Strategies for Creating a Promotion Around a Event You Don’t Run

Usually I write in a journalistic-like way and don’t include too much first-person. But today is March Madness and I got this email from Fulton this week showcasing a cool way to bring together the Minneapolis brewery’s sales team along with its accounts, it’s local consumers and the NCAA Tournament, which begins today. Sorry, even the NCAA doesn’t consider the “First Four” Dayton games as a part of the “field of 64”.

All of my journalism background before Brewer was in the world of sports, so seeing that Fulton found a way to tie in the NCAAs and its brewery into a promotion like this “Foamy Sixteen” was brilliant to me as a sports geek.

The premise was simple: The bar/restaurant that serves the most Fulton during each time period advances through the bracket. Of course, just like the name, the brewery picked 16 local accounts in the city and have paired them off. The account that sells the most each “round,” moves on.

During the college basketball semi-final games on April 6, Fulton staffers will hang out at both of the “Foamy 16” semifinalist’s accounts with swag and raffle tickets.

The semifinalist account that serves the most servings of Fulton from April 4-6 will be the winner, and a pair of tickets to the championship game on April 8 will be raffled off to a customer at that account.

Tucker Gerrick, Fulton’s Director of Communications, said that having Super Bowl LII in February was a learning experience in terms of promotions and they have rebounded (see, a basketball pun) with this.

“We definitely learned some things from that whole ordeal,” he said. “We wanted to be creative, tactical, and realistic with what we deemed as an self-made opportunity surrounding the games.”

Of course, the goal is to sell beer, but Gerrick said the brand also hopes to create some brand affinity both with the accounts involved and all the consumers that visit and support Fulton.

“It’s hard to do account-driven promotional events these days that check at least one box from a list of: interesting, impactful, affordable, creative, entertaining,” Gerrick pointed out. “We think that this idea checks them all.

“Of course, we’re using current events to our benefit, and it’s not exactly unique to do anything bracket-related this time of year. But by helping drive customers to a bunch of accounts at once we think it’s win-win all over the place.”

Gerrick did note that the brewery picked accounts based on the ability to carry a number of Fulton beers all at once on draft and also from a general interest in partnering.

“We did not select based on volume, necessarily,” he said.

You can check out the social media aspect of what Fulton is doing starting today. Follow @fultonbeer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates on the brackets.

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