On September 11, 2010 in Richmond, VA, NASCAR held the September 11 Air Guard 400 Sprint Cup, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As a part of a broader marketing strategy for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the AIM Team planned for and coordinated VA sponsorship of the NASCAR race, pre-race live events, and Team/Car #71.
In December 2009, the VA realized a need to more clearly communicate the benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to Veterans. They sought to move from conventional approaches of marketing to more innovative methods, such as social networking, media, and national outreach. It was then that they discovered that one-third of NASCAR fans are Veterans or families of Veterans. The VA hired AIM as a strategic partner and sponsored the NASCAR September 11 Air Guard 400 Sprint Cup and Car #71.
As part of the planning and coordination efforts, AIM was responsible for the following:
- Target Audience Research
- Full event production, from start to finish
- Coordination and Communication Management
- High Security Clearance
- Integration of Video, Graphics, and Interviews
- Work Under Time and Budget Constraints
- National Earned Media
At the time of hire, the AIM Team had six weeks to coordinate the race itself and a series of live pre-race roadshow events. AIM had to coordinate with the following entities:
- East-coast Universities
- TRG Driver Landon Cassill and Car
- “My Story” Veterans
- Local Media
- Scheduling and Meetings from the VA and AIM teams.
Along with the limited time to execute the plan, AIM was responsible for leveraging media coverage to enhance the VA’s return on investments.
The AIM team is truly a team. The strategy was to leverage media coverage to enhance return on invested media dollars through three approaches:
- Utilize the “#71 Show Car” to travel colleges and universities the week prior to the race to capture no-cost local and national media coverage.
- Pitch the GI Bill “My Story” campaign to national media coverage, which resulted in a syndicated lead story on the ‘My Story” VBA Education Service Campaign on ESPN.
- Stimulate human-interest of how the Post-9/11 GI Bill is changing lives of our Veterans.
AIM’s cohesive diligence in coordinating on all fronts brought great success for the marketing of the Post GI-Bill, which helps thousands of veterans. AIM’s pre-show events created the buzz needed for the event:
- Clear communication internally and publically via social media, and local media coverage connected to the intended audience.
- Veterans came to the race where AIM was able to deliver the on-target message of the Post-9/11-GI Bill benefits.
- The race gained national attention and produced over $2 million in earned media coverage.
- Visits to the Post-9/11-GI Bill “My Story” webpage doubled after the race. On the day of the race there was an 11% increase in new viewers on the website.
- AIM’s entire marketing campaign (including the NASCAR race) has increased use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill by 45%.
AIM provided audio video services that created an atmosphere of excellence and
upscale technology that surpassed the standards of previous years at TravelCom – the premier conference event for the travel industry.
For years, the TravelCom conference in Las Vegas has offered a place for technology firms and travel agencies to meet and integrate concepts for better business. Highly attended by well-known travel companies and technology firms, the conference required top quality technology. AIM’s services were hired, and we provided the following live event solutions:
- SD & HD Live Multi-Camera Production (IMAG)
- Live Motion Graphics
- Recording of Live Stream for Editing and Distribution
- High Quality Audio and Lighting
In years past, TravelCom partnered with audio video companies that provided very basic lighting and sound. In 2009, they sought to reinvest in their premier conference event by recreating the quality of the conference. TravelCom, through a new strategic firm, contacted AIM to take their conference to a new level.
From the beginning, the AIM team created a holistic vision of branding for the conference. From check-in on the first day, to the very last session of the last day, the AIM team created continuity in look and feel, and level of excellence.
AIM provided all audio needs to all of the main and break-out sessions. We developed a set design and animated titles that flowed with the look of the conference. We also provided all lighting and IMAG multi-camera live video switching.
TravelCom went from a one-camera, one-podium event to a truly high tech conference. The AIM Team, with their skill in handling the live environment on all fronts, pushed TravelCom to the next level in technology.
Memorial Day NASCAR Coca-Cola 600
In only four days, AIM coordinated and secured the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of the TRG race car #71 for NASCAR’s 2010 Memorial Day Race.
With AIM’s help, TRG Motorsports partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by sponsoring the # 71 Chevrolet driven during the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in an effort to highlight the Post-9/11 GI Bill program.
AIM had only 4 days to execute this campaign event.
Again, the AIM Team stepped up and effectively collaborated with VA and TRG Sports to make this campaign a success. AIM completed the implementation under tight time constraints with the following results:
- Graphic Design and Execution of Car Wrap
- Post-9/11 GI Bill Website Traffic Increased Nearly 35%
- Obtained National Media Coverage