Texas Hold 'em - Houston Style

Promotional Items

In 2014, the Houston Airport System's Air Service Development Team embarked on a complete refresh of its promotional item strategy. The group created the 2014/2015 program, targeted to air service decision makers, with the goal of making a unique and lasting impression on our partner carriers. This program, capped with our flagship “Texas Hold’em” poker set, emphasized fun while paying homage to the strengths of our community and state.

Items were presented at or after various conferences and industry events. To lessen the burden to network planners and other stakeholders, we made a focused effort to ship bulkier items directly to individuals. This allowed for an additional “touch point” and resulted in increased communication with both existing and potential partner carriers.
The final product features airport-themed, hand-illustrated king, queen, jack, and joker cards, as well as custom designed card fronts that align with recently rebranded marketing presentations.

This was all packaged in a uniquely-branded poker travel case that featured the Houston Airports logo on the outside of the case, a fully-designed instructional guide on how to play “Texas Hold’em” and custom-branded poker chips. All elements of the poker set were designed to look visually intriguing while adhering to our visual branding and culture.
An optional USB memory stick containing any presentations or data can be placed inside the set as a meeting follow up.

Entry Statement

1. Project Goals: 

Prior promotional campaigns within air service development had been predominantly geared towards mass exposure to our brand. Thousands of items carrying our logo were disseminated at large industry events in an effort to raise overall awareness of HAS. Given the small nature of the air service development community, we determined that a targeted marketing approach would be more effective. The goal of the new program was to make a lasting positive impression on a select group of people through unique promotional items.
This new approach aimed to create sought-after items to drive increased communication and positive association with the brand. The items would also recognize the stakeholder importance and better reflect the large local investments that these stakeholders undertake with new service.

2. Production: 

The complete program was a collaborative effort between the HAS Air Service Development team and Spotlight Creative. Spotlight Creative is a local Houston-based, City of Houston Certified Woman Business Enterprise, and is a full service national branding, design and marketing agency. They were instrumental in the creative design and production of items.
The concept of the flagship “Texas Hold’em” poker set was derived from the need for Texas-themed items that were easy to travel with (or ship) while being completely different from anything we had seen others do. What started out as a custom deck of “Texas Hold’em” playing cards, quickly grew into a full poker set that is fully branded and easily recognizable.

3. Evaluation: 

Extremely positive would be an understatement. It seems best to share some of the email quotes we’ve received.
“Huge thank you for the poker set!”
“Thank you so much for the wonderful poker set that was delivered today to my new office!”
“Aaaaah, the poker sets just arrived - thank you!!!! Very cool. Now I’ll have to learn how to play poker.”
“Thank you very much for our poker sets, very cool!”
“A really cool gift popped up at my door. This thing is very awesome! I’m so excited to use this.”
“We had a great party last weekend playing IAH Texas hold’em.”
The reactions to the uniqueness of the promotional item, coupled with receiving it delivered days after a meeting, have been extremely positive. It truly benefits us in the period after a major conference when network planners and other key stakeholders are inundated with tasks and follow up items.

4. Budget: 

The costs associated with the “Texas Hold’em” poker set, including the cost for the creative design, production, work hours and shipping are as follows:
500 Custom Playing Card Decks and Boxes: $5,427.00
100 Custom Poker Sets: $8,839.31
500 Custom Poker ‘Rules and Regulations’ Cards: $594.34
Total Cost: $14,860.65
This complete order furnished 100 complete Texas Hold’em poker sets (case, chips, cards, and rules), and an additional 300 custom playing cards, and 400 rules cards.