Wham-O unveils push to mark 50 years of Frisbee

Los Angeles: To mark Frisbee's 50th anniversary, recreational products company Wham-O has enlisted AOR The Pollack PR Marketing Group (PPMG) to craft a campaign to both celebrate the flying disc's iconic status and position it for growth.

Los Angeles: To mark Frisbee's 50th anniversary, recreational products company Wham-O has enlisted AOR The Pollack PR Marketing Group (PPMG) to craft a campaign to both celebrate the flying disc's iconic status and position it for growth.

Wham-O, now based in Emeryville, CA, has long been known for its over-the-top publicity events on behalf of brands including Hula Hoop and Super Ball. But for Frisbee's golden anniversary, instead of relying on stunts, LA-based PPMG tried something "very strategic," said president/CFO Stefan Pollack: "traditional media relations."

The campaign - which also includes radio giveaways and trade and retail outreach - launched by providing national media with a Frisbee timeline, beginning with the introduction of Walter Frederick Morrison's original "Pluto Platter," said Pollack VP William Ostedt. Wham-O has re-issued that UFO-inspired "Inventors Model" and the now-80-year-old Morrison has posed for photos tossing the newly pressed Frisbees.

PPMG is also working to build awareness of Frisbee's position not only in the outdoor toy market, but in the sporting-goods arena, as well, Ostedt said.

According to the World Flying Disc Federation, more than 100,000 people worldwide participate in organized Frisbee-style sports. To ensure that Frisbee is their disc brand of choice, PPMG has reached out to enthusiast organizations, including the UPA (Ultimate Players Association), for third-party endorsements.

"If we can get the UPA to buy in on a disc," Pollack said, "that's a big step forward."

As part of its media-outreach initiative, the agency has also arranged in-studio and on-air demonstrations by semi-pro Ultimate, Disc Golf, and Freestyle players representing leagues across the country.

And though there are scores of Web sites dedicated to flying-disc sports and the Frisbee itself, even the Internet has not been a priority in the 50th anniversary campaign, Pollack noted. Once enthusiasts adopt a disc, he said, they'll create their own online discussions about it.

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