Division A - Public Relations Programs
Category 6 - Internal
Kevin Punsky, Bill Kral, The Dalton Agency

Award of Distinction
Judges' Award

Research/Situation Analysis: Prior to last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars had not played a game on Monday Night Football in five years. Due to the team’s tremendous success in 2005, the NFL awarded the Jaguars two Monday night home games in 2006, including one against the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. When the Jaguars last played the Steelers at home in 2004, the Steelers were accompanied by more than 20,000 enthusiastic fans whose black and gold jerseys and notorious “terrible towels” made ALLTEL Stadium look like home turf for the Steelers. The spectacle embarrassed the Jaguars and the city. To create an exciting way for Jaguars fans and the team to overcome another invasion of Steelers fans, the Dalton Agency developed an imaginative and creative public relations campaign to turn ALLTEL Stadium into “ALL-TEAL Stadium.” The premise was that fans would come dressed to the game only in teal to rally the city and create a rowdy home-field advantage. To pull this off, the agency faced two major challenges: 1) Convince skeptical Jaguars executives that fans and retailers would embrace the idea; and 2) Plan and execute the campaign in less than 10 days prior to the game. There was substantial risk if fans did not turn out en masse in teal that the city would again be embarrassed on national television. Before presenting the plan to the Jaguars, the agency compiled research by contacting local media, city agencies, major sponsors and sports apparel retailers to secure their interest and to confirm that they would be willing to help promote the plan. Our research showed these groups were more than willing to participate.

Objectives: The main objective of the campaign was to persuade at least 75 percent of Jaguars fans to blanket the stadium dressed in teal to create a compelling visual for the nationally televised game and create a home-field advantage. The agency would accomplish this by: 1) Developing an activity to allow all Jacksonville citizens to participate in the campaign whether at work, school or the game; 2) Securing the city’s endorsement by getting Mayor John Peyton to issue an official proclamation and directing city workers to decorate the downtown area in teal; and 3) Educating the media and the public about the campaign by securing at least 10 media placements.

Implementation: To kickoff the campaign, the agency developed and disseminated a press release to launch “ALL-TEAL Stadium.” Talking points were also developed to prepare key Jaguars spokespersons. The agency produced several over-sized “ALL-TEAL Stadium” signs to be held during interviews and at the game, and created teal T-shirts to present to TV anchors to wear on camera. Every local media outlet in the market covered the ALL-TEAL news as their top story that day and several anchors either wore or displayed their T-shirts on camera. Four days prior to the game, the agency organized a press conference for Mayor Peyton to declare Sept. 18 as “All-Teal Day” and appeal to Jaguars fans to make a strong statement for the national television audience by blanketing the stadium in a sea of teal. Dressed in teal attire provided by the agency, the mayor invited the entire city to wear teal to school and work on Sept. 18. To add excitement to the press conference, the agency secured the help of Jaxson de Ville, the team’s mascot, and several members of The Roar cheerleading squad, as well as representatives from the Jaguars. The mayor’s proclamation also was the top story in the local media that day. Throughout the campaign, the agency secured more than a dozen interviews with Jaguars spokespersons and e-mail blasts were sent to season ticket holders, sponsors, major corporations and city workers to remind fans to wear teal. The agency also persuaded the city to decorate downtown the weekend prior to the game by turning fountains teal, placing teal ribbons on street light posts and projecting teal spotlights on landmarks and city buildings.

Evaluation: The agency’s “ALL-TEAL Stadium” campaign was a tremendous success and the extraordinary efforts to pull it off paid huge dividends. The agency accomplished its overall objective by persuading an estimated 80 percent of fans to wear teal to the game—five percent more than goal. The day after the game, The Florida Times-Union headline said it all: “JAGS FANS PAINT THE TOWN TEAL.” The story reported: “Jaguars fans delivered on Mayor Peyton’s All-Teal Day declaration. Roughly eight out of 10 Jacksonville fans dressed in teal jerseys and T-shirts.” After the game, Jaguars Coach Jack Del Rio said the “teal showing was outstanding” and credited fans in the Jaguars’ 9-0 victory. The mayoral proclamation helped the agency achieve its first two objectives by securing city involvement and creating an opportunity to encourage all fans to wear teal to work and school, as well as to the game. In all, the agency secured 91 media placements — a phenomenal 81 more than goal! The agency also secured hundreds of ALL-TEAL mentions on blogs and message boards. To show off its results (22 million impressions and $12,548,000 in publicity value), the agency produced an exciting compilation DVD of TV news coverage (see binder under “Media Placements” to view DVD).

Budget: The Dalton Agency secured an extraordinary amount of media coverage for the Jaguars despite having an extremely low budget. Costs for the campaign design and implementation were about $1,000, a portion of the agency’s monthly retainer. This included about 120 hours of staff time for writing press releases and a proclamation, pitching media, monitoring blogs and message boards, participating in media interviews, as well as measuring campaign results. The only out-of-pocket costs incurred by the Jaguars were $55 for placard signs and $250 for promotional teal T-shirts. For the Jaguars small investment, the Dalton Agency secured $12,548,000 worth of publicity value – a return on investment of 12,548 percent!