For a fixed fee, SCA figures the odds of a winner and secures prize coverage. Marketers enjoy the visibility of oversized prizes, without assuming outlandish risk. SCA must satisfy three audiences when designing contests. Clients want motivated consumers and predictable budgets. Consumers need a believable shot at winning. SCA's risk partners need acceptable odds and game-process security to underwrite a contest.
"When SCA asked Berkshire Hathaway to underwrite a billion-dollar-prize promotion for Pepsi, I told them they had come to the right place, because," said Warren Buffett, "if there is a winner, our check will clear. I'm glad we were able to get the deal done."
The mathematical mind figuring the odds and rating the risks belongs to Robert D. Hamman, ten-time world bridge champion and founder of SCA. "Demand for oversized prizes is increasing as companies seek non-traditional methods to rise above the clutter and achieve brand awareness," explains Hamman.
Pepsi is one of a number of marketers going beyond TV advertising to embed brands in the texture of a show. "We wanted a fun promotion for consumers and high drama for our brand," said Dave Burwick, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Pepsi-Cola North America. "We hope to award the largest prize in game show history and we knew SCA had the experience and backing to cover a billion-dollar prize."
SCA will help Pepsi design the game and ensure the integrity of the consumer entry and selection process. On May 1, consumers began entering codes from under caps of specially marked Pepsi products, at www.billionsweeps.com, or by mail. Pepsi will pick 1,000 contestants at random over the summer to compete live for the guaranteed $1 million. The million-dollar winner then has a shot at the billion-dollar prize. There is a one-in-1000 chance the $1 billion will be awarded.
Pepsi also chose SCA for over-redemption coverage, for protection should an unexpectedly high number of consumers redeem the one million possible $15 instant win prizes.
In 1986, when managing his own insurance brokerage firm, Hamman was asked to underwrite a hole-in-one contest. "After years of insuring acts of nature, I liked the challenge of analyzing a created risk," he said. So, he started SCA. The company has grown from $100,000 to more than $35 million in sales, and has covered more than $12 billion in jackpots and paid out in excess of $96 million in claims.
SCA indemnifies contest sponsors against all kinds of propositions. During the Taco Bell "Think Outside the Park" event surrounding the 2002 World Series, SCA covered the leading Mexican QSR (quick service restaurant) chain's offer of a free taco for every U.S. resident if any batter made a home run which hit a 15-foot floating target in San Francisco's McCovey Cove. Taco Bell achieved over four billion brand gross impressions from media coverage. The Price is Right attracted new viewers during the February 2003 "Million Dollar Spectacular" special after upgrading its $10,000 wheel spin to $1 million, covered by SCA.
SCA has also covered other Pepsi brand-marketing programs: over redemption for its Pop Culture bottle cap promotion, and race-win incentives for its Nascar driver, Jeff Gordon.
SCA has covered lottery and casino jackpots, scratch-and-win games, radio and television contests, and direct mail, Internet and sports promotions. Clients include Grab.com (its first billion-dollar promotion), Coors Brewing Company, Hershey's, General Mills, AT&T, American Express, Sony and Cumulus Media. Contact SCA at 888-860-3700, or visit www.scapromotions.com.SCA case studies, past winners and photographs are available: www.scapromotions.com/press