I wrote last week about Goose Island’s ingenious plan to offer free beer for a year to any of the “armchair kickers” who could make a 43-yard field goal – the distance that the Bears’ kicker missed in the playoff game.

They put this stunt together on the fly – and it had a major kink in it: giving away free beer in Illinois is illegal. So, they punted that plan and offered a free ticket to any NFL game instead. Not as glamorous, but still a nice prize.

No one won it.

None of the 100 participants could make the kick, although some did provide some entertaining flubs in the process. As expected, the promotion drew a crowd well beyond the participants, garnered extensive news coverage, and probably made a few people think twice about how difficult the kick really was (all without the defense rushing at you and blocking it with their hand — the NFL actually ruled the Bears kick as a block, not a miss).

In addition to silencing 100 of Cody Parkey’s critics, Goose Island also donated $20,000 to the Bears kicker’s favorite charity. Nice gesture!

All in all, the field kick promotion was timely, creative and a great way to tap into Goose Island’s target market. Follow their example and jump on spontaneous branding opportunities that occur. Even if you have to punt and make a few modifications along the way, you still score big in the end.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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