Monday, June 15, 2015

Kids Skate Free: Association-Managed Cause Marketing Campaign

I love the strategic thinking behind Kids Skate Free!

Kids Skate Free represents a great example of a locally-initiated, association-managed cause marketing campaign that benefits a struggling industry.

It demonstrates how associations can use cause marketing to enhance their members while benefitting a cause.

And, with another generation (“Gen Z”) emerging, what better way to introduce your member businesses to millions of potential new customers.

Here are the basics of Kids Skate Free:
  • Societal Issue: childhood obesity
  • Industry Issue: number of roller skating participants declining
  • Strategy: provide kids coupons for free roller skating ... normally on “slow times”
  • Cure: exercise from roller skating can help reduce obesity and free coupons brings new customers to skating rinks
If you want to read more about a local establishment’s implementation, see this article in the Fort Myers News-Press.

Many successful cause-marketing programs start at the local level:

  • Chili’s Create a Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer (currently known as the Give Back. Give Hope. Campaign) effort started in 2002 at seven Memphis-area Chili’s restaurants
  • The National Christmas Tree Association modeled the Trees for Troops program after local efforts by growers in the Pacific Northwest. It was able to recruit FedEx as a sponsor.
  • And six skating centers started the Kids Skate Free program which Roller Skating Association International acquired in 2015. (“We wanted to jump on board, especially with the obesity statistics and get kids out of the house and active,” said RSA Communications Director Lynette Anacker.)
While nationally-coordinated, all cause marketing is locally implemented.
  • Chili’s Create-a-Pepper campaign involves customers at local restaurants
  • Trees for Troops begins at about 600 local tree farms and engages local consumers, local media and military bases. 
  • The Kids Skate Free campaign begins with local skating centers and engages kids and parents in their community.
For more on associations and cause marketing, read my Causeaholic blog titled Can Associations Engage in Cause Marketing  

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