When Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism turned to Butin to create a sports marketing campaign publicizing its Women’s Baseball World Cup Trophy Tour, we were already warmed up and ready to get into the game.
The Making of An Award-Winning Sports Marketing Campaign
As a team, we designed the Trophy Tour to promote the 2018 WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup. It would be the first-ever baseball World Cup hosted on American soil. The goal? Gain attention for the Space Coast as the first U.S. host of any World Cup baseball event.
The three-month Trophy Tour showcased the tournament trophy in seven U.S. cities. Counting down to the World Cup event, each tour stop drew interest in for the event and women’s baseball itself. Held mainly at MLB stadiums, tour stops put the spotlight on Florida’s Space Coast, USSSA and the WBSC.
Finally, Florida’s Space Coast hosted the international tournament in August.
Integrating An Attention-Grabbing PR Strategy
The sports marketing campaign needed our push. So, we took a page from the history and heritage of women’s baseball in America. This strategy helped draw attention to the history-making Women’s Baseball World Cup event. Then, we infused each stop on the Trophy Tour with a nod to the hit movie “A League of Their Own.” This created a nostalgic atmosphere for women’s baseball, and for the women who helped pioneer the game in the U.S.
For spokespeople, we recruited living legends from the famous All-American Girls Professional Baseball League of the 1940s and ’50s. Plus, we also featured an actor who portrayed one of the players in the film. Further, the Tour’s kickoff took place in Rockford, Illinois. That’s because the town is the birthplace of the Rockford Peaches and the old AAGPBL.
Along the way, Team USA women’s baseball players and other rising female baseball stars made plenty of appearances.
By the start of the Women’s Baseball World Cup sports marketing campaign, the Trophy Tour program had exceeded all awareness goals. In total, the Tour had generated more than 860 million PR impressions and $1 million-plus in publicity value – a 42-to-1 return on investment. The wide-ranging roster of media catching women’s baseball fever included the likes of O Magazine, HuffPost, Reuters, NBC News, FOX Sports, and SB Nation. Ultimately, the joint publicity effort involving Butin, Florida’s Space Coast, the WBSC and USSSA earned a national Platinum PR Award, in the sports marketing category. We’d say that’s hitting it out of the park.