You’re the Boss Blog told the story of Gardiner’s Furniture and Mattress, a family owned Baltimore furniture store that
promised to give away all furniture bought in the days leading up to the big game if a Baltimore Raven returned a kickoff for a touchdown. And that, of course, is precisely what Jacoby Jones did — the first Super Bowl kickoff returned all the way since 2007.
This story highlighted a couple of key points for anyone running a small business, particularly retail.
1. If lightening strikes, you need to be prepared. In this case, they were:
The odds of a successful return for a touchdown were over 100 to 1. I was home with my wife watching the game. It all happened so quickly, I could hardly believe what I saw. Within seconds, the phone rang. One of our store managers was on the other line screaming. After two more calls from employees, I checked with our advertising manager to make sure that all of the call-in procedures had been followed correctly, and we were fully covered by the insurance.
2. If you haven’t done it before, bring in a professional
We worked out the details of the promotion through a third-party company, which specializes in wacky retail promotions and sales events. They acquired the necessary insurance and handled all of the paperwork to make it all legal and verifiable. At 3 p.m. Sunday, we were required to notify the promotion company and give them an exact dollar amount of written sales for the period that would be insured in case of a successful run back or touchdown.
3. The effect doesn’t last long. For the first two days the impact was huge. the owner reported doing interviews all day till 9PM on Monday. But by the end of the week it had died down.
Five days later, we were still getting winners into the store, but other than the name recognition, our company was back to business as usual. The party is over.