Winner: SkiTAM Spirit Award7/21/2006 8:00 PM Eastern
Fox Cable Networks set out to create a grass-roots initiative that would benefit affiliates’ existing marketing efforts and business needs. The network group also wanted to leverage the local value of its Fox Sports Net and capitalize on the popularity of sports and home team loyalty.
The regional sports net developed FSN Reading All-Stars to fit those needs. The program was designed with local cable operators’ current reading and literacy marketing programs in mind. At the same time, the initiative had a local ad sales component to match the business needs of the affiliate.
The key to FSN’s strategy was to embrace the company’s cable partners’ business needs — specifically local ad sales — and develop a multitiered strategy around it. At the core of the program are customized books which are completely localized, creating a compelling story for kids who might not ordinarily pick up a book. The books, with four pages of sellable ad space, were pitched to local cable advertisers. Books were customized for each participating system to include local schools, teams and landmarks in the storyline.
Moreover, public service announcements, ad slicks and other customizable elements were created so affiliates could inform their subscribers about the program.
To date, 1.5 million subscribers have been exposed to the program; 8,000 customized books were produced for affiliates and distributed to area schools; and four local market events have taken place in schools across the country to distribute the books to kids.
At each event, athletes from local pro teams, FSN talent, government officials and school board members were on hand to support FSN’s affiliates and kick-off the program.