I have an advertising partnership with a local minor league baseball team. I say it is a partnership, because it works both ways. I give and get. They give and get. And in the end it earns me a lot more business. Now, this partnership is not inexpensive—but the return is incredible on travel booked, as well as good will with my community.
Now for the give and the get part. I have been working with them since 1999 so there is a history there. I give them a check and I get advertising space on their outfield wall—that is pretty standard. I also purchase a four pack of season tickets to use for myself and to give away to clients (marketing expense). But in 2009, I decided I wanted something in return for my years of support and proposed they give me several hundred general admission tickets throughout the season as well. They bought it.
So, just what does a travel agency do with 200 tickets to a minor league baseball team?
I give them back to the community.
So far this year, we have given away batches of tickets (usually 12 or 24) to:
- A long established community nursery school for their anniversary gala auction
- The local hospital for their annual fundraising auction and party
- The local Boys and Girls Club to take a group to the ballpark
- The police department so their mentors can take some disadvantaged youth for a new experience
- To a police officer recovering from being shot in the line of duty so he and his family and neighbors can hopefully forget about recovery for a while
- To the local schools to reward kids for good deeds and reading
All of these donations are from Single Parent Travel and the baseball club. It’s a win all the way around. I get recognition for doing something to make our community better. The baseball team likely gets more fans in the stadium than normal (all buying food, beer, souvenirs, and likely additional tickets). The organizations get a fun giveaway or auction item. There is not an additional cost to me. And (and this is the most important) our actions are highlighted to the constituents of the various groups.
Results? Well, aside from feeling very good for having a hand in facilitating a good thing, I have tentatively booked a group with the Boys and Girls Club (typically single parents) for a low-cost, low-key whitewater rafting trip next summer, had several inquiries on a group trip I have on the books for the fall to the UK, and (perhaps more importantly) three write-ups on various local blogs.
All in all, a good outcome for giving back.