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56 West Main St.
Norwich, NY 13815

Quarterly Strike Newsletter Volume 5


"SNAP"ple To IT!

Snapple Promotion: Big Hit! Big Fun!

Month supply of Snapple winner Jeff Morse (right)
holds up a portion of his supply with me at his home.

One hot & sunny afternoon, I took a break from operating my pitching booth to enjoy an ice cold Snapple iced tea, when it occurred to me, I'll bet that everyone here is as hot and thirsty as I am and I'll bet they'll get a kick out of winning Snapple at my booth. So I pulled out my trusty Sam's Club member card and bought 10 cases of Snapple for my next event. The promotion was set in this manner; participants who guess the speed of their last pitch win an ice cold Snapple on the spot and also win a raffle ticket to be drawn for a month supply of Snapple (2 cases) At the events end, I went through 5 and a half cases with 102 raffle cards entered.

My booth grossed over $950 or about 475 participants. Just under 20% of participants guessed their pitch speed to win a Snapple and a raffle ticket. It certainly was amazing the positive reaction people had to the use of Snapple as my guessing prize. It even gave me a fresh attitude throughout the whole event and it created a great conversation piece for all those passing by.

I chose Snapple because I enjoy it but there are a number of products to consider, especially in the beverage field. As I mentioned, I purchased the Snapple at Sam's Club which is a large members only wholesale warehouse. I cost me $13.53 a case or about 50 cents a bottle. Remember, I charge $2.00 to play so even with winners I'm making $1.50. In the future, I may work through a local beverage distributor which will also have Snapple paraphernalia like shirts, hats & coolers. To keep the Snapple cold on sight, I just brought a cooler and filled it with ice every day so it entails no real change in booth set up or maintenance. For hot outdoor events, I highly recommend you pick a popular product and try incorporating it in your game. However, do try to keep your own hands off the cooler.

Multi-Sport Profits

The system will serve a host of sports that are just as profitable as baseball.

The most notable being soccer. The World Cup Tournament didn't just thrust soccer upon the American youth. The growth and participation of soccer leagues has been on a huge upward swing for the past 10 years. Given the costs, complexities and physical requirement of football, soccer has taken over as the fall sport of choice in many communities. I will be working the booth at my first soccer tournament the second weekend of October where 80 to 90 teams are expected to compete and I will be sure to sell them on the potential for a Kick-A-Thon program. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for indoor leagues that you can access year round. My systems radar gun can read the speed of a kick and participants will probably never have attempted that before.

If you live near a large metropolitan area then timing a tennis serve at a major tournament, pro or amateur, is of great curiosity for the spectators. However, my cage set up may not have the height clearance to receive serves. At one mall show a college tennis team was returning from a match and I did let them serve into the cage. They all made it in to the cage but in hind sight it was bad judgment on my behalf and it's not something I'll allow again. Inquire with the tournament director or tennis clubs about them hiring your services for their members or students.

If you've been to a baseball stadium you probably know that most have a speed booth but how about arenas for hockey? "How Fast Is Your Slap Shot" could be a great draw, especially since there are 2 fifteen minute intermissions between periods. Like soccer, hockey is another sport that is growing, especially in the secondary semi-pro markets. In my state, New York City and Buffalo have pro teams but Syracuse, Albany, Binghamton, Utica and Rochester all have farm league hockey teams. Many of the games are held during weeknights so your weekends are still open for other events.

Finally, there's great potential at Bocce Ball tournaments across the country... Just kidding, but hey, you never know!

Ladies & Gentleman...
An Idea So Big it takes more than an entire page to bring it to you.

Over the past few issues I have made mention of expanding the business potential of your systems. Ideas like Pitch-A-Thon or the renting out of the booth have ultimately lead to the 4 outlines on the following page.

These 4 outlines were taken from a current special newsletter I am sending to businesses rather than individuals or show promoters. The concept is to sell my system to a business so that they can use the fun of the booth in helping promote their product or services. It's kind of like having Snapple take my system to events instead of me. Of course, my objective is to sell them a system, however, many businesses could benefit from renting or hiring yours.

I was working a recent mall show when a manager from Dick's Sporting Goods briefly discussed using the booth for a store promotion. In the spring I had been invited to do few radio station mall beach parties and it just occurred that it would be a great promotion to have at a number of their remote broadcasts.

This differs from the last issues article on getting paid by the day in that you would most likely need to moniker their name to your system. Simply, if I'm working with Dick's it would be the" Dick's Speed Pitching Booth". You would basically work out a contract for one or a number of promotions at any number of locations. They would supply the promotional items to be used and possibly the signage for the system. You may just need to deliver the system on a rental or run it on a hire basis.

