Case Study

Client: Guns & Hoses Boxing Challenge
Project: Event Marketing & Production

Background

“Guns & Hoses” is the common name given to events nationwide that feature police officers and firefighters competing in various sports. There is a natural, friendly competitive nature between the first responders, and – regardless of location – these are always fun, well-promoted and well-attended events.

In Omaha, the Guns & Hoses Boxing Challenge is the leading police vs. fire competition and has drawn upwards of 4,000 spectators annually since 2017. In fact, the event was awarded “Best Event” by Metro Magazine in 2018!

Not only do Omaha’s firefighters and police officers duke it out in the boxing ring, they also “fight” to raise money for a good cause. For the past several years, all proceeds have been donated back to the First Responders Foundation – a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization – to help solve community public safety issues and support first responders.

Since 2017, Say Hey There has been the marketing firm behind the event, helping to develop creative and rally community. Scroll through this page to check out all the ways we’ve helped the event grow over the years!

Marketing Approach

We have had much success with a diversified approach and take advantage of a wide-range of mediums such as social media, email, TV, radio, digital billboards, print, and community calendars, partners, and influencers.

While Guns & Hoses typically occurs in April each year, we begin planning out each of these aspects 9 months in advance.  This includes developing timelines, budgets, communication plans, and marketing calendars as well as securing relationships with media and various vendors.

Social Media Campaigns & Engagement

Our editorial calendar spans Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In addition to the Guns & Hoses and First Responders Foundation social platforms, our content is cross promoted by partners, first responders, sponsors, and by official first responder agencies like the Omaha police and fire departments. Approximately 20% of our overall marketing budget is dedicated to social media advertising.

Radio/TV

We have a longstanding relationship with NRG Media in promoting the event across several of their radio stations, including 101.9, 98.5, 1620 The Zone, 106.9, and La Nueva. In addition to regular commercials and on-air giveaways, we book an annual live remote.

For TV, we work with Cox Media and KETV, producing :15 bookends as well as a :30 cut. All commercials are aired during ideal hours and on high-performing channels selected for our target demo. We also receive complimentary PSAs for our nonprofit designation and additional interest for interviews and event coverage.

Website Development & Management

With the event’s continued growth, we decided to give it its own website in 2018. Necessary features included:

  • Blog
  • Video and podcast integration
  • Social media integration
  • Sponsor portal
  • Fighter portal

Today we continue to maintain the website to keep everything updated and working as it should and ensure the content is relevant and fresh.

Photo & Video

We know the importance of high-quality photography and compelling video in promoting the event. That’s why collaborate with the pros and produce great visuals, including:

  • Headshots of each fighter for event program and social media promos
  • Shadowboxing videos of each fighter for jumbotron displays and social media promos
  • :05, :15, and :30 TV spots
  • Social media cover video
  • “Ballyhoo” video for pumping up crowd at event
  • Any fundraising videos to show at the event
  • Recap video that shows off highlights from the event
  • Post-event photography (we provide a shot list to ensure we have what we need to promote next year’s festivities)

Email Marketing

We utilize the First Responders Foundation’s existing email list to engage potential sponsors, partners, and attendees – regularly delivering messages about opportunities, specials, and other event-related information.

Baxter Arena Creative

To bring the event to life, we develop the graphics and creative inside and outside the arena, including everything shown on the marquee, jumbotron, and other displays leading up to and during the event.

Event Production

In addition to making the event work aesthetically, we are also responsible for writing the script and timeline for the evening and ensuring they are followed. This includes regularly meetings with Baxter Arena, scheduling walk-throughs to test A/V, and working with the rest of the production crew to ensure nothing is missed.

There are many factors to consider, including A/V cues, the fight card, intermission activities, and promos promised to sponsors. And if something does go awry, we have our trusty red phone so we can communicate with the ringside ops commander!

Merchandise Booth

What’s an event without merch? We help determine what merch to purchase and in what quantities to sell at the event and help create the designs.

“We could not be more impressed with Mikala and the job she does. She has exceeded our every expectation and would recommend her and the job she does to anyone looking for a long term relationship with an expert in her field. Mikala has become a very important part of our Foundation and is 100% immersed in our success. Say Hey There will be the best marketing decision you will make.”
Jim Hanson, Jr.

Chairman of the Board, First Responders Foundation