The Kingsford $40K Challenge to reward champion barbecue teams at world-class barbecue competitions
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When a competition barbecue team wins – it’s big. When a competition barbecue team wins with Kingsford – it’s even bigger! In the high heat and high stakes world of competition barbecue, Kingsford charcoal is challenging teams to not just win, but win big with Kingsford and its Kingsford $40K Challenge.
Kingsford’s $40K Challenge will be giving out bonus prize money totaling over $40,000 to the Grand Champions, Reserve Grand Champions and the four Category winners who cook with Kingsford at 15 Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned events and Memphis in May.
"I love Kingsford’s dedication to competition barbecue and bringing more opportunities to competitive barbecue teams," said world champion pitmaster and cookbook author, Chris Lilly. "Now I have the opportunity to win big doing what I love the most – cook and compete with Kingsford charcoal."
KCBS will sanction and provide certified barbecue judges for 15 of the competitions.
"Due in large part to the ever-growing popularity of our sport, we have seen substantial growth in members, events and prize money,” said Carolyn Wells, executive director, KCBS. “Kingsford is a perfect example of a multi-year partnership that both benefits from our growth and helps us grow."
As the largest sanctioning body of competitive barbecue, KCBS sanctions more than 400 competitions each year and has a membership of more than 15,000 individuals and 6,000 competitive barbecue teams.
The Kingsford $40K Challenge will kick off its 2012 season at the ACM BBQ Throwdown in Las Vegas on March 30, 2012. The $40K Challenge will be featured at some of the biggest and best BBQ competitions in the world, including: the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle, the American Royal, the Sam's Club National BBQ Tour Championships and the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational.
To register or for more information on the Kingsford $40K Challenge, visit www.kcbs.us/kingsford40k.php, for full schedule, official rules and updates that will be posted throughout the barbecue season.
Date: Friday, March 23, 2012
If you’re a mammoth food company, there are plenty of ways to get your juicy products out there: national advertising, strategic shelf space, social media campaigns.
Regardless, Mike McCloud says he’ll do you one better.
“There’s nothing like putting a piece of food in someone’s mouth to make them a believer,” he said.
The president and CEO of MMA Creative said he’s hatched a grassroots strategy to do just that, over and over again. The result has been explosive — once sleepy, scattered food competitions are now tied to giant brands like Sam’s Club — and MMA is raking in the money and restructuring to handle the demand.
MMA’s ride is an example of how challenging conventional wisdom can dramatically reshape marketing efforts, experts say, both within the industry and for companies looking to promote their products and services.
Along the way, MMA has seen massive growth. The small marketing house expects 2012 revenue to hit $6 million, with annual growth between 30 and 50 percent since 2009. It’s also launched Trybe Targeting, a subsidiary specifically dealing with food enthusiasts and other “tribes” McCloud said are redefining marketing.
MMA is preparing what it considers the main dish: In November, the firm will partner with “Man v. Food” host Adam Richman and Caesars Entertainment Corp.for a Las Vegas “Super Bowl of food.” Barbecue masters, chicken wing pros and experts from other food competition fields will compete for ultimate glory.
It all started with the Kansas City Barbeque Society.
McCloud went all in when he told the group — the country’s largest sanctioning and judging body of barbecue contests — that MMA would only charge on a percentage of growth it generated, as opposed to billable hours. Carolyn Wells, the society’s executive director and co-founder, said the effort resulted in annual membership growth between 12 and 15 percent as its events became part of a nationally branded barbecue circuit.
“We were bumbling along very well on our own,” she said. “However, it was time to take that next step.”
Once the barbecue group ramped up, MMA had a selling point in another direction: It could offer food brands a devoted audience they could reach for cheap at events all over the country. Companies of all kinds joined the fray, and then MMA hit the jackpot in national discount retailer Sam’s Club.
As McCloud put it, MMA had fired the “barbecue shot heard ’round the world.”
Now, MMA is working with other “food sports,” with deals involving food giants Kraft Foods Inc., Tyson Foods Inc. and others.
