“20% For Parks” 2009 Cause Marketing Program

Odwalla, Geico, NestlĂ© Beverage, General Mills, Dasani, Subaru, and Sports Authority Embrace Corporate Responsibility Platform with Dual Purpose of Targeting Eco-Enthusiasts and Supporting State Parks Pasadena, Calif. (PRWEB) June 1, 2009 — Consumers will connect with environmentally conscious brands this summer at State Parks across the nation through the 20% For Parks program and visitor guides. More than six million visitor guides will be published and shipped on June 1, 2009, making it one of the largest outdoor, recreational publications. Content from published authors, professional cartographers, journalists and wellness experts create a high-quality print informational piece called the State Park Visitor Welcome Kit, that consumers keep long after they’ve left the park. Sponsors pay for the production and shipping of the State Park Welcome Kits and parks receive a 20 percent cut of net proceeds, plus the guides.

With an expected bump in park visitations, corporate marketers will ride the trend of “staycations” this summer as travelers choose to stay closer to home and support local, community-based activities. Recent research points to other important business trends: corporate cause sponsorship budgets are holding strong and supporting socially responsible programs has a proven impact on a company’s bottom line: revenue growth, profit and cost savings. Those rising trends are proof points for the success of the 2009 20% For Parks program, launching today, with commitments from Odwalla, Geico, NestlĂ© Beverage, General Mills, Dasani, Coca-Cola, Subaru, and Sports Authority. These partners seek environmentally and socially responsible ways to engage consumers and Government Solutions Group – GSG, is the agency behind the program that has seen its client base grow despite the recession. Exclusive contracts with state park agencies in Virginia, Maryland and Michigan were added this year.

In addition to the visitor guides, the 20% For Parks brand develops corporate environmental sponsorship opportunities ranging from reforestation and solar projects to carbon sequestration or education programs. Overall, 20% For Parks raised more than $4MM in the last five years.

“Odwalla is expanding its participation in 20% For Parks in 2009,” said Chris Brandt, Odwalla vice president of marketing. “It reinforces the environmental responsibility of our company in a really fun, unique way that our consumers enjoy. With GSG, we developed the online Odwalla Plant-a-Tree program in 2008, and because it did so well, we’re nearly doubling our efforts this year.”

GSG matches private businesses with state parks nationwide in a variety of environmental sponsorships. Companies get to reach eco-enthusiasts while giving back to the earth. Odwalla supported its consumer tree-planting program through sampling at running, surfing and volleyball events at state parks. The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southern California sponsored the Reforest California campaign, a reforestation project that raised over $600,000 and 1 million trees for wildfire-scarred parklands in Southern California.

“State parks are essentially America’s back yard and that represents a vast audience to reach,” explained Shari Boyer, CEO of GSG. “Because of the economy, park visitation is on the rise and consumers are showing an increased interest in recreational activities within driving distance. The upside for the parks is additional revenue to help protect natural resources during a time when budgets are being cut across the board.”

GSG has multi-year contracts to create Park Visitor Welcome Kits with 11 of the largest state park systems in the country, representing 46 percent of total state park visitation and over 1,200 parks in California, New York, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Michigan, Maryland and Virginia.

The Park Visitor Welcome Kit is printed annually and personally handed to visitors by park rangers at the gate. Ninety eight percent of visitors keep the guide and use it to plan future trips. The kits are produced at no cost to the states, taxpayers, or park visitors.

About GSG:
Government Solutions Group (GSG) is a unique marketing company that facilitates cause-related marketing partnerships between corporations and state park government agencies to help reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve consumer relations. GSG is under contract with 11 state park systems across the nation and creates and manages win-win partnerships with corporations that have raised more than $4 million in cash and in-kind services since 2003. The company is based in Pasadena, California.