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Best of The Best: On This Diamond, Paydirt for the Fans

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Best of The Best: On This Diamond, Paydirt for the Fans

BY Eileen McClelland

Published in the March 2012 issue

It took less than 20 minutes for 200 women to dig up $5,000 worth of diamond jewelry buried in an Omaha, NE, baseball field, as groundskeepers cringed and fans cheered. It’s part of an annual Diamond Days promotion invented by Borsheims of Omaha.

THE IDEA
A NATURAL FIT • Three years ago Borsheims launched Diamond Days, advertised as offering the best prices of the year on diamond studs. The baseball theme was a natural. Baseball draws a crowd in Omaha — more than 400,000 attend the College World Series — and Omaha is also home to the minor-league Storm Chasers. “We wanted to find a way to give it more oomph,” says Adrienne Fay, director of marketing and advertising. In 2010 they dreamed up the Diamond Dig — inviting 100 women to dig for diamonds in the Storm Chasers’ Werner Park infield. “It totally exceeded our expectations,” Fay says. So, in 2011, they did it again, this time with 200 women.

THE EXECUTION
FIRST COME, FIRST DIG • Before the game starts Borsheims personnel bury jewelry boxes in the field; after the game is over, the digging begins. It’s free, but for a donation to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, participants get an ice cream scoop to make digging easier. All diggers get a free “Borsheims: Can you dig it?” T-shirt. Borsheims begins promoting the dig early in the season, working with the Storm Chasers on publicity. During the 2011 dig, the first four Borsheims boxes were dug up just a few minutes after the women were allowed onto the field. Those boxes contained a $2,000 diamond necklace and three pairs of Swarovski crystal earrings. That left the big prize, a $3,000 pair of diamond stud earrings still buried. The 200 women continued to dig until Omahan Kara Petersen found the box between first and second base.

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THE RESULTS
FUN AND FANS • “Every year that we’ve done Diamond Days we’ve sold more diamond studs,” Fay says. “Doing the dig in front of 8,000 people we see continued momentum through the promotion.” TV and newspaper coverage certainly helps, too. It also associates the Borsheims brand with a fun and memorable evening for the diggers as well as fans in the stands. “The entire juxtaposition of it creates a memorable experience, the fact that it’s a luxury brand you’re being encouraged to dig in the dirt for,” Fay says. “If a participant walks away with only the T-shirt — and we were able to give them a great experience — that’s also tremendously important.”

DO IT YOURSELF
Find a strong partner to do this with. Borsheims has built a solid relationship with the Storm Chasers by advertising and sponsoring games for 10 years. “It’s hard on the infield of a baseball stadium and I think it makes the groundskeepers cringe when they see 200 women digging pockmarks in their field with teaspoons and ice cream scoops,” Fay notes. “But the Storm Chasers see the value and excitement in it.”


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