The formula is to tap fervent food enthusiast groups, then show large national brands how to get an in through sponsorships, tastings and appearances. MMA’s revenue streams are three-fold: growing the food groups, consulting with the brands and running events at a profit.
Mark Ratchford, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, said the food enthusiast groups seem akin to the fervent NASCARfans that remade national marketing. MMA has figured out how to talk to a passionate, captive audience with a grassroots strategy, a distinction in an age of not only massive ad campaigns but social media and other online chatter, he said.
“I would call that mass customization,” he said. “It’s targeting at a finer and finer level.”
Brian Reisinger covers government, banking/finance, civic affairs, professional services and nonprofits.
There's smoke in the air - the kind of smoke that gets your mouth watering. So if you’re ready to become king (or queen) of the grill, dust off that spatula and apron and don’t miss your chance to learn from the pros. Grilling season is here, and the American GrillMaster Experience has hit the road again in 2012 to teach people the true art of grill mastery.
Trybe Targeting, in conjunction with the Beef Checkoff Program, McCormick, Bull Outdoor Products and Heinz, has brought back the American GrillMaster Experience to Sam’s Club locations across the country, where everyone can learn how to become masters of the backyard grill.
Through its demonstrations and instruction, the American GrillMaster Experience teaches attendees how to properly prepare beef for grilling and sample tender beef cuts that feature McCormick seasonings, the official spice and rub of the American GrillMaster Experience, and Heinz as the official sauce of the tour.
Working behind a Bull Outdoor Brahma Grill, a professional grill master is cooking up tasty recipes like a Cumin-Rubbed Steak with Avocado Salsa Verde with McCormick GrillMates Montreal Steak seasoning or the fabulous Santa Fe Grilled Beef Steak recipe with a Heinz 57 chili glaze and sauce. In addition to learning how to cook these recipes, attendees will taste the food and experience true grill mastery with their mouths.
Attendees of the American GrillMaster Experience are also invited to enter into the American GrillMaster Experience Giveaway contest where one lucky entrant will take home a Bull Outdoor Steer Cart and a gift basket filled to the brim with McCormick GrillMates spices and seasonings and assorted beef products.
The Sam’s Club Fan Zone is an interactive, educational and entertainment experience and is part of the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour. The American GrillMaster Experience will be featured at 30 events across 28 states, from March 3 to Nov. 4. Twenty-seven of the tour’s stops will take place in the Sam’s Club Fan Zone at Sam’s Club locations throughout the nation.
Sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour is the largest and richest competition series in history. With $500,000 up for grabs, the tour features 25 local qualifying events, five regional events and a national championship in Bentonville, Ark. on Oct. 13.
In addition to the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour, the American GrillMaster Experience will also travel to the Academy of Country Music BBQ Throwdown in Las Vegas, Nev., the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, Tenn., and the World Food Championships in Las Vegas, Nev.
The American GrillMaster Experience features beef as its official protein and aims to educate consumers about proper food safety, preparation and grilling and will feature tips and techniques from professional grill masters.
For more information on the American GrillMaster Experience, please visit www.grillmastertour.com.
MMA clients will be strutting their stuff March 17th at the Upper Cumberland Tourism Association's "Stay and Play" at Leslie Town Centre. Exhibits to check out include The Alliance For The Cumberland, Putnam County Chamber, Crossville Cumberland Chamber and the Fentress County Chamber!
For more information about "Stay and Play," visit the CBJ's article by clicking here.
Hagan and Todd is a Nashville-based law firm that specializes in Criminal Defense, Family Law and Plaintiff Civil Law.
Our team of Web and content specialists helped Jim Hagan and Katie Todd create an integrated, interactive platform that focuses on the needs of their individual clients.
Visit the new site at www.hagantodd.com.
Working with Kansas City Barbeque Society, Tyson, Farmland Foods and Sam's Club, MMA Creative recently helped organize the first-ever Extreme Makeover BBQ Throwdown in conjunction with a taping of the ABC television hit “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in Ottawa, Kan. Thousands of locals throughout the entire region came to show their support for retired Sgt. Allen Hill and his family as they were presented with a new 4,100-square-foot home courtesy of the reality TV program.
