2011 Platinum PR Awards: Media Event

Winner: GolinHarris – 2011 McDonald’s All American Basketball Games

Create Arch Madness in Chicago Since the first McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Game in 1978, millions of dollars have been raised for kids and families in need through the event, which donates all proceeds to local Ronald McDonald House Charities in the Chicago area. For the 2011 game, McDonald’s and GolinHarris set some aggressive goals, focusing on integrated communications: Sell out the United Center (20,000+ seats) on March 31; double TV viewership and increase exposure of the game among new and existing fans; and elevate the contest by connecting it with charity among fans and media. Ticket sales were driven by three events on “McDonald’s All American Day” on March 15, 2010: a Game Groupon offering, resulting in 1,998 tickets sold; a Player of the Year announcement; and a ticket push among NBA fans at a Bulls-Wizards game that night.

Meanwhile, to drive group sales, GolinHarris led an effort that established relationships with more than 30 key organizations in Chicago. The result was standing-room-only crowd at the United Center, setting an all-time attendance record; a TV viewer rating that was doubled from 2010; and 52 million local and national media impressions that connected the McDonald’s Games to charity. —SVC

Fast Fact: GH generated nearly 50 million media impressions that linked to and/or referenced ticket sales.

Honorable Mentions:

Cone Inc. – The American Cancer Society Launches the Choose You Movement: The two-day event designed to create awareness of the breast cancer initiative featured Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo and generated placements in top broadcast, print and online outlets.

Cone Inc. – Yoplait Original Yogurt “Calcium in Ever Cup” MyGetTogetherParty with Nancy O’Dell: National media and bloggers met with the Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell in Los Angeles to discuss strong healthy bones and Yoplait yogurt.

Disney Consumer Products – Disney Store Time Square Grand Opening Celebration: The Disney Store opening, covered by Good Morning America on Nov. 9, 2010,was preceded by a sweepstakes contest and a billboard unveiling.

U.S. Census Bureau – A New Portrait of America, First 2010 Census Results: Robust online and social media outreach built anticipation for the results showcase held Dec. 21, 2010, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The event generated 10,025 news clips.

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