Duck season may be coming to a close, but the holidays are a great opportunity to show your duck partners your appreciation! We encourage you to reach out to sponsors, duck adopters, and potential donors for Thanksgiving in a fun and festive way. Below are a few ideas to help you get started.
Happy Thanksgiving from your GAME family. We hope you have a great holiday!
Holiday weekends are always something we look forward to. They’re full of local events and spending time with family and friends. This past Labor Day weekend, we had 3 races including our largest race of the season as we come close to the close of summer (here in Arizona, not so much).
First up was the Gwinnett Duck Derby hosted by the Rotary Club of Sugarloaf on September 1st. 6,200 ducks were adopted in continued efforts to support local charities. Some current and past beneficiaries have been: the Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett, Lawrenceville Boys & Girls Club, Annandale Village, Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, Rainbow Village, Gwinnett County Library Foundation, Gwinnett Tech, Because One Matters, Nothing But the Truth Food Ministry and several title 1 schools in Gwinnett County. First place winner took home $2,500 which was announced virtually the day of the race.
Next up was 2nd year veteran racer, The Great Rubber Duck Race in Charleston, WV. The event took place on Saturday, September 3rd raising money for the United Way of Central West Virgina, who support the community through education, health and financial stability. Over 3,000 ducks were adopted and one lucky winner took home $3,000 cash along with additional prizes for 2nd-10th place and dead last duck.
Last but definitely not least was the Rubber Duck Regatta in Cincinnati on Sunday. For the 28th year, Freestore Food Bank broke record numbers by getting approximately 230,000 ducks adopted (final numbers haven’t been confirmed). The ducks hit the water again after a couple of years going virtual due to the pandemic to raise money to provide a reliable source of nutritional food for more than 90,000 kids in the tri-state area. First place duck took home a new 2022 Honda CRV-EX.
Each weekend the GAME team is blown away by the efforts of each nonprofit we have the privilege of working with. Whether it’s 2,500 ducks or 200,000 ducks that get adopted, we love seeing the impact year over year every racers makes in their community. We’ve got quite a few more races coming up before we close the 2022 season- check out Duck Races to see who’s up next!
It’s important to start reaching out to sponsors early, which is why at GAME we suggest a 7-9 month timeline for our racers. We encourage racers to secure as many sponsors as possible to cover the costs of the duck race. You can get creative with what types of businesses you reach out to, and remember that anything that adds value to your event is worth your time. Below are just a few types of sponsors that you can target. If you need more ideas, be sure to reach out to your GAME team!
Over the year’s, Pace Center for Girls has been notorious for having some of the most creative duckorated ducks. Each year, local businesses will buy into the VID (Very Important Duck) package where they receive a corporate duck as part of their sponsorship. They then have the ability to dress, paint and decorate their duck any way they want in hopes to regin in the most votes for the People’s Choice Awards for Best Dressed Duck. Winning duck takes home a trophy and of course bragging rights.
Here are some of our favorites that we’ve come across over the years.
We created the Virtual Gift Bag as way for racers to add more value for their sponsors for virtual duck races, but it can be used in conjunction with non-virtual duck races as well. The Virtual Gift Bag is something you can offer to all your sponsors, top tier sponsors or select sponsors of your choice. This feature allows for extra advertising for sponsors, increased traffic to their website and potential new customers.
The Virtual Gift Bag benefits racers as well sponsors. Now sponsors have an added incentive to sponsor your duck race, and you could receive more traffic to your Equack site as duck adopters return to claim offers. If you have questions or would like to learn how to implement the Virtual Gift Bag on your Equack site, contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey GAME friends, Krystal, your Social Media and Marketing Manager here! As the Steel City Duck Derby approaches this Saturday, I couldn’t help but look back on my trip to Pittsburgh for their workshop last summer. It was my first in person workshop since COVID and I couldn’t have been more excited. There’s something about in person workshops and interacting with our partners that you just can’t get with a virtual workshop. Not to say they weren’t effective but, I’m a social butterfly. I love getting to meet our new partners, seeing their organization first hand, brainstorming alongside with them and exploring their city.
My hosts from Partners for Quality did not disappoint in taking me to local spots and showing me what Pittsburgh was all about, while discussing all things ducks. I tried local beer (restaurant ended up becoming one of their sponsors), had a Primanti Bro’s sandwhich (apparently it’s a staple go to in Pittsburgh) and we even got to see some ducks checking out the raceway first hand. Seeing it all come together for their team in the last 8 months has been awesome to see and we’re excited for their kickoff event at Allegheny Commons Park on Saturday.
To find out more about their race and how they are working to raise money to continue to provide administrative management for their family of agencies, who serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, go to: Steel City Duck Derby
At GAME, we strive to provide our fundraising partners with the tools they need to host a successful duck race. Even though it’s been 3 years since the pandemic started, many non-profits are still in need of alternatives to physical fundraising events. That is where the virtual rubber duck race comes in.
We’ve implemented various tools to help our racers continue to raise funds throughout the on-going pandemic. With our duck race software, Equack, we provide a random race winners tool that our fundraising partners can use to find their virtual race winners. We also offer a virtual gift bag, which racers can use in collaboration with their sponsors to provide virtual offers and promotions to duck adopters on their websites. Our marketing packages also include an option for a virtual duck race video, which we create for our racers to use in place of a physical duck race, or to promote their upcoming duck race.
Just like a physical rubber duck race, but without the crowds or many people in attendance, a virtual duck race allows non-profits to tailor their fundraising events to their own needs. Whether that means racing rubber ducks and live streaming the event on social media or replacing the physical race completely with a virtual duck race video, GAME is here to help.
The 24th Annual Great Brevard Duck Race was originally planned as a live community event at Lee Wenner Park in downtown Cocoa Village after the Central Florida Car Show. Due to unforeseen logistical challenges, the event will now be virtual. And the show must go on! You can watch the ducks race live on Space Coast Daily TV on Saturday, April 2, at 3:30 p.m.
An array of amazing prizes will be won by the lucky duck winners, including the Grand Prize: a 2-year lease on a brand new 2022 Honda Civic! Additional prizes and event information can be found at www.greatbrevardduckrace.com.
Virtual or not, The Great Brevard Duck Race is a major fundraiser for Crosswinds Youth Services, Inc., a non-profit organization that has been providing life-changing services to vulnerable children, youth, and their families in Brevard County for over 47 years. All proceeds from the event help to support Crosswinds Youth Services efforts to provide shelter, food, emergency services, counseling, and additional services to the community’s most vulnerable children. Crosswinds was able to provide help to over 3,000 children, youth, and families during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. For further information about Crosswinds, visit www.crosswindsyouthservices.org.
The GAME team is excited to kick off the 2022 duck season in the next few weeks! We’re especially excited to see more in person races making their way back. These last 2 years brought new challenges, but our racers have thrived through it all, even making the last- minute decision to go virtual. Although virtual races allowed for duck races to still happen, there’s nothing like an in person event; seeing smiling faces on the sidelines, the excitement of the ducks making their way to the finish line and hearing who won the line up of prizes.
First race up is the 3rd Annual Marion Rotary Duck Derby, which makes a splash on February 12th for the Discovery Center and other local charities. Teaming up with the Cattle Drive & Cowboy Round up, the ducks will hit the water as part of the event’s family- friendly entertainment. First 3 ducks to cross the finish line will win cash prizes including $2,000 for first place.
Let’s start the 2022 duck season off right, wishing them a QUACKtastic race day and getting all 5,000 ducks adopted for their community!