The Cal Ripken World Series, an event that brings youth baseball players from around the globe together to play at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, MD, in late summer, had not been successful in generating awareness outside of the Baltimore/ Washington metropolitan area.
Ripken Baseball tapped Warschawski to not only help generate national awareness of the event, but to help transform Ripken's image from superstar athlete to successful entrepreneur.
"Getting attention for Cal Ripken Jr. the baseball personality was not the issue," says David Warschawski, president of Warschawski. "But getting attention for him as a successful business entrepreneur was." Warschawski created a media relations campaign designed to change Ripken's image and generate national visibility for the Cal Ripken World Series. It was challenging, he says, because the story occupied a gray area between sports and business.
The media relations campaign targeted top-tier business, broadcast, and major daily reporters, as well as youth publications. Warschawski says US News & World Report and NPR were the primary targets. The three target audiences were kids interested in watching and playing in the Ripken World Series, adults and parents, and the business media.
The effort reached more than 126 million people, and produced a feature in US News & World Report, an NPR interview with Ripken, and two Associated Press stories. Coverage included more than 100 media outlets with hits in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time for Kids, and Entrepreneur.
Warschawski says the campaign also generated the organization's first ROI, making 2005 the first year ever that the Cal Ripken World Series was profitable.
USA Today will run a feature in its Money section in September after this year's Cal Ripken World Series.
PR team: Ripken Baseball (Baltimore) and Warschawski (Baltimore)
Campaign: Ripken Baseball and the Cal Ripken World Series
Duration: June to August 2005
Budget: Less than $50,000