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Strategic Sports Campaigns Elevate Memorial Day Awareness

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By: Matt Puttin

Memorial Day is celebrated across the U.S. as a way of giving thanks to veterans who have served and veterans currently serving around the world today. Through innovative ideas and programs, Memorial Day is a premier holiday for multiple reasons in the sports industry. From creative jerseys and hats, to fan engagement, family and tradition, below are some of the best practices seen on Memorial Day.

Creative Merchandise
1. MiLB Bowling Green Hot Rods
The Bowling Green Hot Rods will debut their custom made jerseys for its inaugural Red, White and Blue Weekend hosted over Memorial Day Weekend May 27th-30th. Russell Athletic designed the custom jerseys. The jerseys will feature the names of local active and retired first responders, law enforcement and military servicemen and women. Over the four game series, seven jerseys will be auctioned each night. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the charity of choice of the organization being honored that evening.

2. MLB 2016 Memorial Day
Major League Baseball released authentic 2016 Memorial Day jerseys and hats for each team. This year’s uniform features a new woodland camouflage design licensed by the U.S. Marine Corps. The Toronto Blue Jays uniform showcases the distinctive Canadian Forces CADPAT design. Major League Baseball will donate its licensed uniform royalties to Welcome Back Veterans and the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare services’ “Support Our Troops Fund” charities.

Fan Engagement
3. NASCAR Charlotte Motor Speedway: Let the Troops Race
The annual Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte resumes this weekend as over 130,000 people are expected to fill Charlotte Motor Speedway. In respect to the holiday, Charlotte Motor Speedway offers fans the opportunity to pay it forward and help bring active service men and women to NASCAR’s home track through its “Let the Troops Race” program. For $25, fans can purchase a ticket for a member of the armed services to attend the Coca-Cola 600.

4. MiLB High Desert Mavericks to Fly POW/MIA Flag at Heritage Field
The Class A Advanced California League of Minor League Baseball does not have a team that flies the POW/MIA flag at their ballpark. The High Desert Mavericks changed that. As the team was out of town on Memorial Day weekend, the Mavericks raised the POW/MIA flag the Monday before Memorial Day weekend at Heritage Field honoring the over 92,000 missing American soldiers. The flag will fly permanently in centerfield for every event at the ballpark.

5. Arena Football League: Local Veteran Lends Support to Storm
Bill Downing, a disabled veteran and local of the Tampa Bay area claims to be the “number one fan” of the Tampa Bay Storm. Downing refers to his hometown Arena Football League team as his family. To say Downing lives and breathes Storm football is not an overstatement. If the team is practicing, Downing is there. When it is a gameday, Downing suits up in his gorilla costume with Storm boxing gloves, a Storm helmet and Storm glasses, which is a big hit for all fans. “This is my outlet,” Downing said. “This team here, if I didn’t have them, I probably wouldn’t even leave my house.” The Storm recently just hosted their seventh annual Seats for Service Program in which the Storm donates tickets to service members and their families from MacDill Air Force Base and the local Coast Guard chapters. “Military Appreciation Night in an incredible thing to do for our veterans,” Downing said.

Sports Making a Difference Abroad and at Home
6. WATCH: Veterans talk about their favorite sports memories when serving overseas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yio9y2ZLhKU
7. WATCH: Members of the military return home to families https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CcLj4wQXWQ
A Memorial Day Tradition
8. When it comes to Memorial Day, nothing compares to the Indy 500.
VIEW: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/indianapolis-500-100-interesting-fa...

Matt Puttin works for Property Consulting Group as a Strategic Content Associate on the innovation team. Matt is currently a junior at the University of Missouri pursuing a major in Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communication and Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration. Feel free to reach out via email: matt@propertycg.com or on Twitter: @puttz22.

References

http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20160107&content_id=161259786&f... http://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2016/04/13/see-the-2016-mlb-speci...
http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20160520&content_id=179257420&f...
http://www.tampabaystorm.com/news/detail/local-veteran-lends-support-to-...

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