Baseball fans across the USA pitched for their favourite charities as part of the State Farm’s ‘Go To Bat’ program. Thousands of fans from coast to coast participated in the online State Farm campaign and helped various charities win $205,000 worth of donations during the second half of the 2011 Major League Baseball (MLB) season.
This new web-led sponsorship campaign, which aims to generate donations to charitable initiatives and send individual winners to the World Series, sees State Farm drive fans to visit the campaign website and go to bat for their favourite causes. Participants selected one of the designated charities on the website, and swung for the fences in the online Go To Bat game in an effort to boost their charity’s weekly batting average.
Each week, for 10 weeks, the charity with the highest batting average received an $18,000 donation, and one lucky fan was awarded a trip to the Fall Classic. Fans could also increase both their own and their charity’s chances of 2 winning by returning to the site, playing the online State Farm Go To Bat game on a daily basis, and sharing their participation on Facebook.
The CSR initiative, driven by the State Farm commitment to helping communities get to a better state, also will send individual winners who went to bat each week for causes that meant the most to them to Games Three and Four of the 2011 World Series.
Also as part of the program culmination, State Farm will award the charity, Population Services International (PSI), a $25,000 donation for finishing the campaign with the highest Go To Bat game batting average.
“Everyone at State Farm is committed to helping our customers and their communities get to a better state,” said Todd Fischer, manager of national sponsorships for State Farm. “The charities and individuals we were able to support through the Go To Bat program share similar missions with State Farm in wanting to make a difference for someone who needs it.”
State Farm and MLB will shine a spotlight on the Go To Bat program during an on-field recognition ceremony before the first pitch of Game Three of the 2011 MLB World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. The pre-game ceremony at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will showcase the program’s cumulative impact and recognize 11 individual weekly winners and their selected charities.
The Go To Bat program completes a baseball season of giving through the partnership between State Farm and MLB. In July, the two combined to donate $603,000 to charities including Boys & Girls Clubs of America during the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby in Phoenix, Ariz. After the Home Run Derby, the Go To Bat program pushed the total donation amount given to various charities by State Farm as part of its MLB partnership to $808,000 in 2011.
By combining online gaming, competition, personalisation and strong incentivisation elements, the statistics to date suggest State Farm and MLB have teamed up to provide enough enjoyment and motivation to raise impressive sums.
Perhaps some form of real-time tie-in could have brought the imitative closer to the game and its rights owner?