The Extreme Makeover BBQ Throwdown event featured top KCBS teams competing to win while also feeding the more than 3,500 people in attendance. Cast and crew from the show served as judges for the event as eager attendees waited to taste the delicious barbecue for themselves. Proceeds raised from the “Throwdown” totaled over $35,000 and went to the TV show’s home build and other Hill family living expenses.
“It brings us together,” said Makale Hill at a press conference following the weekend’s activities. Makale, the 15-year old son of Sgt. Hill, went on to state, “we haven’t been together for a really long time, but now, we’re together.”
Viewers can watch the Hill family’s amazing story when it airs on ABC this fall. Until then check out this video of the weekend’s events - courtesy of Story Light Studios:
Mike McCloud, president and CEO of MMA Creative, is presenting a SEO Webinar for the Association For Manufacturing Technology April 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST).
The webinar is for AMT members and will cover such topics as the importance of SEO, international SEO tips and techniques, SEO do's and don'ts and SEO trends.
For more information on AMT and the webinar, please click here.
We are searching for candidates within various disciplines to add to our operations: Agency Account Executives, Mobile Marketing Sales Reps, Logistics Coordinators, Web/Graphic Designers, Web Developers/Programmers, Accounting Assistants.
If you have the following base qualifications below, please submit a current resume, references, what position you are qualified for and what your specific qualifications are for that position to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to work with a creative company that has new growth initiatives? If so, and if you have the following qualifications, please submit your resume, contact information and references to email@example.com.
Base compensation with performance-based commission/bonus, medical and supplemental insurance plans, holiday and PTO pay.
MMA Creative is in the process of selecting and hiring experienced event directors to assist with the Inaugural Sam's Club National BBQ Tour program. Experience with successful KCBS events is required, and each candidate must be a member in good standing. If you are interested in participating in this program and are willing to work with an MMA committee using best-practice standards for executing a successful event, please submit the following information:
All submissions must be received by 5 p.m. CST on Friday, March 4. Each candidate will be reviewed and considered based on his or her merits. All chosen candidates will be compensated as independent contractors on a per-event basis. No personal or phone inquiries will be considered. Chosen candidates will be contacted on or before March 11 to begin scheduling, training and operational procedures.
Please submit your info as defined above to the following email address: HR@mmacreative.com.
MMA Creative celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special Mad Men themed holiday party on Friday, Dec. 10.
Nearly 200 current and former employees, clients and vendors attended, several in full Mad Men attire, to celebrate the milestone. MMA played off the theme of Mad Men and featured 1960s style attire, refreshments and ad agency trends. Mad Men, a popular AMC television show, depicts the advertising men of New York City's Madison Avenue in the 1960s.
Mike McCloud started MMA Creative in 1990 as a one-man operation in a bedroom. What was originally a graphic design firm has grown into an award-winning full-service agency with a focus on brand development and integrity.
"Celebrating such a milestone wouldn't have been possible without great clients, great associates and great friends. That's why we wanted to show our appreciation in a fun, creative way," McCloud said. "The fact that so many people, from years past to current relationships, came out to celebrate with us was humbling. It makes us realize how many wonderful initiatives and folks we've been involved with over the years."
Over the last 20 years, Jesse Kaufman, Randall McCloud, Mike Kopp and Jay Albrecht have joined the company as principals, expanding the company into two offices, in Cookeville and Nashville, and employing over 25 people.
The Cookeville office is located in the former Varsity Cinema movie theater, which was saved from demolition and renovated to provide MMA with a creative ad agency environment.
Over the course of its 20-year history, MMA has represented hundreds of clients, ranging from local mom and pop companies to international and publicly traded organizations.
MMA also produces and publishes the Cumberland Business Journal, a monthly publication covering business news from the 15-county micropolitan commerce area of the Upper Cumberland.
In 2010, the company expanded once again to include Trybe Targeting, a food and enthusiast-based marketing group that produces the Great American BBQ Tour, the Gridiron Rivals Tailgate Tour and the Raceway BBQ Series, with more initiatives on the horizon in 2011.
"Are we done yet? Not even close," McCloud said. "I feel like we're just now hitting our stride. MMA has a more exciting and interesting future than any time I can remember. Every day feels like a new opportunity to do something meaningful and fun."
