Archive for September, 2013

$ocial Curr€ncy

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Social currency is one of those buzzwords that gets tossed around quite frequently. In its simplest form it’s the totality of the resources that arise from the interactions that take place in social networks or communities, online or off.

Today it is used more in relation to the various online social networks that have cropped up in the last decade—the application, however, remains the same. But let’s take a quick peek down the rabbit hole; what happens when you take social currency to a literal interpretation? That’s when things start to get interesting, where traditional approaches merge with the current, in retrospect, ironic but innovate applications. When you take a literal approach to social currency, you find yourself face to face with a budding trend in the experiential marketing space—interactive socially enabled vending machines. Brands have been increasingly reinventing these ubiquitous traditional retail experiences over the past few years with a social twist, the utilization of your social interaction as actual currency.

Initially, this took the form of kiosks that distributed samples or swag in return for a hashtagged tweet (BOS Ice Tea – ‘Bev’), Foursquare check-in (Nokia – Gift Machine), or Facebook like (Nestlé – Chocolike). But has since evolved to incorporate your offline social interactions: hugs (Coca-Cola – Hug Me), hand holding (Milka – Dare to be Tender), dancing (Coca-Cola – Coke Dance), and rugby tackles (Salta – Rugbeer)?

Silliness aside, the common thread among these examples was that they were all instantly shareable, discussable, and in essence viral. Each activation featured highly targeted and exceptionally socially relevant placement that primed participants to share; and for the respective brands engendered true social currency along the way. But then again, who wouldn’t if a vending machine dispensed a kayak on your way to work (Tourism British Columbia – The BC Moments Machine).

Can we see tweets, increasingly complex handshakes, or gangnam style horse dances replacing cold hard cash in the next five years? Probably not, but with the advent of wireless and wallet free payment methods, new paradigms of business are definitely just around the horizon.

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Late on October 26th, 1996, second grade me cried himself to sleep.  The Braves had just put on a clinic in sports-induced agony, blowing a 2-0 World Series lead to the hated Yankees.  The man responsible for slamming the door in the 9th inning in games 3-6 was John Wetteland, and I distinctly remember hating him and wishing he would just go away.

And he would.  The clouds of the Evil Empire were only just gathering, and they would go on to win 3 of the next 4 titles with a new face shortening games: Mariano Rivera.  The man affectionately known as Mo would spend the next 16 years collecting hardware, shattering bats and making the best dramatic entrance in baseball this side of Ricky Vaughn.  He has played his entire career in a brutal market (see: Johnson, Randy) and not only achieved outrageous success but earned a brand of universal respect not often found in sports today.  He is inextricably tied to Jackie Robinson as the last active player permitted to wear the legendary #42 and is one of the 2-3 players from his generation every fan will tell their grandchildren about.

He’ll be honored this Sunday at Yankee Stadium because 2013 will be it for Mo.  The end of a graceful career will be celebrated with a fittingly low-key ceremony, then the Yanks will get back to the business of climbing back into the Wild Card race.  If Baseball Gods exist (they do) expect to see the Bombers string a few wins together, make it interesting down the stretch and hopefully schedule some October games.  Every ballplayer and fan should see one more signature Postseason outing from Mo; even the 8-year-old Braves fan inside me, still sobbing, is pulling for that one.

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Written by John Seiler
John Seiler

September 20th, 2013 at 11:10 am

Charlie Horsey’s Been BIZZY

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MKTG INC Chairman & CEO Charlie Horsey recently sat down with BizBash to discuss Super Fans and the steps companies are taking to embrace them. What’s a Super Fan and why should you care about them?

Read more here: “Why Event Marketers Are Focusing on Super Fans” & “8 Tips for Creating Events for Super Fans

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

September 19th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

MKTG INC Continues Growth With Hires in Chicago and NYC

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Charlie Horsey, Chairman and CEO, announced today that the company has added key staff positions in the company’s Chicago and New York offices.

Scott MalagaScott Malaga joined the Chicago office as Senior Vice President of Business Development. In his new role, he will lead the company’s Midwest business development efforts and provide sponsorship consultation for clients. Malaga has more than 15 years of experience in sales and sports marketing, with previous positions including Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for Intersport and Vice President of Corporate Partnerships with the Chicago Fire. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade selling and managing college sports media and activation.

Malaga received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, where he was a first team All-Ivy running back and was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.  He received his Masters Degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University. He and his wife live in Elmhurst, IL.

Ryan CarterAlso new to the Chicago office is Ryan Carter, who joined the MKTG INC team as Vice President, Client Service. In his new role, he will manage relationships with brand partnerships in the Midwest and beyond. He has more than 15 years of experience in creating unique consumer engagements for some of the world’s most recognized brands.

Most recently, Ryan worked on Nike’s Central Territory Brand Team, where he was responsible for bringing Nike Running to life in a 22-state territory, including marquee events like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Ryan also led a cross-functional team that launched Nike+ in 2012. Prior to Nike, Ryan worked in leadership roles at Intersport, DePaul University Athletics and the American Junior Golf Association. Ryan is a graduate of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and resides in Oak Park with his wife, Molly, and their two children.

Katie_Kirby_1In the New York office, MKTG INC named Katie Kirby to the newly-created Director of Communications position. In that role, she will spearhead the company’s communications and public relations efforts.

Katie brings 15 years of experience to MKTG INC, ranging from grassroots marketing to global brand promotion in sports, spirits and hospitality. Most recently, she managed integrated communications programs at DKC Public Relations in New York. Prior to that, Katie worked at Beam, Inc. in Deerfield, IL, where she oversaw global PR outreach for Beam’s vodka, rum and tequila brands. Katie previously worked as Director of Public Relations for the Chicago White Sox, where she managed PR efforts for the team’s marketing, community relations and sales initiatives, highlighted by the team’s World Series Championship in 2005. Katie serves as the Vice President of Marketing for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)’s NY Chapter. She graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Journalism.

“This is an exciting time for MKTG INC, and these new hires reflect our growth and ongoing expansion.” said Horsey.  “Coming off of a summer where we executed dynamic programs for partners including Nike, Diageo, NBA, MSNBC, Proctor & Gamble and others, MKTG INC is continuing to deliver exciting, innovative programs to clients in the US and abroad.”

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Are You Ready for Some Football?

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The day is finally here. It has been more than 200 days since we last watched a professional football game (American football that is). TONIGHT the Denver Broncos host the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens in the inaugural game of the National Football League’s season (known to some as Kickoff). But lets be honest, do football fans really care who wins this game tonight? No. They care how many touchdowns Peyton Manning throws and how many yards Ray Rice runs for. It’s all about Fantasy Football. No matter what league you play in, you’ll be glued to the TV to watch your Fantasy wide receiver, not wonder how the Ravens will play without their pre-game speech from Ray Lewis.

Today kicks off one of the best weekends of the year. This is where Fantasy managers find out if their 1st round draft pick was really the right pick and  if their “sleeper” really turns out to be the best pick of the draft.

Whether your team name is “Give em Flacco” or “Natural Born Spillers” good luck this weekend….you’ll need it.

Written by: Liz McKeon

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