Three years ago Val and Mike Wilson, a husband and wife team from New Hampshire, and owners of a promotional gifts business, called Off-The-Wall Gifts, created the S.W.A.G. Bag for various National Academy of Television Science and Arts awards shows.
Tasked with developing a sponsorship concept for the Academy, the Wilsons’ came up with the idea for the bag as a tool to raise funds for the non profit.
The bag also provided a way to provide a gift for audience members of the Academy’s various awards shows and gave small businesses the opportunity to position themselves in front of a national audience, major television executives and celebrities.
“We were seeking a way to create a “win-win” for everybody,” says Val Wilson, whose company also provides product placement for The Today Show on NBC.
Compiled of up to 30 different products, swag bags are given to award recipients, presenters and audience members at the Daytime Emmy, Sports Emmy and News and Documentary Emmy awards shows.
Wilson and her husband consider the bag a way to ‘pay it forward’ by giving small business owners, like themselves, an opportunity to gain valuable exposure to entertainment industry executives, celebrities and others, who might have an impact somewhere down the road in providing greater exposure for their products.
Throughout the year, a team of researchers conducts independent searches for unique products and also accept submissions from business owners seeking to nab a coveted spot in the swag bag.
“What we look for are items that will complement an awards show’s image, and right off, the name Poparazzi’s fit the bill for a red carpet national awards show, says Wilson.
Researchers scour the Internet and use other sources to select products to go in the swag bag.
Submissions also are accepted from small business owners from across the U.S. Business that are emerging and seem to have growth potential are selected by researchers to be included in the bag. Finalists undergo a personal interview to assess the quality and uniqueness of their product and brand.
Some past S.W.A.G. bag items have included:
• Gourmet treats, chocolates, pretzels and candies
• Cosmetic products
• Custom-made handbags
This year, the bag will include Poparazzi’s Gourmet Popcorn.
For more information: visit www.offthewallideas.com or send an e-mail inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Producer of the Official Emmy Gift Bags and Talent Lounge.