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Memorial Day

ericshainock's picture

Memorial Day is a holiday that many brands like to get involved with. Brands and teams create content in the attempt to engage with consumers; however, many times it comes across as inauthentic. In what is one of our most serious holidays on the calendar, it is a time for remembrance and thought for those that have perished protecting our country.

This is a great time for brands and teams to focus on community and philanthropic efforts it would seem. However, the same conditions hold - many consumers see this as an act of charity rather than philanthropy due to the seasonality of it. Rather, it is important to build a culture and dedicate a mission in which Memorial Day plays a role. This allows an organization's content to be authentic and true to the core.

Pat Tillman was a football player for the Arizona Cardinals, who found a higher calling once the events of September 11 events transpired. He walked away from a career in football to join the U.S. Army in 2002, committing to a three-year term. Unfortunately, he passed away on April 22, 2004. The Pat Tillman Foundation was founded in 2004 after Pat's death and is a sport organization that is in an authentic way in philanthropy. It invests in military veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships. In total, over 400 people have participated in attending over 100 universities with over $8 million in scholarship support. According to the Pat Tillman Foundation, his family and friends created the organization to carry forward his legacy by giving military veterans and spouses, who embody those principles, the educational tools and support to reach their full potential.

The Pat Tillman Foundation has programming and events that are staples of non-profits. Those include Pints for Pat, the NFL Salute to Service, and Pat's Run. This helps support the foundation's mission. However, it all continues the theme of the military and stays true to its core. As a result, Memorial Day aligns very well with the mission and vision of The Pat Tillman Foundation.

When considering whether to create content for engagement purposes, a brand or team should consider whether it will be perceived as authentic. Many times, it might be a simple thank you - however, are the likes and retweets worth it? Silence can be just as important as content; entering a conversation where one doesn't belong doesn't provide value to anyone. Especially when it involves such an important holiday, we should reflect on those that have fought for our country and honor them. This is what the Pat Tillman Foundation does and it continues to help veterans achieve their career dreams.

Eric Shainock works for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as an Account Representative in the Strategic Partnerships division after previously working at Intersport, a sports marketing agency. He is a 2014 graduate of the Ohio University Sports Administration Graduate Program. Feel free to reach out via email: or on Twitter: @ericshainock.


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