To learn more about MMA Creative and its services, call 931-528-8852 or visit either of the agency's offices: in Cookeville in the historic Varsity Cinema movie theater, located at 705 N. Dixie Ave., or in Nashville at 700 Craighead St., Suite 105. You can also visit MMA online at www.mmacreative.com.
MMA Creative has announced the addition of three new account executives, an editor and a content specialist to its Nashville and Cookeville operations.
Colton Mulligan and Jessica Charlton joined the Nashville account executive team in to serve the agency's growing client base and new food and enthusiast marketing division. The new content specialist, Andrea Nourse, will assist in public relations and copywriting for the agency.
Charlton earned her bachelor's degree in communication and information sciences from the University of Alabama. After graduation, she worked with an advertising agency in Birmingham, Ala. and served as the communications manager for the Autism Society of Alabama where she honed her event marketing and social media skills. Charlton will work closely with Trybe Targeting, MMA's new food and enthusiast marketing division.
Prior to joining the MMA team, Mulligan earned his bachelor's degree in marketing and finance from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn. He then worked as a social media specialist and digital account manager for agencies in Jackson and Nashville, Tenn. Mulligan's extensive knowledge and experience in Web 2.0 will help clients expand their brand beyond traditional media and into the digital and social media realm.
Nourse received her bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in public relations from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Prior to joining MMA, she worked as a field representative for U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, where she also served as his local media liaison. At MMA, Nourse will work closely with each agency principal and account executive to develop and execute public relations and social media strategies for both the agency and its clients.
"Colton, Jessica and Andrea are very welcome additions to our team," said Mike McCloud, MMA's president and CEO. "While each new team member brings their own experiences and expertise, we are looking forward to the enthusiasm and extensive Web 2.0 knowledge that they will bring to MMA and our clients."
Greg Little was announced as the new editor for the Cumberland Business Journal and Casey Taylor joined MMA's account executive team in Cookeville.
Little brings over 30 years of journalism experience to MMA and the CBJ. He has covered a variety of topics and events, from city council meetings to the Indianapolis 500. His passion for community organizations and involvement are evident in his work with the CBJ, where he is working with publisher Jay Albrecht to take the publication to the next level, which includes print, Web and social media.
After earning a master's degree in business management and traveling the world, Taylor was eager to join the team at MMA. Before joining MMA, Taylor worked with Marble Alley Development in Knoxville, Tenn. Her background in building client relationships allows Taylor to clearly understand client objectives and implement marketing and advertising programs.
"We are excited to have Greg and Casey join our team," said Mike McCloud, MMA's president and CEO. "Greg brings with him a great knowledge of journalism that will serve the CBJ and the businesses in the Upper Cumberland region well. With Casey, we are looking forward to the new perspectives and enthusiasm she will bring to our clients."
To learn more about MMA Creative and its services, call 615-297-6886 or visit either of the agency's offices: in Nashville at 700 Craighead St., Suite 105, or in Cookeville in the historic Varsity Cinema movie theater, located at 705 N. Dixie Ave. You can also visit MMA online at www.mmacreative.com.
In an election season that was anything but typical, MMA Creative helped four local candidates run successful campaigns.
"I'd like to congratulate all of the candidates that we worked with this election season," McCloud said. "It was an honor to be a part of their campaigns. They are all upstanding citizens who I know will represent Tennessee well."
In the Upper Cumberland Region, Mike McCloud, CEO and President, and his team provided campaign collateral and strategic guidance to State Sen. Charlotte Burks
(15th District) and State Rep. Ryan Williams (42nd District).
In Nashville, Mike Kopp, Senior VP of Public Affairs and Strategy, and his team played in integral role in both U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper's and State Senator Douglas Henry's re-election campaigns, providing strategic direction and campaign materials.
Mike Kopp, Senior VP of Public Affairs and Strategy, and his team at MMA Creative have been providing strategic direction to the PR staff at Middle Tennessee Medical Center to help them better engage with their community through social media.
