Giving Through Active Living
Giving Through Active Living is an authority leadership initiative examining the brand impact, value and return of cause-related wellness marketing campaigns.
Giving Through Active Living will audit and assess the level of engagement, attachment and connection brands have with participants within charitable events or cause-driven activities, the modes of engagement and communication beyond pre-event and event specific messaging, and the value and worth of cause-related marketing programs on customer and community engagement.
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is embarking on a new authority leadership initiative to examine the brand impact, value and return of cause-related wellness marketing campaigns. Central to this will be a deep dive into the appeal, draw and reach of the Top 30 Run, Walk, Ride fundraising events produced by leading non-profit, health education and disease-related research groups (see attached listing and ranking).
According to the Cause Marketing Forum and the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council, the top 30 athletic event fundraising programs involved more than 11 million participants in 2008 and raised more than $1.7 billion through the staging of 41,346 events. The top-performing program was the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, which raised $430 million and involved three million participants in 4,930 events in 2008.
Despite a constrained economy, event organizers report that they are looking to further growth and involvement by increasing corporate team recruitment, and providing individual participants with tools to raise more funds. Brand support for last year’s events was drawn from a diverse range of category and market sectors.
These included names like Starbucks, Nike, American Airlines, PowerBar, Schwinn, New Balance, Yoplait, Bank of America, HealthyChoice, Energizer, Subway, The Vitamin Shoppe, Wal-Mart, Dow, Bayer Healthcare, Pfizer, FedEx, Microsoft, Reebok, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Equal, Kmart Pharmacy, Coca-Cola, Gold’s Gym, Splenda, Performance Bicycle, Nissan, McDonalds, Sanofi Aventis, United Airlines, Eli Lilly, Aetna, Target, Verizon Wireless, Gap, Liberty Mutual, and many more.
For many of the supporting brands, “Giving Through Active Living” campaigns are a positive and visible way to affirm corporate social responsibility, reinforce product qualities and attributes, increase trial and usage, as well as build brand loyalty and affinity. In addition, they have the added value of involving employees in cause-directed exercise, and linking non-profit contributions to consumer exercise commitments, work out regimens, fitness programs, and mileage accomplishments.
Today, more than 150 million Americans have at least one chronic disease and more than 30 million have three or more. The most common chronic diseases are asthma, diabetes and hypertension, but the list keeps growing. In fact, the growth of chronic disease exceeds population growth.
This results in a staggering $1.5 trillion in direct healthcare costs in the United States alone. The cost in lost productivity for employers may be as much as three times this figure, chiefly in the form of “presenteeism,” or employees who show up for work but perform poorly because of health issues.
There is a real need and opportunity for brands, organizations and companies to embrace “Giving from Active Living” campaigns to mobilize and inspire sedentary consumers, as well as engage and bond with recreational enthusiasts, leisure actives and fitness buffs, who might be predisposed to link their daily or weekly work-out and exercise with fundraising for a pet charity or altruistic endeavor.
There are now more than 44 million people who regularly cycle, 96 million who walk, and an additional 38 million who run. Investments in grassroots activity-based sponsorships can be significantly multiplied through the use of Internet portals and platforms that incorporate active lifestyle monitoring, brand connection, affection and selection on a sustained level.
To this end, the CMO Council is teaming with Plus 3 Network to provide a new ActiveLiving Community Portal for marketing, non-profit, event and experiential production leaders to develop best practices and ways to better engage and connect with their audiences. This robust community will link brand sponsors who are looking to lengthen and enrich their connection with participants of events with organizers of charitable events who wish to better aggregate and gather their community.