Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
Strike Out Hunger Campaign
When COVID-19 hit, Maroon PR worked alongside the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in their effort to temporarily shift focus and raise money quickly to address food insecurity hunger in the communities in which they serve. Maroon PR implemented media relations and social media support in an effort to spread public awareness for the fundraising campaign.
MILLION Media Impressions
When COVID-19 struck we were all stunned, confused and scared. Prior to the pandemic, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation focused its energies on the programs that they have grown nationally – constructing Youth Development Parks to provide kids in under-served communities with safe places to play and learn, establishing STEM Centers in elementary schools across the country to encourage our young people to expand their education, and building bridges between law enforcement and communities through the Badges for Baseball program. And for the last 14 years, Maroon PR has amplified this great work through earned media and social media efforts.
This worldwide pandemic, however, forced the Ripken Foundation to take a step back and focus on the immediate needs of the communities they serve nationwide. With unemployment increasing dramatically and the illness keeping people apart, food insecurity was possibly the greatest need facing the country. So Cal and his Foundation team decided it was a good time to temporarily shift its focus and raise money quickly to feed those in need.
Maroon PR proved nimble enough to adjust with them. Having worked with the Maryland Food Bank and the Howard County Food Bank, our team is well-versed in the world of food insecurity. In addition to earned media to spread the word and raise funds, we worked with the Foundation on their social strategy for the campaing, and suggested to Cal Ripken that the time was right for him to personally join social media for the first time. To help launch the campaign, Cal joined Twitter (@CalRipkenJr) to shine an even brighter light on the issue.
The “Strike Out Hunger” campaign was launched in partnership with Feeding America, the preeminent national hunger organization and experts in the field. Cal was very personally involved as a spokesman for the campaign and the Foundation kicked things off with an initial $100,000 donation. In addition, Foundation partners Ollie’s Bargain Outlets, the Kevin Harvick Foundation and Niagara Cares contributed significantly to ensure that the campaign got out of the gates strongly.
The campaign received a great amount of attention through the media as Cal conducted 40 interviews to raise awareness and encourage the public to contribute to the cause. The interviews resulted in 225 Million media impressions and national media hits with ESPN, ESPN Radio, Fox News, Fox Business, the MLB Network, Sirius Radio and the Tamron Hall Show. He also did interviews in six of the top ten markets in the country: New York (1), Los Angeles (2), Chicago (3), Dallas (5), Washington, DC (7) and Atlanta (10).
The “Strike Out Hunger” Campaign led to 3.4 Million meals distributed by Feeding America! The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation recently returned to its core mission of serving communities in need through the programs above but they understood that the need was great to make the adjustment needed to truly help those in need during a critical time in our country.
I’ve joined Twitter to help the @CalRipkenSrFdn and our partners launch #StrikeOutHunger2020 with @FeedingAmerica to lend a helping hand during this challenging time. To make a real difference, it takes a team. Join us by donating here: https://t.co/wKDyZEac4J #FirstTweet pic.twitter.com/CGGviyARUU
— Cal Ripken, Jr. (@CalRipkenJr) April 7, 2020
Sample Media Hits:
“Cal and the foundation team made it clear that these are unique times so for the first time they needed to depart from their important work and focus on the critical need of food insecurity,” said John Maroon, President of Maroon PR. “We understand the world of food insecurity and because of our relationship with Cal, we were able to announce the campaign and hit the ground running with significant earned media and launch his personal Twitter account to assist in this effort. The results were astounding and the energy and commitment that Cal brought to the campaign was key to its success.”
We encourage our clients to let us do more to drive business growth.
Learn how our integrated services can
work for you.
Strategy & Background
The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill marks a new chapter for the State's rich horse and equestrian tradition. One of only two 5 Star events in the United States, and seventh worldwide, the prestigious 5 Star (CCI5*) designation is the pinnacle of the sport of Eventing, best described as an equestrian triathlon. Knowing that the event has been well attended by Equestrian enthusiasts, MPR was tasked with growing awareness for the Maryland 5 Start and the sport of Eventing to a wider general event-goer audience, particularly in Baltimore and the surrounding Counties. MPR developed a comprehensive earned, owned and paid media campaign focused on our strong media relationships to drive awareness in key markets and ultimately drive ticket sales across the four days of the event.
Our tactics included:
- A targeted media outreach plan using compelling pitches and a cadence of announcements to drive credibility and secure consistent media coverage leading up to the event.
- Creation of a unique media day in the Baltimore market where we took Eventing athletes - rider & horse - to the local television stations for a visual and interactive interview opportunity.
- Development & execution of strategic media buy encompassing digital, television, radio, print, and outdoor, using a mix of tactics to reach the target audience in the Mid-Atlantic region.
- Development & execution of email marketing strategy, along with handling messaging and deployment of the emails
- Media preview day on the Wednesday before the 4-day event to give media early access to the event.
- Proactive media relations efforts before and during the event, including the credentialing process, encouraging media attendance by both trade and mainstream media, and managing the press center onsite.
- General event attendance grew by 18% compared to 2022
- A total of 101 broadcast and online (print/digital) stories garnered
- Secured coverage across all four Baltimore TV stations throughout the campaign (WMAR, WBAL, WBFF and WJZ), through various pitching efforts.
- Secured multiple radio interviews on top news-talk radio station WBAL Radio and with WDEL Radio in Wilmington, Delaware, the region’s top news and information station.
- Deployed 37 email campaigns resulting in 195,233 total opens for a 47% Open Rate and 12,734 clicks to the website resulting in a 2.5% click-through-rate (CTR).
- Over 25 Million paid media impressions generated through advertising campaigns and media partners.