"We are always advising our clients on ways to make their businesses less mysterious and more accessible to their audiences," Kopp said. "With MTMC opening their new hospital, we felt that using a social networking site like Twitter would provide MTMC with the perfect avenue to communicate with their constituents in Middle Tennessee."
Following their successful move and subsequent Twitter conversation in October, MTMC and MMA Creative began looking for other ways to open up the lines of communication around healthcare. And in November, MTMC invited their Twitter following into the operating room.
Hospital spokeswoman Angie Boyd-Chambers told Nashville's News 2, "We thought this would be a great way to bring people inside the hospital."
MTMC tweeted live updates during breast-cancer survivor Karen Alwell's hysterectomy, performed by Dr. Brad Chesney. Updates include text and photos, and followed the surgery from start to finish.
For the complete story from WKRN, click here.
MIAMI, Fla. - Mike McCloud, President and CEO of MMA Creative, spoke before one of the nation's largest groups of manufacturing professionals.
For the fourth time, McCloud was invited to speak at The Association for Manufacturing Technology's annual conference.
This year's conference, held in Miami, Fla., was on "Confronting the Brutality of Reality - Innovate Your Future."
McCloud, an expert in innovative marketing strategies, spoke on the future forecasting and strategies to employ mobile web technology for the business-to-business industry.
"It's always an honor to speak at this conference and interact with some of America's pioneers in manufacturing technology," McCloud said. "While I get to provide them a snapshot of the latest marketing trends, they usually provide me with an equally compelling snapshot of what's going on in our economy on both a national and global front."
McCloud and MMA Creative specialize in innovative Web and traditional marketing.
MMA Creative is helping five competitive barbequers prove they Know Jack About Grilling.
MMA Creative, the official agency of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, donated five gas grills to the I Know Jack About Grilling competition, which is just one event in this weekend's Jack Daniel's 22nd Annual World Championship Invitational Barbecue. The competition is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 22.
The I Know Jack About Grilling competition pits five of the best barbeque teams against each other in a timed contest. Each team is provided with the same meats and ingredients to prepare a dish for celebrity judges.
Sam's Club, the official supplier of KCBS, will provide competitors with New Zealand Lamb for the main meat dish, as well as the ingredients for side dishes and meat preparation.
"The Jack is one of those special contests that every barbeque team hopes to qualify for and participate in. For several years now, we have been involved in The Jack and have grown to love and appreciate the overall experience," Mike McCloud, president and CEO of MMA Creative, said. "This year, we decided to jump in officially and help them deliver a great team experience by providing grills for one of the most unique grill off's on the KCBS circuit. It will be a lot of fun and we are very proud to be associated with these world-class brands and competition teams."
Trybe Targeting, a division of MMA Creative, will also be on-site in Lynchburg, Tenn. with the final stop of their 2010 KCBS Great American BBQ Tour.
MMA Senior VP Mike Kopp discussed our work with Saint Thomas Hospital on their new mobile website in the September 10, 2010 issue of the Nashville Business Journal. Article by April Wortham, Staff Writer.
In the past month, Saint Thomas' website has recorded more than 150,000 visits. Of those, more than 4,000 were using a mobile device, said Mike Kopp, senior vice president of Nashville-based MMA Creative, which developed the site ...
To read the full story click here.
When San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers decided to build a Web site for his Rivers of Hope Foundation, he turned to MMA Creative for a solution.
Our team of Web and content specialists helped Rivers create an integrated, interactive platform that focuses on the mission of the foundation, which is to find loving homes for abandoned and orphaned children.
"This was a huge honor for our firm to work with the Rivers of Hope Foundation," commented Mike McCloud, CEO of MMA Creative. "Phillip's passion and mission are truly special, and he was committed to excellence every step of the way."
One of the features of the site includes a "Heart Gallery," where hopeful families can view pictures and backgrounds of actual children looking for a home in the San Diego area.
The site also provides information on upcoming events, latest news and opportunities for visitors to get involved or donate to the foundation.
Click here to visit the site.
Sam's Club is now the "Official Supplier of KCBS!" Read more about this exciting development in the world of competitve barbeque right here.
