Baseball, fashion, and digital marketing collided Wednesday after designer Marc Ecko announced the results of his contest regarding the fate of Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball.
And the decision: Brand It.
Mr. Ecko, who purchased the ball for $752,467 from the fan who caught it, solicited opinions as to what to do with it. The ball, which beat Hank Aaron’s home run record of 755, has been the source of controversy because of Mr. Bonds’ alleged steroid use. Voters went to the site www.vote756.com and clicked on one of three decisions: (a) ”Bestow It” to the Baseball Hall Of Fame; (b) ”Brand It” with an asterisk before giving it to the museum; or (c) ”Banish It” by sending it to space. The results were delivered via mobileStorm’s Stun! digital marketing platform as an email.
The contest garnered more than 10 million votes. Out of those ballots, 47 percent voted to brand the ball; 34 percent said the ball should be given to the museum, in Cooperstown, New York; and 19 percent declared that a one-way trip into space was the best way to handle the ball.
”This ball wouldn’t be coming to Cooperstown if Marc hadn’t bought it from the fan who caught it and then let the fans have their say,” Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey told The Associated Press Wednesday. ”We’re delighted to have the ball. It’s a historic piece of baseball history.”
That this campaign “let the fans have their say” underscores the importance of interactive, two-way marketing. Such campaigns, the results of which were delivered by Stun!, let consumers feel like their opinion matters to the brand. Or brands, since both Mr. Ecko’s apparel line and the sport of baseball got a lot of press attention thanks to the contest.
Marketing Communications Manager