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Pictures from our October 2015 Luncheon!

KAMA Hosts Its First Ever Sellout Luncheon!

The August 12 luncheon featuring Jimmy Delaney, UTK Assistant Athletic Director, Sales & Marketing, was the chapter’s first ever sellout luncheon! Ninety-four professionals attended the event, sponsored by HoundDogs.

Delaney discussed the marketing strategy behind the recent, very successful July 1 launch of the new Nike-UTAD merchandise. He took the attendees through the 17-month process of developing the brand with Nike in the lead-up to the launch.

Highlights from the luncheon include:

  • #OneOf119 social media campaign added 10K followers
  • July 1 launch concept was developed on a plane ride
  • The entire UT sports website was rebranded in the middle of the live launch on July 1st.
  • YouTube was used to broadcast the Nike launch. Noon was chosen as a good time for several reasons, including reaching multiple time zones in the US and hitting the sweet spot of lunchbreaks for many UT fans on the East Coast.
  • Broadcast launch viewership was comparable to a national signing day.
  • Launch garnered 55K online views and broke sales records for both the online and Gate 20 store.
  • Delaney confirmed what we all know: Coach Jones is the coolest coach in the SEC!


This was the highest attended KAMA luncheon in recent history, and only the first luncheon of the chapter’s new year, which runs July-June. Other exciting luncheon topics are coming your way, so keep an eye on your inbox (or sign up for our mailing list), and be sure to follow KAMA on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, if you haven’t already.

The next luncheon will be on Wednesday, September 9 and will feature Communications Coach Ellen Kern.

Takeaways from September’s Sponsorship Marketing and Nonprofit Panel Discussion

Christine Hawks with MRA Services

Takeaways provided by Christine Hawks with MRA Services

Our well-attended Knoxville American Marketing Association luncheon on September 11, 2013, featured a panel discussion on the topic of sponsorships between corporations and nonprofits.  The presenters were US Cellular and its nonprofit partners, the Bijou and Tennessee theatres, managed by AC Entertainment (local venues); and Jewelry Television and its nonprofit partner, the American Heart Association. Some takeaways were affirmations about what’s on par with trends, while others are grist for future programs and discussions.


  • The nonprofits from our luncheon panel referred to respective “sponsors” as partners, and to corporate support as a “partnership.”
  • Creating comprehensive custom packages is desired by both sides, the sponsoring corporation and the nonprofits.
  • Key to a great nonprofit-corporate match is to research the company in advance and ascertain whether it’s an all-around good fit. It will serve to get potential sponsors’ attention, and as a point of decision for whether that sponsor will invest in you.

Something New:

  • It’s important to have matching values. US Cellular said it wouldn’t consider a sponsorship that doesn’t somehow tie back into its #1 priority of customer experience and putting the customer first. US Cellular said that if a nonprofit cannot demonstrate that pretty quickly in its pitch, it’s a no-go. A similar response came from Jewelry TV. Its research indicates that JTV’s primary demographic is women. Since health is a central concern for its primary demographic, JTV created a campaign around that in its partnership with the AHA.
  • Long-term partnerships seem to be becoming rarer. Both corporations on the luncheon panel said that a majority of the time they commit to a one-year sponsorship, since they have to regularly demonstrate ROI each year, compared to the budgets they’ve been given.
  • Nonprofits can and should help corporates determine ROI. One of the best tools to sustain renewal is a fulfillment report. The AHA said it does this for every sponsor at the end of every year.  Jewelry TV confirmed that its evaluation of this aids in the decision whether or not to continue the partnership. Simple, measurable metrics are included with the report. The key is to understand upfront, during the negotiation process, the objectives for each parties’ success, available assets, what each side was willing to commit, and determining how to create a win for both sides.
  • The AHA offers only custom sponsorship packages, period. As the speaker described, AHA doesn’t offer any “precious metal” sponsorship packages (i.e. silver, gold, bronze). She said that AHA recognizes that not every company is a fit, so there is a conversation with each potential partner to create a custom package for that organization.

*Content generously provided by our own Christine Hawks with MRA Services!

Copper Cellar Going Social

Bart Fricks, COO of the Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants, brings more than 27 years of restaurant experience to the table (yes, pun intended J). Previously with Mr. Gatti’s and then Ruby Tuesday, the man behind the Calhoun’s Restaurant Twitter handle @Calhouns, says being part of the “social party” gives him the opportunity to stay close to customers.  Fricks says that managing their many restaurant concepts within the Copper Cellar brand is a challenge but customers follow and engage with the restaurants they enjoy most. Their team, Fricks says it is definitely a group effort at this point, uses tools such as Hootsuite to help space out their posts so they don’t bombard customers all at once with messages from each concept.

The locally-loved restaurant brand first launched into the social web with Facebook pages for Smoky Mountain Brewery and Copper Cellar in the fall of 2009 followed shortly with pages for Calhoun’s and Chesapeake’s. By the end of 2009, the brand had accumulated 1,518 followers. It wasn’t until the group really started joining in the conversation that they saw the biggest increase in followers. Posting each concept’s daily specials, events, and responding to customer feedback and suggestions quickly has driven much of their success in continuing to grow in the social space.  Twitter proved to be a bit different story for the brand. Fricks says that in 2009 and 2010, they didn’t do a very good job with Twitter. He took over as the voice behind @Calhouns and began thanking people for following them, retweeting, and jumping in the conversation especially on #FollowFriday where you suggest that your friends “follow” others on Twitter. “More is better on Twitter,” says Fricks, as he encourages the group to be active in the space and comment on what others are saying.

Posting great food photos and monitoring searches like “Where to eat in Knoxville” has helped the brand expand their reach. Fricks says it’s easy to go after big numbers, using an app to buy followers for example, but he’s not interested in that.  His goal is for the brand “to be great at a few things” and not try to be everywhere such as places like Foursquare, Flickr, or Pinterest. For now, the brand is focusing on cultivating great conversations with their customers mainly on Facebook and Twitter.

My favorite conversation point of the luncheon is when Fricks exclaims, “I hate coupons.” Most people assume that restaurants are just going to be in the coupon business. He goes on to say that in his experience coupons have a way of abruptly bringing in clientele which the restaurant isn’t quite prepared for, and then service and food quality suffers. “You can’t just hire servers for 4 weeks and expect them to provide great service then let them go,” which is what would be required for a huge influx of customers which a deep offer coupon. To Fricks, great service and quality of food every time a guest comes in to one of their restaurants is the ultimate goal of the brand.

The Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants is continuing to expand its real estate in the digital and social space. New websites for each restaurant concept are coming soon, and Fricks says they are looking into hiring someone to manage their social strategy. So keep on the lookout for new great things coming from this local restaurant family!

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