High School Football Ballot Drives $5K for The Signal

by Alesia Humphries The Signal

Case Study Highlights

  • Generated $5,000 from a medical facility
  • Over 30,000 votes were cast
  • Sponsor achieved direct interaction with prospects by hosting a celebration for the winners

The Idea

The Signal Multimedia, part of Morris Multimedia, is an 8,500 circulation daily newspaper in Santa Clarita, California. We have been running successful online promotions since 2008, including an online Best of Santa Clarita Valley ballot that brought in $75,000 in 2013.

When The Signal decided to run a high school football ballot, we were looking for a way to expand our audience reach and gather email addresses from a niche market. The high school market is one that we have begun to infiltrate in recent months through video shows, and we wanted something to promote competition between the schools, as well as to become an authority on high school football. We decided that an awards programs would be the perfect way to achieve all of those goals, as well as to promote our newly branded SignalSCVSports.com and drive users to the site.

The Prep Football Fan’s Choice Awards was an ideal solution in our partnership with Providence Medical Institute. Providence Medical Institute was a brand-new facility that had just opened in our market with a vast amount of competition facing them. Their problem was they didn’t know how to reach the younger demographic they were interested in. Santa Clarita is truly a “Friday Night Lights” town with many high school football rivalries around the area. Providence Medical Institute wanted to become a true community partner.

What better way to do that than involve them with high school football and the families passionate about high school football?

Thus, Providence Medical Institute Prep Football Fans’ Choice Awards was born.

The Execution

We shared our story in the Score With High School & College Football Promotions webinar – listen to this clip to hear how we executed this promotion.

The Prep Football Fans’ Choice Awards were solely sponsored by Providence Medical Institute. This contest ran for one month, during this month it was vastly distributed on our website, social media, and print.

The Prep Football Fans’ Choice Awards ballot included the following 30 categories:

  • Best Quarterback
  • Best Running Back
  • Best Wide Receiver
  • Best Defensive Lineman
  • Best Linebacker
  • Best Defensive Back
  • Best Offensive Lineman
  • Best Kicker
  • Best Head Coach
  • Best Assistant Coach
  • Best Cheerleading Squad
  • Best Dance Team
  • Best Band
  • Best Field
  • Best Student Section
  • Best Place to Go Before a Game
  • Best Place to Go After a Game
  • Best High School Hangout (for 6 different high schools)
  • Best Doctor for Sports Injuries
  • Best Student Section Chant
  • Most Spirited Individual Student
  • Best Supporter of School Sports (Business)
  • Best Private School Football Program
  • Best Foothill League Football Program
  • Best Game
  • Football Ballot Sponsor

The title sponsorship package included recognition to the sponsor on all of the following:

  • Online Ballot Header during the Voting Period
  • Awards to Winners
  • Ballot Page in The Signal Print Edition Announcing Winners
  • Online Ballot Winners’ Page Header for the Year
  • All Print & Online Contest Promotion
  • Social Media Promotional Posts
  • Promotional Emails to 13,000+ Local Email Addresses
  • “Vote for Me” Flyers for Nominees
  • Exclusive 300×400 Short Tower Ad on the Ballot Page
  • 300×400 Ad on SignalSCVSports.com during the Ballot
  • Pictures & Video with the Best Football Players, Best Head Coach, and Representative from the Best Student Section at the Title Sponsor’s Location for The Signal Print Edition and SignalSCV.com
  • First Right-of-Refusal for the 2nd Annual Prep Football Fans’ Choice Awards

Here’s a copy of the sales sheet we used to sell the promotion:


The Signal decided to experiment with promoting the ballot online only, which we did with a mix of banner ads, email messages, our Facebook cover photo, Facebook posts, and lots of Twitter and Instagram updates in order to reach the high school audience.

You can see some sample promotional materials below:





Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 8.22.55 AM

The Results

This contest ran for one month, bringing in $5,000 in revenue, 1,000 new email addresses, and 31,700 votes. At the end of the promotion, Providence Medical Institute hosted a celebration for the winners and their families to attend. The well-attended celebration was held at their facility. The doctors of the facility attended the celebration, engaging with winners and their families. This promotion truly made Providence Medical Institute a household name and community partner in Santa Clarita.

Why It Worked

  • Signal Multimedia promoted the ballot heavily online and through social media.
    The paper leveraged the success of their Best of Santa Clarita Valley to sell a more targeted ballot.
  • The ballot capitalized on a niche that was popular in the community and an attractive target for sponsors.
  • Studio Santa Clarita (daily web show) covered the celebration and used it as a segment on their web show. Studio Santa Clarita shared the segment with Providence Medical Institute to share on their website and social media.

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