Popchips leverages sports stars for charity campaign

SAN FRANCISCO: All-natural potato chip company popchips has launched a campaign to help consumers donate to charities in each of its 16 key markets in the US and Canada with the help of professional athletes.

SAN FRANCISCO: All-natural potato chip company popchips has launched a campaign to help consumers donate to charities in each of its 16 key markets in the US and Canada with the help of professional athletes.

For its “popchips Game Changers” initiative, fans can vote online for local charities they want sports stars to support. Participating athletes including Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Gants, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, and Hope Solo of the US national women's soccer team.

The impetus for the national program was a small charity effort popchips launched last year where David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox helped to raise money for an adopt-a-pet program in Boston, said Keith Belling, founder and CEO of popchips.

“We have these ‘principles of pop,' which are the principles we built the company on, and one of them is that we're generous. We think it's really important to give back and to share,” he said.

Popchips will create microsites for each of the 16 cities so fans can vote for local charities they want their “hometown heroes” to focus on, he added. Voting will begin April 2 and run through the end of next month, and then the athletes will choose a charity from the top five most popular entries.

To create buzz for the program, the company is working with Alison Brod PR, its AOR since last December, to engage local print and broadcast media outlets. The company will also seek some national coverage, like ESPN, but the focus of the campaign is on local outreach and social media, said Belling. Popchips previously worked with Formula PR.

The company will post updates on the popchips Facebook page, which has more than 250,000 fans, and its regional field-marketing employees will tweet from local popchips Twitter accounts to “create excitement for each community,” explained Belling.

He added that Alison Brod will work with bloggers market-by-market throughout the initiative.

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