The following outlines will give you a better understanding of my specific concepts. This is an area that could literally change the way you view your work and necessitate the need for more booths. If a business would like to purchase a system and you feel this will not interfere with your market, I will be glad to pay you a 10% finders fee which would currently be $345.
This is a real opportunity for you to work professionally with businesses not just in your community but in your region. The same curiosity that drew you to the potential of owning a system will draw their curiosity in using it for great fun and promotion. By all means, expand on these ideas and let me know what you come up with.

4 Outlines of High Speed Impact to Your Promotional Agenda

1. Business Location & Set-Up
Synopsis: The Pitching booth would be set up within store limits either in side the store, at the entrance, parking lot or mall center isle.

Scenario: A perfect business would be a sporting goods store. Customers who frequent the store will be treated to the fun of participating at the speed pitching booth. They can pitch for free or be charged money to throw. By guessing pitching speeds or beating high scores they can possibly win gift certificates, coupons, or even sports products from the store with one big prize to be raffled off.
Consider arranging a local sports celebrity to be available and contact local media for maximum exposure. Make cut-out pitching coupons available in newspaper ads to help track ad readership.
A mall store can can arrange to have the booth set up at center court to get more people into their store and setting it up in conjunction with a baseball card show or other related mall promotion could mean a significant increase in foot traffic over your mall competitor if all participants could get at least a coupon redeemable at your store.
At a strip mall location, just setting it in the parking lot or by the entrance will definitely increase the number of people who will at least stop in front of your location to watch the activity.
Stores with large square footage can simply keep the system set up at all times just for the fun of it. The transportation ease of the system allows one business chain to share the same system for all the stores in a region.

2. Event Location Set-Up
Synopsis: The booth would be taken to a community event possibly a carnival, school, park, trade show or any event with potential customers.

Scenario: In this example we'll use a beverage distributor that wants to promote a new product. It sure is hot in the summertime and wouldn't it be great to make your sports drink the prize for guessing your pitching speed at a carnival, festival or fair. One lucky raffle winner could get a months supply of your beverage. Customers should appreciate winning an ice cold sports drink rather than a nickel and dime carnival toy.
How about setting up the same concept at a little league field or softball tournament. It's a great way to keep their concession stands in good favor with your company.
I'm sure that many of your grocery stores, convenient marts and food establishments would enjoy working a promotion with you. Maybe you've got a new iced tea and an ice cream stand could use the booth to help promote their sales of the product. Especially if you contact media which will benefit you both.
The great thing about this is that you personally do not even have to be there. The establishment could work or even rent the system from you using your name like "A-1 Sportsdrink Pitching Booth".
Each year there is literally an endless number of events to set up at and you can easily recoup your purchase of my system in a few months not to count the increase in business.

3. Community Usage
Synopsis: You will make the booth available to organizations in conjunction with your name and services

Scenario: A sports shoe retailer could have a variety of promotional options by having public use for the system. You could arrange to have the booth at a community park, pool, little league/softball field, community center or special event.
It would soon become known as the "A-1 Sports Shoe Speed Pitching Booth" and the money charged to pitch at it would be donated to charity or to the community. Another option would be for the system to be a rental to these facilities or organizations, yet still promoting the shoe company name. It is always acceptable for to profit with the system and yet it is easy for the organizations using the booth to profit also.
Gift certificates or coupons to the sports shoe store would be part of the prize structure but the potential to work other organizations into your prizes structure does exist. There could be a co-sponsorship of the booth with a local farm baseball team so that participants can win game tickets or merchandise for their local team. The co-sponsorship could be structured where the shoe company receives advertising at the game or in the programs for the exchange of letting the farm team co-sponsor the booth.
However, it doesn't need to be that complex or creative. Just setting the booth up for the community on occasion is a super promotional move sure to grab media attention and community praise.

4. Pitch-A-Thon Fundraising
Synopsis: The Mody Company has designed a specific fundraising program for organizations like Little league and special Olympics which you will promote.

Scenario: This fundraisnig program is universal for any business so we'll choose a travel agency. A local little league will pass sponsorship sheets to their players to compete in Pitch-A-Thon. The concept is for them to solicit pledges based on how fast they can pitch.
If a participant receives a 10 cent pledge and pitches 40 MPH, then he would collect $4 from his sponsor. If he has 10 like pledges he would generate $40 and a league of 100 participants with like numbers would generate $4,000. Wow, that adds up!
Trophies would be award to the fastest speeds in each age group and all participants get certificates. Anyone who raises over $100 would receive a special prize like a sports related item in value of around $20. To tie in the travel agency, the person who raises the most money would win 2 tickets and bus transportation to a pro baseball game courtesy of your travel agency (assuming you have sports bus packages)
The monies raised would be divided 75% to the league and 25% to the travel agency to recoup the trophy and prize costs. Large leagues could have 200 or 300 participants so the 25% could mean a few thousand dollars which will easily recoup the cost of the system purchased.
Word should spread quickly and there could be a number of very successful and very profitable Pitch-A-Thon's each year and the trip winner will be telling his friends about the the great package he won which could mean great referrals and exposure every year for the agency.