K: What is your role with SCA Promotions?
R: I’m on the sales side. Depending on the season, I’m approaching sports teams, sponsors, brands – whatever it may be. It’s a very seasonal, cyclical sales cycle. On a daily basis, I’m going to them with these big prize ideas. I’m selling them on ways to capture the imagination and motivate customers by leveraging the chance to win prizes.
K: That sounds like a pretty creative role.
R: When you’re talking about prizes like this, it’s the splash factor you’re looking for. More and more, people are moving away from static cash prizes. They’re moving towards original, experiential prizes that’re geared towards their target audience.
K: What is your favorite promotion that you’ve worked on since working at SCA?
R: So a lot of times, when we’re involved with programs, we’re very much behind the scenes. We’re never there to be part of it. The ones that have been the most memorable, the ones I’ve enjoyed the most, are the ones we’re there for. We get to see the moment when someone wins a prize. The specific one that always comes to mind occurred when I first started at SCA. Wendy’s out of Canada ran a promotion during a big football game. After getting a burger at Wendy’s, you’d fill out a form, and they picked one person to come out at halftime during the last game of the season. They picked a great guy – I got to chat with him a little bit. He didn’t have a lot of football experience. For the contest, he had to kick a field goal from 30 yards to win an entertainment center, 40 yards to win Wendy’s for life, and 50 yards to win a million dollars. SCA was only responsible for the million dollar prize. He kicked from 30 and 40 yards, and the ball barely made it off the ground. Everyone was a little deflated at that point. When he goes to kick from 50 yards, I don’t know what inspired him, but it was an NFL-level kick. It split the uprights. His girlfriend was crying, and both teams ran out and mobbed him. He was on the front page of the Toronto newspaper the next day. At that point, I’m thinking I’m going to get back to work and get fired because we had a million dollar payout on one of my first promotions!
K: What is something people may not realize about working behind the scenes of a promotion?
R: There are so many logistics. It really starts with official rules, making sure it’s completely buttoned-up and meets whatever the sponsor’s contest objectives may be. Depending on the location, bonding and registration have to be done correctly. So it’s a complicated and involved process. A lot of people say “oh I just want to give away a free Tesla for doing this,” and they don’t understand how difficult it is to do that. And with winners, it’s another step. Making sure they understand the prize. We recently did a prize where someone won a Grand Prix trip to Monaco. I think we went through 3 or 4 different winners until we found someone willing to find the time to go.
K: How did you decide to work in this field? What inspired or excited you about it?
R: My previous background was sports. I worked for the athletic department at UT Arlington, so I enjoyed that side of things. I developed an understanding of how sports intersects with sponsors, and had the opportunity to start at SCA. It seemed like a very cool and unique way to blend my sports background with my business background. What we do is so special, you can really approach anybody in any industry and come up with a way to help them meet their objectives.
K: In your opinion, what makes SCA stand out from other companies?
R: First of all, we were the first group to do this. Therefore, we have more experience than just about anybody else out there. It’s a credit, really, to our CEO, Bob Hamman, and our VP, Chris Hamman, that competitors have come into the field. But I think one of the things that makes us unique is our ability to analyze and put together incomparable programs. I think there’s a lot more innovation that goes on here than there is at a lot of other companies. We do a lot more than your standard hole-in-one contests.
K: To cap our interview off, what are you looking forward to in the future? What are you excited about at SCA?
R: The thing that excites me is seeing new industries come along, like all the NFT stuff. Coming up with ways we can incorporate what we do with what these new industries are doing should be fun and interesting. We’re living in such a quickly changing, fast-paced world. Finding ways to leverage what we do to help other groups in such an environment is gonna be great. We’re just getting started here.