This article appeared in the Feb. 5, 2010, edition of the Nashville Business Journal. A link to the story can be found here.
MMA Creative proves its chops with pay-for-performance BBQ contract
Nashville Business Journal - by Eric Snyder Staff Writer
Mike McCloud found himself having to tell his employees at MMA Creative, on a regular basis, that it really was a good idea.
The company would invest more than 2,500 man-hours in the first year of their new contract with little revenue to show in return, all for a nonprofit group called the Kansas City Barbeque Society.
MMA Creative was one of a half-dozen or so firms that was asked to make a pitch in 2006 to KCBS on how to increase its presence and grow membership. McCloud did some research on KCBS - the world's largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts, it sanctions more than 300 events and trains competition judges - and decided to swing for the fences.
"They are the NFL of barbecue," he said. "Once I got a sense of the scope and the vertical opportunities for corporate America, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this could be a huge, huge deal.'"
McCloud correctly assumed that the other agencies would offer typical, retainer-based billing where they'd charge a base rate plus other fees, like for ad buys. McCloud caught the attention of KCBS with a performance-based billing model, where KCBS wouldn't pay up front. Instead, MMA Creative would get paid percentages from new revenue they created - if, in fact, they created any - from corporate sponsorships, new membership dues and merchandising.
"We came out and said, ‘Don't pay us anything unless we are successful, and here's how we're going to deliver the benchmarks," he said.
KCBS was game, and McCloud negotiated a four-year contract, beginning in 2007, to ensure the investment would pay off. The contract included benchmarks that could trigger an automatic renewal.
"There were many sleepless nights in year one," McCloud said. MMA staff invested 2,530 man-hours, refurbishing the brand, crafting a Web site - work they would typically have charged more than $200,000 for. That year, the KCBS account netted MMA just under a quarter of that in revenue.
"We had to do these things, or the contract was going to be a total waste of time," McCloud said. "Some of our associates thought it was too big a risk. Some didn't understand it. And some embraced it whole hog."
McCloud said the gamble has paid off - KCBS membership has grown from 5,841 at the start of 2007 to 10,366 at the start of this year, largely the result of a 25-city tour organized by MMA.
MMA created new revenue streams for KCBS, including merchandising and sponsorships, generating more than $150,000 in such sponsorships last year.
MMA's revenue's have grown as a result, with the KCBS account representing about 25 percent of the company's $2.3 million of revenue in 2009. When the first four-year term of the contract expires at the end of this year, McCloud estimated MMA will have made 40 percent to 50 percent more money via the performance-based billing.
McCloud and MMA are now doubling down. Last year, McCloud reached out for another client, scoring another four-year contract that began this year.
The new client is based in L.A., but McCloud said the contract's numbers and structures are very similar. Even the client's name is similar: the International Chili Society.
Most Defining Business Decision: Creating a full-service Web division in 2000; expanding into Nashville in 2004; recruiting former state economic development deputy commissioner Mike Kopp in 2005; and developing (the Kansas City Barbeque Society and International Chili Society) relationships.
Greatest Business Challenge: Achieving consistent profitability in a creative environment. Clients today need big-time creative solutions on very limited budgets. Solving that equation, all while satisfying the client and contributing to our own bottom line, is a daily challenge.
Greatest Client Challenge: Convincing them that there is no magic marketing spigot. You can't simply turn it on or off based on need. We develop custom marketing programs, and that takes ingenuity, process and time.
What is Your Greatest Frustration? Staying focused on the big picture. I still play a significant daily role in creative concepting, approval and client relations. The result: I don't get to budget as much time as I would like on strategic initiatives.
Mentors: One person who has had a profound impact on my career and continues to give me daily motivation is Jesse Kaufman, a former competitor who became my first senior vice president and partner at MMA.
- Mike McCloud
MMA Creative Inc.
President/CEO: Mike McCloud
Address: 700 Craighead St., Suite 105, Nashville 37204
Phone: 615-297-6886 (Nashville), 931-528-8852 (Cookeville)
Web site: mmacreative.com
Revenue: $2.3 million
What they do: Advertising, marketing and Web design
You can reach Eric Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-846-4254.
