Skechers Debuts Sweeps, Giveaway

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Skechers USA Inc., next week will launch the first part of a sweepstakes and give-away program that takes advantage of relationships the footwear manufacturer has with Nordstrom, Seattle, and Sprint, Kansas City, MO.

A direct mailing will drop Feb. 28 to a list of 300,000 Nordstrom's customers who are in the 14 to 24 age range. The list was compiled through Nordstrom's database.

"The promotion has several levels, one of which is a sweepstakes," said Melisa Wolfson president of The Creative Couch, Los Angeles, the agency that is managing the campaign.

"Nordstrom is one of our biggest accounts," said Kelly O'Connor, a spokesperson for Skechers, Manhattan Beach, CA. "The program is an additional way to get Nordstrom's customers interested in Skechers."

Customers who purchase Skechers shoes at Nordstrom will be given a Sprint Prepaid Foncard and a Nordstrom's hat worth $45. Also, Nordstrom's customers who receive the calling card and gift hat will be eligible to enter a sweepstakes to win one of 150 mountain bikes provided by Iron Horse. The bikes are part of the "Head to Toe" prize package, which also includes a haircare gift pack and a pair of boxer shorts. The contest can be entered by either filling out an application in the store or by calling Sprint to activate the calling card.

O'Connor said the two-week time period of the contest will keep customers interested in the program. "When a sweepstakes is drawn out over time response will decline," she said. "Also, many retailers use programs like this to generate sales for a specific anniversary period [such as a fiscal quarter]."

Sprint will aid Skechers and Nordstrom in capturing data from the contest entries for the databases for the two apparel companies.

Sprint will capture the data from questionnaires answered when callers activate the card, Wolfson said. "Sprint is the only ones in the prepaid market that have been able to capture data in this manner. This is an ideal way for Skechers to build a database."

The promotion is expected to draw 5,000 Nordstrom customers to the Skecher's brand of shoes and sandals. The direct mailing will target those who have purchased juniors and men's apparel at Nordstrom stores.

"Customers do not like to be stereotyped," said Wolfson. "So it is hard to find one premium that will appeal to them all. The Sprint card with its visual appeal and cool images, along with its versatility and interactive capabilities, will get the attention of the target audience. The Sprint brand will be enhanced with brand images targeting kids."

Sprint said a recent survey shows that 18- to 20-year-olds are showing a growing tendency to use prepaid calling cards.

"This promotion will be a success because the incentive is well targeted to the market," said Amy Mosier, director of Sprint prepaid card marketing. "Prepaid cards are always an effective promotional tool, but they are especially suited to youth, who will use, trade and show off their cards."

Sprint is not participating in the program to increase its own brand awareness.

"We have no intent to turn this program into an opportunity for Sprint to brand itself," said Tim Terrell, group manager for Sprint FonPromotions. "In this and other promotions, it is the retailer's brand which appears on the card. This is active brand imaging, which means every time someone uses the card they see the brand on it, as opposed to the more traditional brand imaging which consumers can just turn off."

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