Last week, Adidas announced that it will give away an island to any NFL prospect who can set a new record for the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine—as long as the contestant is wearing a specific type of Adidas shoe when he does it.
Adidas did something similar last year when it offered $1 million for the same challenge. The island that the brand is offering this year could be worth “up to $1 million,” so the award amount hasn’t changed. If anything, Adidas may end up spending less under the new contest than the old one. However, comparing the publicity from last year to this year shows a big jump in the number of news outlets that picked up the story. Why? It’s simple: It’s much more interesting to win an island than to win cash.
Parallels can be drawn between the Adidas contest and the contests that we run for our salespeople, albeit on a smaller scale. Most of the time, our contests are similar to Adidas’ contest from last year. We’ll pay cash to the top performers because it’s easier and everyone likes cash, but what if we took a page out of Adidas’ book and offered a more unique prize? We could give out a unique trip or experience and reap some of the same benefits that Adidas is seeing now. Its uniqueness will create a buzz that will enhance reps’ overall motivation and engagement. It also will be easy fodder for marketing the contest and making a splashy winner announcement.
So next time you’re discussing contest reward options, ask yourself, What can be our “island” contest?
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