A couple of weeks ago, Minnesotan twin brothers Nick and Nate Smith made national news headlines when Nate made a nearly improbable goal for a $50,000 prize. Following some soul-searching and having a desire to “do the right thing“, the family stepped up and admitted to the brotherly switch. Within days, the company responsible for paying the prize, announced that it would not pay the $50,000 to the Smith family, but rather give donations of $20,000 to a couple of local youth hockey clubs. The story made national news with the Today Show inviting the twins to come to New York and be given three chances each to make the shot on morning TV.
Question. What is the name of the company that sponsored this promotion? Don’t know? Neither does most of America. Therein is the issue. Here is a situation where an 11 year-old makes a shot that professional players couldn’t replicate. The family has a sleepless night knowing that the difference between right and wrong is more important than “Nick or Nate” and does the right thing by coming forward and taking responsibility for the deception. This is a ”feel good story” even when it ends here.
How then do you account for the lack of marketing savvy from the company that sponsored the event? They had an opportunity to review the situation, commend the family on the way they handled this moral dilemma and taken the opportunity to share how their company’s principles were similar to those of the Smith family. They could have been sat on the Today Show couch between Matt and Ann and presented the family with the prize all the while allowing the 11 year olds to talk about how important it is to always “do the right thing“. Instead, they chose not to market their business in a way and on a platform that may never be available to them again.
Weeks later I still find myself wondering at what their thought process was, but forever realizing there is actually a proven method for how not to market your business.