution during a very competitive selling season while stoking fan interest through product promotions and a social media challenge. The tag is “Spread Cheer with College Gear.”
Like College Colors Day, a national retail marketing program kicking off College football, Holiday Cheer uses a social media challenge based on school colors to involve fans. Fans posting holiday and school-themed photos on social media can compete to win a “Wish List” of gear from their favorite school in a #CollegeColors Challenge running through January 3.
CLC worked with Fanatics to create the “Wish List” of five top seasonal officially licensed products for each participating CLC school. These items (e.g., tacky sweater, Dooney & Bourke bag, Jack Mason wallet, knit hat, spirit jersey, house flag, tacky sweater, and an ornament) are featured on an interactive wish list graphic promoted through organic and paid social media. Consumers clicking an item are taken to the Fanatics site to make their purchase.
Holiday cheer is exclusive to CLC schools – the 50 partner institutions that contribute to the company’s Collegiate Marketing Fund are participating.
Another detail on social – CLC is drawing on WME| IMG resources to build out content calendars specific to each of the 50 marketing fund schools, helping them create and post organic content
While social spend and Fanatics are a key part of the promotion, CLC is also focusing on driving brick-and-mortar merchandise, distribution and sales. More than 10 major retailers (approximately 3,500 store locations nationwide) are expected to participate in Holiday Cheer, including Costco and Lids:
– Costco saw a 450% increase in its collegiate holiday business in 2014 through participating in the Holiday Cheer program. This year, the retailer will devote even more resources to Holiday Cheer.
– LIDS will support the Holiday Cheer campaign in more than 450 of their LIDS and LIDS Locker Room locations. LIDS will carry the top seasonal items by using their marketing collateral to support top vendors in the participating doors.
– Other retailers featuring in-store signage and supporting Holiday Cheer through digital include Kohls, Meijer, Rally House, Alumni Hall, Scheels, Finish Line, Paradies and Stage Stores.
As Black Friday approaches, a little college innovation works well.