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The stage was set.

On Feb. 23, 2020, 84-year-old Mary Ann Wakefield steps up to putt a golf ball 94 feet on the brand-new Ole Miss Men’s Basketball Pavilion floor to win a new Nissan Altima.

The crowd goes wild, and the hours and days ahead were even wilder.

The shot was literally heard around the world. The local news picked up the inspiring story, then it went statewide in Mississippi, then nationally on newscasts like The Today Show and then all the way to Germany and Australia.

The story took off like Mary Ann’s putt, a straight shot toward inspiring people all over the world. Millions viewed the shot and her excitement. In the days that followed, she received calls of congratulations and people wanting to know how she did it and how she was enjoying her new Altima.

How did we get to this moment?

One of our core values at Hunt, our marketing firm, is “Show Up and Engage.” That’s what happened when I received a call from a friend and colleague at Ole Miss Sports Properties about the concept of our partner, Cannon Motors of Mississippi, sponsoring the “Putt to Win a Car” during the Ole Miss men’s basketball home games at the new state-of-the-art Pavilion.

That conversation led to Cannon agreeing to do the sponsorship. Our team then worked with Ole Miss Sports Properties to design the sign for the court and set up a table for participation signups at each home SEC game.

The promotion was a hit. Fans were interested, but game after game, no one won.

Then came Mary Ann. With the confidence of a seasoned PGA pro, she hit the ball into the hole.

The buzz and media coverage alone were incredible. And, when Mary Ann came to pick up her brand-new Altima at Cannon Nissan of Oxford, the Cannon team greeted her like a celebrity.

The buzz and sponsorship have had longevity. In the years since Mary Ann’s moment, ESPN has reposted the shot heard around the world on their social media multiple times.

Viral moments like this are rare. However, if you are not playing the game, you cannot win. You have to “Show Up and Engage.”

As you market your business, choose opportunities that align with your brand and have the ability to maximize your investment.

Look toward trusted methods that offer strong brand awareness and word-of-mouth benefits.

Don’t be afraid of unconventional opportunities, though. By embracing them, you may find yourself at the center of a positive social media sensation.

We all dream of such great publicity, and you can sometimes find it in the strangest of circumstances — like an 84-year-old’s golf game.

Read the original article here.


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