Mike Kopp was invited to join local business and community leaders in Jackson, Tennessee and from across the state who gathered for an intensive strategic planning session hosted by the Jackson-Madison County Chamber of Commerce. The session focused on proactive steps the chamber needs to be taking to stimulate continued job growth and job retention, including Web marketing strategies.
MMA Creative teamed up with Video One Productions to conduct interviews with leaders in health care and government for a video that will be used to globally promote the new Nashville Medical Trade Center.
Mike McCloud, MMA's president and CEO, will moderate a retail summit hosted by the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The Retail Recovery Summit will be held at the Leslie Town Centre in the Estes Williams Business Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The summit, which will focus on how to survive and thrive in today’s economy, will feature a panel of consultants from media, marketing and merchandising professions. Each speaker will discuss how to get the most out of a retailer’s budget and marketing efforts, as well as answer questions from attendees in an open forum atmosphere.
“Finding ways to help our retail membership has been a strategic focus of the chamber for quite some time now,” stated McCloud, who will moderate the panel and provide marketing insight during the event. Now in his third year as a director of the chamber board, McCloud served as the initial chairperson for the retail committee as it developed a strategic plan of support and growth for retail members.
“I’m excited about this seminar and the experts we’ve lined up to help our retail membership,” said McCloud.
In addition to the advice, local chamber media partners have donated $3,000 in free advertising that will be given away to several lucky attendees at the conclusion of the forum.
Speakers for the summit include Heather Kent, an award-winning advertising manager in Murfreesboro with Gannett; Ron Covert, a 20-year radio veteran from Lawrence, Kan., and partner with Wizard of Ads Academy; Mable Willoughby, a regional merchandizing manager for Cracker Barrel; Gib Prosise, Southeast local sales manager for Comcast Spotlight; and McCloud, who will discuss social media in addition to moderating the panel.
Local media underwrote the speakers’ fees, which allowed the Chamber to offer the program free of charge to interested retailers.
For more information, contact the chamber at 931-526-2211.
As the official health care provider of the Tennessee Titans, Saint Thomas Health Services wanted to kick off the 2009 NFL season properly. So, once the pregame festivities wrapped up and the Titans-Steelers tilt was underway, Saint Thomas launched a Web and social media campaign built around its relationship with the Titans and head coach Jeff Fisher.
Of course, this effort was in the planning and development stages for months. Led by Rebecca Climer, Saint Thomas’ vice president of communications, the MMA Creative team was given the green light to provide insight and creative on how best to use social media’s interactive and viral nature to get even more mileage out of the hospital system’s broadcast campaign featuring Fisher. Having already redesigned the Saint Thomas Health Systems Web site and developed a social media strategy for the health care provider’s service lines, MMA was in the perfect position to take the ball and run with it.
By sharing creative and working in conjunction with the Titans interactive department, MMA developed a page on the official Titans Web site highlighting the broadcast campaign’s videos. Additionally, the page features links to the Saint Thomas Facebook page and customized YouTube channel (both of which also feature the videos).
Two other elements that were added into the mix include interviews with Fisher: one that focuses on his philosophy on life, and a nine-part series of candid interviews that take place behind the scenes.
“This is a very unprecedented move for both an NFL club and one of its corporate partners,” said Mike Kopp, MMA’s senior VP for strategy who has been working with Saint Thomas and the Titans. “No other team has the type of unique partnership that exists between Saint Thomas and the Titans. It’s really a relationship that’s a win-win for both, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
MMA Creative president/CEO Mike McCloud and senior VP/strategy Mike Kopp will conduct breakout sessions during the 56th Annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development, held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville Sept. 14-15.
During Session 4 on Monday, McCloud and Kopp will discuss the state's newest tool to market Tennessee to investor companies: www.investtennessee.org. They will also show off a Web service that TVA offers to small communities who need a Web presence but have very limited financial resources.
During Session 5, also on Monday, the topic will be social media and its impact on economic development.
Click here to learn more about the Governor's Conference.
