National September 11 Memorial to run mobile effort at NASCAR race

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is partnering with mobile marketing services firm Mobile Commons for an initiative observing 9/11. The goal of the “Text to Remember” program is to raise money for and awareness of the September 11 Memorial, which will be built on the site of the World Trade Center.

The campaign will run at the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Richmond, VA on September 11. Consumers in attendance will be called to text “WTC” to donate $5 to the foundation’s cause. A live announcement and signage at the event will broadcast the call to action.

“When the 9/11 Memorial people approached us, they were already working with NASCAR, but they wanted to know how to make people aware,” said Anthony Risicato, CEO of Mobile Commons. “We realized that there were two things they needed to do. The first was to create an aspect for fund raising, and the second prong was to get them to create a database to keep consumers involved in the effort after the race had passed.”

Participants’ phone bills will be charged automatically for contribution.

“It is all meant to capture an audience right then and there with mobile fundraising,” he added. “It gets billed back to the mobile phone directly, so there is no credit card.”

Users can also opt in to have their names listed on an event screen that mentions all donors. These consumers can join a mobile program and receive future updates from the National September 11 Memorial about the progress of the monument, as well as with information on future fundraisers.

“Now you have a database of people that you can use to promote fundraisers, events and other updates to,” said Risicato. “The idea is to build a database of these people. It is taking a page out of the e-mail marketers’ handbook.”

The campaign will continue on the 9/11 Memorial Web site. Consumers will be able to make donations to the cause after the anniversary of the terrorist attacks passes. Donors’ names will also be listed on the site.

Representatives from NASCAR and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum could not be immediately reached for comment.

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