Call 811's California Chrome Sponsorship Paying Off Ahead Of Triple Crown Bid
Virginia-based nonprofit Common Ground Alliance "paid $30,000 to have its 'Call 811' logo emblazoned down the right pant leg" of California Chrome jockey Victor Espinoza during the Kentucky Derby, and "after appealing to its members, it was able to secure $89,000 to keep the Chrome placement" through the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, according to Christopher Heine of ADWEEK. The CGA, which "works with dedicated call centers in every state, advising people to beware of old pipes and wires before digging in the dirt," also has "enlisted local chapters and corporate partners including Shell and 3M to create social buzz around Call 811." Espinoza yesterday participated in a "tweet-up to push the sponsor’s cause and to chat with fans" about what could be a historic Belmont Stakes where California Chrome could become the first Triple Crown winner since '78. NASCAR drivers Greg Biffle and Joey Logano, whose Sprint Cup teams are partially sponsored by the CGA, also were on board to "tweet questions with the hashtag #811chromie to Espinoza during the tweet-up in an effort to stoke the social fire." CGA VP/Communications Khrysanne Kerr said of the California Chrome sponsorship, "Our metrics have been off the chain." She added that the organization saw Google searches up 50% "after the Preakness, and that at 7 a.m. the Monday after the race, its Indiana call center had 101 calls waiting in the queue" (ADWEEK.com, 6/1).