One example is a budding relationship between YMCA of the USA* and Sprout and LazyTown Entertainment in support of the annual Healthy Kids Day® initiative. Healthy Kids Day has been celebrated in thousands of communities across the country for more than 22+ years, however, 2013 was the first time Sprout and LazyTown Entertainment appeared in the national media sponsor role.
A PERFECT MATCH
Healthy Kids Day is the Y’s national initiative aimed at improving the health and well-being of kids with free community events filled with fun, active play and educational opportunities. Held each spring, the timing is intentional to help families “Get a Jump on Summer” and springboard the spirit of staying intellectually and physically active to prevent the “Summer Slide”.
Sprout is the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for children 2-5 years old and their parents/caregivers. Highly interactive relationships exist with their viewers who are encouraged to submit artwork, birthday wishes, videos and more through SproutOnline.com.
HEALTHY KID’S DAY ACTIVATION 2012
In the first-year partnership, integrated activation plans included elements such as visibility, production, in-kind media, character appearances and goody bags. To support the Y’s objective of using the April event to launch healthy behaviors that will be practiced throughout the summer, Sprout and LazyTown aired national TV spots that drove parents to a special website with a full range of solutions, tips and ideas.
As the national resource office supporting the 2,000 participating local Y’s, YMCA of the USA
BEST PRACTICES TO EVOLVE PARTNERSHIP GROWTH
Of course many factors contribute to a partnership’s overall success. Since our blog is about practical tips and tricks, I thought it would be fun to build off this real-life example with four best practices that could lead to greater partnership success:
#1 – LEVERAGE SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTISE
The LazyTown protagonist and above-average hero, Sportacus, with help from ‘new girl in town’, pink-haired Stephanie, battle the world’s laziest super-villain, Robbie Rotten. Sportacus is athletic and super-active who runs, jumps, and exercises his way to the rescue. Somehow Sportacus manages to save the day, due in part to the fact that he eats Sports-Candy (fruits and veggies) with every meal. He’s also comprised by eating too much sugar — now, that’s an expert both kids and parents will want to listen to!
#2 – ENGAGE PARTNERS’ PARTNERS
With nearly 1MM kids and parents attending a nationwide event to learn more about combating the risks associated with summer inactivity, it seems there are plenty of opportunities for expansion. For example, both the Y and Sprout/LazyTown are Let’s Move partners. (First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America initiative designed to engage every sector of society that impacts the health of children – schools, families, elected officials and communities – to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy.) One commitment the Y made is to adopt healthy eating and physical activity standards in early childcare and afterschool programs, by serving fruits and vegetables, setting limits on screen time and devoting time for physical activity. Evidence the partners are committed to exploring mutually beneficial relationships that can create lasting personal and social change.
#3 – ASK FOR FUNDRAISING ELEMENTS
A healthy lifestyle for kids is complex and can be difficult to achieve. Studies show that children will eat their veggies and learn to like them, too, when given rewards. To inspire children about choices, rewards and charitable acts, future activation could include creating simple turnkey tools that tie Active from Head to Toe Healthy Kids Day ideas related to the LazyTown Promise as a dual teaching tool.
#4 – DEEPEN DIGITAL CONNECTIONS
Another popular character, everyone’s favorite chicken, Chica, spends her days the “Costume Coop” filled to the beams with costumes, accessories and props galore. Preschoolers love to dress up and often join Chica for themed play dates and holidays – Valentine’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Back-to School, etc. The adult caregiver is encouraged to upload photos and messages that then become part of the on-air and online content. Layering in a Healthy Kids Day call to action on sproutonline.com could also be a great way to extend the experience.
Hope these tips provide inspiration for activating your media partnerships. Good luck!