Nickelodeon is appealing to its corporate partners to help fund a new Let’s Just Play Giveaway initiative, and there’s some considerable philanthropic mileage to be had from getting involved.
Until May 2006, Nick has invited kids to jump on-line or fill out a form in Nickelodeon Magazine listing three reasons why play is important, and outlining what their school or club needs to offer more structured playtime. Up for grabs each month are 20 US$5,000 cash prizes that go towards fitness resources for the winning kids’ schools and community programs.
Kellogg was the first partner to step up to the plate in September, matching Nick’s financial commitment and helping to boost the number of cash prizes that month from 20 to 40. For its US$100,000 contribution, the packaged goods giant was highlighted as a sponsor in on-air and print advertising throughout August.
This year’s contest grew out of an existing campaign that Nick sponsored on its own in 2004 to the tune of US$600,000, which went into grants that helped 80 schools and organizations across the U.S. keep kids active through play. Nick received more than 1,800 applications without even marketing its plans, indicating a nationwide need for US$9 million in additional resources.
This year, the channel is hoping to recruit corporate sponsors to match its own US$1-million commitment, dollar for dollar. Lauren Elchoness, Nick’s VP of on- and off-air promotions marketing, is eager to speak with companies that might be inspired by Kellogg’s example to donate US$100,000 and fuel the contest for a month.
The money goes directly to schools and clubs, and helps Nick reach out to more kids across the country. Like Kellogg, corporate sponsors will get some play in advertising for the giveaway, and Nick is open to exploring ways of extending these partnerships through cross-promotion.
Elchoness says she’s currently engaged in advanced discussions with fast-food burger chain Johnny Rockets, but stresses that there are plenty more opportunities available.