Recognizing and honoring first responders


We had an opportunity this week to brainstorm ideas for a friend on the East Coast who manages a minor-league baseball team. On their calendar this year is a First Responder Night, a game preceded by a community parade that will recognize and honor the individuals who keep the community safe.

It’s a great event, and they wanted to know how they might be able to make it even bigger. Below are a few of our ideas for them.

Even if you don’t run a baseball team, there’s opportunity here for your organization – to honor those in your community, bring that community together under the umbrella of your brand, and set up immediate and future revenue opportunity all at the same time.

  • Get civic/community organizations to purchase tickets to be given to first responders and their families to attend the game. Consider including some type of discount as part of this effort (buy four tickets, get the fifth free)
  • Charity element for families of fallen first responders (buy five tickets, a % goes to fallen families fund)
  • Work with local radio stations to have a “first responder” contest in honor of the first responders night. Listeners would be told to be the first responders (first to call in) to answer questions concerning first responder issues. Winners would get tickets to the game.
  • Have a pre-game hitting contest (or some kind of baseball skills contest) with representatives from first responder organizations participating. Police vs. Fire softball game?
  • Get first responder organizations to have displays at the game that deal with safety issues (like fire truck/fire safety)
  • Create a contest where fans nominate a first-responder hero. Have them indicate who & why. Could be run via a PR campaigns, through media partners, etc. Winners would be announced at the game, and/or featured in the parade, etc.
  • Host a school essay contest via the local elementary schools. Have them write about why first-responders are important. Pick a winner at each school, feature them in the parade or at the game.
  • Identify those who have been personally affected or helped by first responders in the market, encourage them to buy game tickets and/or game packages as a thank you to the responders
  • 50/50 raffle at the game (and at the parade) to support a Fallen Heroes fund
  • Have First Responders selling concessions at the game as a charity (i.e. a % of proceeds go to the Fallen Heros fund)
  • Get corporate sponsors to buy tickets for first responders and their families as part of a sponsorship package for the night
  • Create large community “thank you” cards to be signed at various public places (library, city hall, etc.). Have community members sign the card, plus have messaging there to encourage them to attend the First Responder night to thank the responders in person