Jan 27, 2012 at 04:47 PM
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Staples Sponsors Small Biz Contest, Pledges $250K In Ad Time To The Little Guy

The 6th annual Staples National Small Business Survey found that seven out of 10 small business owners are optimistic about the future. Further, 52 percent of small business owners revealed they would grow their business through advertising and direct marketing if they had a larger marketing budget. To help address this need, Staples has launched the Staples "Give Your Small Business the Push It Needs" contest to give five small businesses the opportunity to win up to $50,000 each in free television advertising in their home market.

"With more than 25 years of experience working with our core small business customers, we know that investing in marketing to grow a small business is essential, yet many do not have the money to do so," said John Giusti, vice president of small business marketing at Staples. "Staples wanted to do something unique to support small businesses in their local markets. The 'Give Your Small Business the Push It Needs' contest will help small businesses achieve their business goals in 2012 by providing an advertising boost to help their bottom lines."

Small businesses can enter to win the "Give Your Small Business the Push It Needs" contest by submitting a 15-second video about their company on Facebook.com/Staples. Of these submissions, five winning small businesses will be chosen to receive 15-seconds of advertising in a 30-second Staples television ad to run in their local market. The prize package is valued at up to $50,000 worth of local cable television airtime and includes $500 in Staples Copy and Print or Staples EasyTech services. Winners have a choice of either $50,000 in advertising or $40,000 in advertising plus $10,000 in cash.

"Successfully marketing your small business is the life blood of any company, but with limited budgets, entrepreneurs must be creative and resourceful," said Rieva Lesonsky, CEO and President, Grow Biz Media/SmallBizDaily.com. "Any marketing boost that they receive from a program such as the Staples 'Give Your Small Business the Push It Needs" can make all the difference in the world, especially in the current business climate."

Here's one entry...

Applied more directly to sponsorship, could brands do a better job of negotiating and integrating their small business customers into sponsorship inventory using similar contest methods? And could properties do better at appealing to small businesses (which could eventually grow into larger sponsors) by providing "starter" sponsorship opportunities that are more flexible and geared specifically to the unique needs of small, but fast growing businesses? Something to chew on... thoughts?