THEME NIGHTS. Take a cue from the big guys and work with your local high school athletics departments to come up with some attendance-boosting on-site promotions that you can participate in and talk about. Simple example: Ask fans to wear one of the team’s two colors (most teams have two). Great visual.
KICK FOR CASH. Line up one or more participating sponsors to offer a cash prize or a Prize Pack is a randomly-selected fan can score a field goal from a predetermined distance.
PASS, PUNT, KICK. From the back of the end zone, your contestant starts with a pass towards the opposite goal line, followed by a punt from where the pass landed, and ends with a kick through the uprights. As above, your participating sponsor or sponsors provide a prize.
PERFECT PUNT. Park a truck a set distance from pay dirt. Randomly select your contestants to pull off the perfect punt into the bed of the truck. Prizes provided by participating sponsors.
PRIZE PLAY. Invite listeners to submit their information and a certain football play. If that play occurs in a given game, draw a name from among those who selected that play. Better yet, print up entry forms with a check-list of plays and put them in sponsor locations.
TARGET TOSS. Give a randomly-selected contestant the chance to drop back and throw the perfect pass through a template or car window. Sell one main participating sponsor who has naming rights (“The NAPA Auto Parts Target Toss”) and who provides a significant prize; an auto dealer would be perfect, because they can provide the car. Alternatively, sell a bunch of advertisers and set aside a certain amount of cash from the proceeds, or make a prize of X value a participation requirement.
FOOTBALL TRIVIA I. Encourage your listeners to tune into your Friday-night high school play-by-play and do trivia questions about the game after the game. . .or in the morning show on Monday morning. (You can also do this at half-time during the game.)
FOOTBALL TRIVIA II. Work with a local sports bar to have one of your jocks on hand for the Monday-night football telecast. Make it a party with trivia questions and random prize drawings. If your station skews more female, do a “ladies only” party to watch the game, or a “Ladies Night Out” to provide alternate activities while the men-folk watch the game.
FOOTBALL WIDOWS’ CLUB. From 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday evenings, members sign in at “Shoppers Stadium” to get a list of special offers and discounts available that evening. They can also register for prize drawings for jewelry or getaway weekends. To keep children occupied, there’s a “Kids’ Clubhouse” where, for $4, kids get dinner and a movie while their moms shop.
TIME FOR A CHANGE. The end of Daylight Savings Time is the first Sunday in November. Air messages reminding your listeners, sponsored by a challenger political candidate. The sell line: “It’s time for a change!”
WINTER SURVIVAL PACKAGE. You’ll want to start setting this up fairly soon. Sell each client a preset schedule with a preproduced commercial that will run only under certain weather conditions. Good prospects include travel agents and stores that sell snow-blowers, snow tires, 4WD vehicles, snowmobiles, wood stoves, kerosene heaters. The selling point is that the advertiser can be on the air immediately when snow or bad weather hits. Make sure it’s clear the conditions under which the schedule will go into effect, or agree on telephone authorization. Your salespeople will need to stay on top of this, making sure the client gets on the air whenever appropriate.
THE ELVIS CADILLAC. On September 1, 1956, Elvis Presley gave his mother a pink Cadillac. Depending on what you can do, you could give some Mom the genuine article (they’re out there), or a model car with a special Elvis prize package.
RUN FOR SHELTER. Fall is full of foot-races, so it’s a good time to organize one to benefit a local homeless shelter. You can sell a title sponsorship to a restaurant that will provide pasta, juice and water for runners after the race.
CELEBRITY NIGHT. This works well in any market, because any town has people who are (a) genuinely funny, (b) hams, or (c) all of the above. Invite well-known locals to participate at a special night at a sponsoring bar or restaurant. Let them keep the cash bar. Choose a charity to receive the proceeds. Get the “celebrities” on the station beforehand, and broadcast the event live.
LEAF PATROL. Find a local youth organization willing to rake leaves for donations. Invite listeners to call in and request the group’s services. Provide station tee shirts and hats for the workers to wear on the job. Make sure you include a time or lawn-size limit.
ARTS ‘N’ APPLES FESTIVAL. Rochester, MN held a three-day art and entertainment fair sponsored by the downtown organization. Proceeds went to help a downtown arts center. Festivities included a sidewalk Chalk Art contest, gallery and pub crawls, an Art on the Town exhibit, horse-drawn carriage rides, Face Painting and Young At Art for children.
The Chalk Art contest started with the “creations” from Noon to 6 p.m. Then the art was judged and prizes awarded in three categories—Child (up to 12 years), Youth (12-17) and Adult (18+).
During the Gallery Crawl, people followed a red apple trail painted on the sidewalks to visit downtown art galleries and shops. A drawing was held among all those who visited them all.
OPERATION WARM. During the month of December, collect coats for the area’s needy. Hook up with sponsors and have listeners drop off the coats and receive discounts in the stores. Line up a dry cleaning establishment to clean the coats as a donation in return for participation in the event. Work with your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or Care & Share to collect the coats from sponsor locations and distribute them to deserving families.
RECYCLING CONTEST. Each school in your area competes to see who can collect the most newspapers, cans and bottles to be recycled. The winning school gets a free dance hosted by one of your jocks, or free lunch for all the students.