Scott Becher's Game
American Express Corporate Platinum Newsletter
When Corporate Platinum Card member Scott Becher left his job as vice president at an international sports-marketing agency three years ago and went out on his own, he adopted a simple formula for success: bring clients fresh thinking and the most innovative ideas, and the rest will happen. It has proven to be a sound strategy: this year Sports and Sponsorships, his Coral Gables, Florida-based business, generated $1.5 million in revenues, more than a thirty-fold increase over the $50,000 worth of billings it earned in the first year. Blue-chip companies -- Sprint, Hershey Chocolate U.S.A., and Gillette -- are represented in his roster of accounts, along with such local players as Florida Power and Light.
Making a Charismatic Splash
"We strive to be out of the box," explains Becher, whose company specializes in helping corporations market themselves through sponsorship of a sports event or other sports-related promotion. An example is the annual sweepstakes program developed for Hershey in which the grand prize is two tickets to the NCAA Final Four for life. "You can't buy these tickets," says Becher. "It is a pretty strong offer."
Another smash success was a promotion last January for Sprint stores in South Florida. Becher created a "Where's Garo?" campaign, referring to the legendary Miami Dolphins kicker whose "backwards pass" at the 1972 Super Bowl has gone down in history as one of football's biggest gaffes. (A well-known public speaker, Garo Yepremian has since made hay of the disaster.) The promotion featured backwards passing competitions hosted by Garo at each Sprint store. Winners received two free tickets to the Super Bowl. Business soared, and the month turned out to be the second most successful ever for the Sprint outlets.
Turning a Passion into a Career
A Florida native who earned degrees at Northwestern University, Becher chalked up experience working as a producer and director at NFL Films and as an account manager and executive at two international sports-marketing agencies in the Northeast before returning to his home state to start his own business. Initially, he was nervous about locating so far from Madison Avenue, but with the advent of the Internet and computer networking, those fears turned out to be unfounded. Today, Becher is inseparable from his laptop, keeping in touch with clients on the road by e-mail. "Technology has become my greatest ally," he says. Right after he started his business in 1996, Becher applied for a Corporate Platinum Card and has been extremely pleased with the benefits of his Card membership. Two years ago, through the International Airline Program he was able to get a free airline ticket and take his wife with him to Bali on a business trip.
The 36-year old Becher is a strong believer in giving back. He also contributes to numerous sports-related charities, including serving on the national marketing council for Coaches Versus Cancer, a non-profit organization of college-basketball coaches dedicated to fighting that disease. Recently, Becher produced a limited-edition lithograph poster featuring the original signatures of the 30 greatest college basketball coaches of all time as an organizational fundraiser. To hear him talk about the project, it's clear he's as excited about this as he would be unveiling a cutting edge promotion for a client. It all comes down to the same thing, after all -- thinking up solutions that help clients not only achieve their goals, but top them.