Incentives In The Age Of Celebrity

By Malcolm Fleschner

Theme parks, theme music, theme restaurants – nowadays no matter where you go it themes…ah…seems that targeted branding has taken over every corporate endeavor imaginable. Sales incentive programs are no different. While there was a time when sales managers thought creating a theme around a sales contest sounded like an idea from planet Neptune, today themed incentives are de rigueur for all but the most stuck-in-the-mud sales organizations.

Developing a themed contest isn’t difficult, after all. The more common ones include a beach theme with a trip to a tropical locale as the prize or a golf theme that registers sales as shots under par en route to the ultimate prize of a new set of golf clubs or a weekend golf outing.

Today’s savvy sales managers also use theme-oriented communications to motivate participants. For the beach-themed contest, for example, a sales manager might hand out seashells to top performers during sales meetings or send bottles of suntan lotion to the participants’ homes as a reminder that a sun-filled vacation is within reach.

Now that these types of contests have become commonplace, however, some sales organizations are looking for something extra to spice up their themes by adding a new element: celebrity speakers. As the folks at All American Speakers note, celebrities bring an air of excitement that can help make any event unique.

So what’s the best way to incorporate a celebrity into a themed incentive program? For a sports-themed program you might bring in a retired Super Bowl-winning football player or an Olympic medalist to kick off the contest with a motivational speech about success in the athletic arena. Or if you want to motivate your sales staff to increase performance with a group golf outing, nothing beats the promise of the chance to take swings with a PGA or LPGA tour winner.

For the more adventurous, what about a reality TV show-themed contest? Popular reality shows such as Survivor, The Apprentice and The Amazing Race can work as great themes for nearly any incentive contest. Thanks to this growth industry there are many reality TV stars who can be brought in at a reasonable price to make your reality-themed contest truly special.

With a stable featuring 9,277 actors, comedians, reality TV stars, sports figures and other notable personalities, All American Speakers should be able to find the ideal celebrity to match your program’s needs and theme. For more information, visit or call (866) 785-2388.