While most cities are feeling the pinch of decreasing tax revenues, the City of Clarksville is enjoying annual growth thanks in part to a new marketing campaign by MMA Creative. To find out more: http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=10953259
MMA was proud to partner with Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations in a 50th Anniversary marketing campaign that garnered a 2008 Award of Excellence for "Best Special Project" from the Tennessee Society of Association Executives for its design and effectiveness.
The essential and most significant phase of the project, according to Teresa Fuqua, director of member services, was the "Keeping the Promise" public policy document.
"MMA Creative was engaged to provide consultation and design of the document to assure a quality product," said Fuqua. "The end result was an incredibly powerful document that portrayed 50 years of our association keeping the promise, while depicting sustainability for years to come.
As part of the TAMHO 50th Anniversary Project, our team updated the TAMHO brand, which included creating a 50th anniversary logo and a new corporate color scheme. The new icon has multiple translations that are representative of both the organization's name and its mental health mission.
MMA also assisted TAMHO in rebranding its Web site, complete with flash technology, an interactive service access directory, convenient links and resources and a "members only" information and resource access area.
The Nashville For All Of Us business and community coalition that defeated an English Only ballot initiative earlier this year has been awarded the coveted Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America for its successful communications efforts. The award was announced at PRSA's national event in New York City on June 5. MMA Creative served as an advisor to the campaign, and developed and executed the campaign's direct mail program. This year’s competition featured 893 total entries, and 126 organizations were selected as finalists. Nashville For All Of Us won the award in the category of Public Affairs.
MMA President Mike McCloud recently conducted two national webinars for members of the Association for Manufacturing Technology. The presentations focused on today's Top 10 Customer-Driven Web Trends and how to integrate them into next-generation web platforms. More than 60 capital goods and tooling companies from across the nation participated in the webinars.
In a standing-room only crowd of small and large business owners, Mike McCloud and Mike Kopp recently shared their thoughts on the state of Social Media and why businesses should care. From Twitter to Facebook, Google to Wikipedia, the "Mikes" unveiled insights and case studies on how their clients are harnessing Social Media for positive results, as well as avoiding some of the pitfalls that can damage a company's brand. To find out more, contact MMA today, and stay tuned to updates on where the Mikes will be speaking next.
MMA Creative was tapped by Nashville's community and business leaders to help defeat an English First amendment to the city's charter. In addition to providing strategic counsel, MMA developed and managed the massive direct mail campaign for the January 22, 2009, special election.
In a joint effort with Alliance for the Cumberlands and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, MMA Creative has helped launched letsgoplateau.com. The site showcases the Plateau's many natural resources and historic sites. It also features descriptive videos and a soundtrack from local musicians. The site was the subject of a recent feature article in the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Learn more by visiting letsgoplateau.com.
In an attempt to fight underage drinking and negative peer pressure, MMA has helped Power of Putnam (POP) develop and launch a comprehensive marketing campaign aimed at local youth and their parents. The campaign features a "NO" theme built into "KnowPower", and will use teen-related messaging/design features to extol the benefits of turning away from alcohol use and abuse.
When leaders in Clarksville sought a way to put Tennessee's fifth largest city on the national map, they turned to MMA Creative. Utilizing the agency's economic development background and marketing expertise, a new slogan was developed that not only promoted the City's growing advantages in many key areas, but also its geographical location as the gateway to the Volunteer state. Today, "Tennessee's Top Spot" has already been proven and acknowledged by the recent announcement of a worldwide site selection by Hemlock Semiconducter, a Dow Corning company that will invest over a billion dollars in the Clarksville area.
Think traveling gnome...only, with a barbeque bib! That kind of represents one of the most ambitious marketing programs ever developed and successfully completed by MMA on behalf of a client. And what a fun-filled, appetizing promo it was! After 6 months of planning and 8 months of touring throughout the U.S., MMA helped the Kansas City Barbeque Society spread its BBQ wings, introduce new grilling techniques to backyard grillers everywhere, and expand its membership in 2008. The tour, which was underwritten by national sponsors like Tabasco and Weber Grill Creations, visited 25 cities from coast to coast before pulling into Lynchburg, Tenn. for the World Invitational BBQ Championship. The tour is now ramping up for its second year and will include additional sponsors to make it bigger and better in 2009.