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Promo Items Help Boost Employee Health

With group health-care rates spiking – some soaring by double digits in 2015 – companies are promoting healthier workplaces to help cut down on health-care claims. A Harvard University study, in fact, found that for every $1 invested in a corporate wellness program, companies could receive a $6 return on investment, a direct result of reduced medical costs and a drop in absenteeism.

Indeed, corporate wellness – which has evolved into an $8 billion industry according to IBISWorld – is clearly an important business strategy, impacting firms’ bottom lines, as well as employee productivity and culture. Promoting these initiatives, and enticing employees to participate is critical to their success.

The approach is proactive versus reactive, encouraging employees to take charge of their health and make positive changes, rather than waiting until they develop serious health problems, which are much more expensive and harder to correct. Promotional products are important tools that companies can use as perks, as well as effective items that will energize and motivate their workforces.

One large firm that features a wellness program for its employees is Aetna. Of Aetna’s 50,000 current employees, some 34,000 currently participate in its wellness programs, says communications director Ethan Slavin. About 40% of participants use a wearable device to log their healthy activities.

In addition to its year-round Healthy Lifestyles program, which uses cash incentives, Aetna also offers a “Get Active Aetna” initiative in the fall which is a team-based wellness challenge for employees. If they meet certain healthy activity requirements during this period, they have the opportunity to earn Aetna gear, like gym bags, yoga mats, water bottles and other apparel, or they can donate an equivalent to charity, Slavin says.

Incentives, no doubt, are key. “If there’s no incentive, the engagement level is low,” says Frank J. Grimm, a senior benefits adviser at LHD. “The most successful programs have multiple designs, which might be gift card programs, challenges that allow participants to enter drawings for gift cards or rewards, Web stores and promotional items. Sometimes something as simple as a water bottle gets employees excited.”

If you’re planning an employee wellness program, be sure to contact your distributor partner for expert service and the perfect promotional products to fit your needs.

DNC Donkey Scavenger Hunt Includes T-shirt Prize

A city-wide scavenger hunt planned this summer, to correspond with the Democratic National Convention (DNC) being held July 25-28 in Philadelphia, has proved a perfect opportunity for a promotional product tie-in. Some winners of the “Donkeys Around Town” hunt will win custom T-shirts to commemorate their participation in the event.

On July 1, 57 fiberglass donkeys were installed throughout the city, each painted by a local artist to represent one of the Democratic delegations coming to the convention at the end of the month. Artist Lynette Shelley, who painted the Missouri and Oklahoma donkeys, says she participated in the project because of its uniqueness and the challenge of selecting the most compelling state elements in her design.

“This project is a fun way to engage delegates coming to Philadelphia and will enable them to connect with Philadelphians and the local arts community,” said Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor and chairman of the 2016 DNC host committee.

To build excitement for the “Donkeys Around Town” public art installation, the committee is planning a scavenger hunt from July 21 to 28. After downloading the free app Scavify, available here, participants will be able to complete challenges at each of the donkeys they find across the city. According to the host committee, each donkey will have a corresponding interactive challenge that can be completed with the app. Participants will be asked to answer questions, check in via GPS or take fun photos to accumulate points toward prizes. They are also encouraged to share the experience via social media using the hashtag phrase #DonkeysAroundTown.

Each donkey will be worth 10 points, and prizes will be awarded based on a tiered system. Participants who find 15 donkeys, accumulating 150 points, will receive a commemorative Visit Philadelphia magnetic photo frame or an official T-shirt. In anticipation of the event, the host committee has printed 500 of the promotional tees, using a local custom screen-printing business, according to a spokesman for the DNC host committee. Other prizes include tickets to popular museums, complimentary cheesesteaks and a raffle ticket for a grand prize of either a two-night hotel stay and restaurant gift cards or a package of tickets to Philadelphia sporting events.

The grand prize drawing will take place July 29, and all prizes can be redeemed at the Independence Visitor Center at Sixth and Market streets. The donkeys themselves will remain in the city until Sept. 9.

WrestleMania Promos Take Over Texas

A week of BBQ and bodyslams has wrapped up as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) presented WrestleMania 32 – professional wrestling's annual promo-filled Super Bowl inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

An all-time WWE attendance record of 101,763 people from 50 states and 35 countries made the pilgrimage to witness their favorite athletes clash at the nearly seven-hour event. "On behalf of the Dallas Cowboys organization, we congratulate WWE on their historic achievement," said Dallas Cowboys Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Jones Anderson in a press release. "WrestleMania was an incredible spectacle like none other, and we look forward to hosting it again at AT&T Stadium."

WrestleMania 32 also became the highest-grossing live event in WWE history, grossing $17.3 million. The record was set last year, as WrestleMania 31 in Santa Clara, CA, grossed $12.6 million. It also generated $139 million in economic impact for the Santa Clara/San Jose area; $22 million of which was spent on hotels and accommodations. That's why cities bid on hosting the pop culture extravaganza each year – Orlando has been chosen over Philadelphia and Minneapolis to hold WrestleMania 33 next year.

"We are thrilled that we made history tonight at WrestleMania, further cementing its place as one of the top sports and entertainment events in the world," said WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon.

As soon as fans arrived at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport, they were greeted by WrestleMania signs and life-size WWE Superstar cutouts at baggage claim and rental car stations. Even the streets of downtown Dallas were plastered in WrestleMania banners showcasing top stars such as The Rock and John Cena. StubHub handed out free lanyards with plastic pouches to securely hold tickets to the event while fans scooped up hats, shirts, wristbands and posters emblazoned with the WrestleMania and WWE logos.

Throughout the week, fans mobbed the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas for WrestleMania Axxess, an annual fan fest with autograph signings, exhibits and merchandise. Snickers sponsored the event, giving out free candy bars and sharing clips through social media and YouTube. During the WrestleMania broadcast, an ad featured WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair and WWE Superstars Charlotte and Zack Ryder as part of the "You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign.

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