18 Jun 2014

Contemporizing an Event

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Branding | Events
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In 2008 Rinck Advertising became responsible for the organization, coordination and management of the Maine McDonald’s® High School Senior All-Star Basketball Games. This two-day event celebrates the accomplishments of more than 100 Maine student-athletes across the state. The Friday evening Awards Banquet recognizes the All-Star Players,  All-State Academic Selections, Regional Foul Shooting Champions and the Mr and Miss Maine Basketball nominees. The Games on Saturday features eight teams in East versus West in two Divisions and Boys and Girls teams.

Although the All-Star Games had already been in existence for 28 years, 2008 marked Maine McDonald’s® Owner/Operator Association’s 20th anniversary as lead sponsor of the event.  All-Star weekend is a fundraiser that benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine (RMCH of Maine).

However, we soon learned that in 2008, the program was still being run the way it had been in 1980 with donations to RMCH of Maine declining and some years just breaking even. In 2008, event organizers were communicating with players and coaches through printed paper copies mailed via the US Postal Service. Communications vehicles also included faxing and lots and lots of phone calls and voice mails at the office.  It was an outdated system that needed changing in order to better reach the high school students with the technology they were communicating with.

The first step was to create a website with a portal that included information for participating players and coaches and a news section for media communications.

Over time, a Facebook page and Twitter handle were developed and promoted.

Most recently we created an online voting website for the basketball coaches across the state to make player nominations and cast votes.

EVENTIZE:

  • Ronald McDonald House visits
  • Brought in Ronald McDonald
  • Product Sampling
  • UpTeam
  • Half-Time Show
  • Radio Deejay
  • Dress the Banquet Room
  • Enhanced Creative for the overall look and feel of the All-Star Games that high schoolers respond to
  • “Cooler” Merchandise that attracts teens to Increase Sales  (thereby increased donations to RMHC)– for example Practice Jerseys, Shooter Shirts

Two other significant additions Rinck made to the All-Star Games came in the form of two awards that expand audience reach and demographics.

In 2009, Rinck developed the Maine McDonald’s® Spirit of the Game Award which honors two high school seniors who embody the spirit of the sport, exemplify sportsmanship, support and inspire their teammates and coaching staff, and show an ability to overcome obstacles and boundaries. That year, the award honored recipients Joshua Titus of Auburn and Patrick Thibodeau of Cumberland. Titus has overcome the challenges of autism and Thibodeau has Downs Syndrome. Their stories were the subject of a sports documentary that aired prior to the Men’s NCAA Final Four Games with a viewing audience of 52 million. The film included footage of Josh and Patrick receiving their awards at the All-Star Banquet. Their stories were picked up nationwide and they were interviewed on the CBS Early Show. Josh and Patrick went on to be honored at the Maine State House by the Governor and the Legislature and the Boston Celtics with its Heroes Among Us Award during a full-capacity Celtics home game. In 2010, the awards were renamed. The East Division award became the “Joshua Titus Spirit of the Game Award.”  The West Division award was renamed the “Patrick Thibodeau Spirit of the Game Award." Each year Josh and Patrick return to the banquet to present the annual awards.

In 2011 in collaboration with the Maine Red Claws Basketball Team, the Maine McDonald’s® & Maine Red Claws Team of the Year Award was created to honor two teams that have made an exceptional impact on Maine High School Basketball and in the lives of others through Contribution to Community, Exemplifying Sportsmanship, Team Competitiveness and Spirit, and Commitment to Academic Excellence. The awards are presented at the All-Star Banquet on Friday evening when each team is presented with $1,000 for its school’s basketball program.

Maine McDonald’s® High School Senior All-Star Basketball Games continues to be the pinnacle of a Maine high school basketball player’s experience. The coveted Mr and Miss Maine Basketball Award is the highest honor in the state.  The event gets bigger and better and more popular every year. Rinck is proud to be a part of this hallmark sporting event that benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine.

Net proceeds from 2013 totaled $26,500.00, the most ever in the history of the Maine McDonald’s® All-Star Basketball Games.

Increased Banquet Audience has necessitated a move out of the Husson College Gym where the event has been held for 33 years. We are very excited to be moving to the new Cross Insurance Center’s state of the art banquet facility for the first time in 2014.

Media interest across the state for All-Star Weekend has never been greater. In 2013, the estimates earned media value was more than $500,000.00 with approximately 4.5 million impressions.