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Ticketmaster sponsors St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital mobile giving initiatives

December 7, 2009

Cinema Scene's food tray with SMS call-to-action

Cinema Scene's food tray with SMS call-to-action

St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital is upping the ante with mobile giving for its sixth-annual Thanks and Giving campaign by partnering with several companies, including Ticketmaster.

To donate $5 via mobile consumers are asked to text either the keyword STJUDE or HOPE to short code 90999. The $5 mobile donation will appear on the consumer’s mobile phone bill and is payable to your mobile service provider.

Mobile Commerce Daily’s Chris Harnick interviewed John Remington, senior vice president of corporate alliances and executive director of Thanks and Giving at ALSAC/St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital about the charity’s mobile giving strategy.

What’s the strategy behind including a mobile way to donate?
Since most Americans now carry cell phones or other mobile devices, the mobile channel offers one more way that consumers can support the children of St. Jude.

The Thanks and Giving campaign is in its sixth year of fundraising to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and during these tough economic times, our focus is on making sure that we utilize every method available to reach the public regarding the need to support the lifesaving work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

Currently, our operating costs are at $1.5 million per day, and no child is ever turned away due to a family’s inability to pay. 

What challenges does going mobile address for the charity?
Mobile gives consumers a way to donate though a quick and easy channel.  In tough economic times, consumers are more willing to give a smaller donation but the upside is that more people are giving.

For this year’s Thanks and Giving campaign, St. Jude is embracing a number of mobile opportunities. Ticketmaster has joined the Thanks and Giving family of partners and has included a text messaging component as part of their campaign. 

The text messaging call to action is included on ticket envelopes and ticket inserts that are mailed to customers who have made purchases through Ticketmaster. 

St. Jude is also exploring mobile messaging in other venues as part of the Thanks and Giving campaign.

Cinema Scene, a global promotional company with a focus on theatre products, is promoting the Thanks and Giving campaign by offering a specially designed kid’s tray and drink cup to theatre companies across the country.

The tray and cup showcases artwork by St. Jude patients and contains a text-to-donate call-to-action. 

St. Jude is including mobile messaging in the following venues: gyms, coffee and juice bookstores, Mall of America, taxi displays and Adspace Mall. The call to action appears: text “HOPE” to 90999 to donate $5”.

We also are testing mobile messaging in select movie theater lobbies by running an advertisement featuring Jennifer Aniston with a “Texting Tag” that Marlo Thomas recorded:  “’Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not.’  Please text HOPE to 90999 and give a $5 donation to the children of St. Jude.” 

The call-to-action on the screen is:  text HOPE to 90999 to donate $5”.  

What is the target demographic Ticketmaster and St. Jude is trying to reach via mobile?
People of all ages and all walks of life donate to St. Jude.

While the mobile channel technically is geared at a younger audience, we are opening up our Thanks and Giving campaign to reach a broader population segment with our message of “Giving Thanks” this holiday season.

The Ticketmaster program gives the consumer control of their experience by offering both online options and text-to-donate.
What’s the strategy behind the partnership between Ticketmaster and St. Jude?
St. Jude is so fortunate to have Ticketmaster join our Thanks and Giving family of partners.

Ticketmaster is the world’s largest live entertainment ticketing and marketing company and St. Jude is one of the nation’s leading pediatric research and treatment centers devoted solely to children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. 

So, this partnership is the perfect coming together of two industry leaders to make a difference in the lives of children everywhere.
How will this mobile call-to-action be advertised/what are the marketing tactics?
Ticketmaster is utilizing a multi-faceted approach, incorporating the Thanks and Giving campaign, to reach their large consumer base.

The mobile message component is used in conjunction with other efforts, including online and direct mail. In fact, estimates show that the mobile message will reach more than a million Ticketmaster customers. 

Is this the first year mobile has been used? If so, why go mobile now? If not, what kind of numbers has St. Jude seen with mobile in the past?
Although St. Jude has tested mobile giving initiatives in several venues, this initiative with Ticketmaster is one of the largest for the organization, to date, and is designed to reach a broad mobile demographic.

Research shows that mobile text-to-donate programs work best as part of a fully integrated fundraising campaign and Ticketmaster’s approach encompasses these best practices.

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Chirs Harnick is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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One Response to “Ticketmaster sponsors St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital mobile giving initiatives”

  1. Stephen Joos Says:

    The St. Jude mobile giving campaign was powered by mGive/ Mobile Accord.

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