Wounded Warriors are winners with Acosta initiative

The nation’s leading retailers and consumer brands have joined forces to benefit America’s veterans thanks to an innovative program developed by Acosta Sales and Marketing.

Beginning on Sept. 11 and running through Veterans Day on Nov. 11, a program called Believe in Heroes is designed to raise awareness of American veterans injured in service to their country and raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit group focused on helping injured veterans. Through the collaborative efforts of participating brands and retailers, the Believe in Heroes campaign is expected to raise as much as $4.5 million this year. Each brand who participates in the Believe in Heroes campaign offers a high value coupon in a special, free-standing insert to be circulated to 50 million households nationwide in Sunday, Nov. 4 newspapers.

The coupons don’t physically appear in the FSI, but rather those seeking to save money are directed to the Wounded Warrior Web site where the coupons can be downloaded. The FSI will appear as an oversize insert in the News America SmartSource coupon delivery vehicle. The approach is designed to generate traffic to the organization’s website and increase awareness of the group’s purpose.

As a provider of outsourced sales, marketing and retail merchandising services to many of the nation’s leading retailers and brands, Acosta occupies a unique position from which to create and execute such a broad-based program.

As Don Voss, EVP Acosta, explained, the Believe in Heroes program got its start three years ago when the former CEO of Acosta was out to dinner with his wife at a Jacksonville area restaurant. While the couple was waiting for their name to be called they struck up a conversation with an individual who was involved with the Wounded Warrior program.

“The timing was perfect because Acosta had been looking for a reason to rally the retail and CPG industry around an event or cause,” Voss said.

The company approached Winn-Dixie and the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) to launch the program in 2010 on a regional basis. The meaningful and timely cause drew a high level of support from brands and thanks to strong shopper activation the decision was made to roll the program out nationally last year. In 2011, Acosta enlisted more than 50 brands and 65 retailers, which enabled the program to generate $3.5 million for the Wounded Warrior Project.

“It was a phenomenal success story considering it was the first year for the event nationally,” Voss said.
This year, expectations are even higher with projections calling for $4.5 million to be raised.

“We are delighted with the success of this program and excited to be partnering with the Wounded Warrior Project because it is a great organization,” Voss said.


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