Verizon Wireless’ Upstate New York Region and the NFL’s Buffalo Bills are celebrating a 10-year partnership to raise awareness of domestic violence through the company’s HopeLine program. A PR campaign executed by Eric Mower and Associates to commemorate this milestone has resulted in extensive regional media coverage and a major donation toward the fight against domestic violence.
The Verizon Wireless HopeLine program collects no-longer-used wireless phones and provides new phones for domestic violence survivors with the proceeds. Through HopeLine, these phones will be refurbished and recycled or sold. The program also makes financial grants to domestic violence organizations. Each fall, the company partners with the Buffalo Bills for an annual game-day phone collection. This year’s collection was held on 10/10/10 to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
EMA coordinated traditional, digital and promotional PR tactics to promote domestic violence awareness in Western New York and the HopeLine 10th Anniversary Game-Day Collection. Efforts resulted in extensive media coverage across the region. EMA also helped coordinate Tweets to fans and targeted text messaging to season ticket holders.
HopeLine kicked off with an in-store autograph signing with spokesman/Bills player Andra Davis and a $10,000 check presentation from Verizon Wireless to the Family Justice Center of Erie County. Davis was so moved that he matched the company’s donation on the spot.
For the past 10 years, EMA has been tasked with presiding over the game-day collection, which has resulted in the collection of nearly 7,000 phones and making it the most successful stadium phone collection in the country. Because of its success, EMA’s event plan is used as a template for HopeLine collections throughout many NFL and Major League Baseball stadiums nationwide.