The Daily Gimmick: Miller Lite Fantasy Football Draft Sweepstakes (TAP, MO, BUD)

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Gimmicks are always a big way to draw in new customers and to entice existing customers to buy more.  They often cost a company very little and can bring in large rewards.  Thursday’s ‘Daily Gimmick Award’ goes to Miller Lite, by tying in the Miller Lite Fantasy Draft, fantasy football, and a draft location at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

This gimmick comes via Miller Lite under a joint venture with Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP) and SAB Miller plc.  SAB Miller is partly owned by Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) as it held a 27.2% economic and voting interest in SABMiller as of June 30, 2010.

The gimmick: “On September 1, one lucky winner and nine of his friends will be flown to Dallas for two nights, where they will get to conduct their fantasy draft in the fully stocked Miller Lite suite at the state-of-the-art Cowboys Stadium.  They will enjoy all the amenities of the suite while arguing with their friends about who made the better QB pick for the upcoming season.”

The gimmick also give the winner and nine of his friends (can the winner not be a she?) an appearance from the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dance Team sponsored by Miller Lite, food, a two night stay in a hotel, ground transportation to Cowboys Stadium and $1,500 in spending money.

This is one of those gimmicks that may actually work. Wikipedia (use only as a very rough guess) claims that there were an estimated 27 million Americans playing fantasy football in 2009.  There are many magazines around fantasy football, and there are thousands of dedicated fan sites.  Miller Coors also gets to do this on the cheap.

A press release, a couple hundred bucks…  The $1,500 cash, the ten tickets is a guess at $500 per seat ($5,000), the hotel room at say $200 times five rooms times two nights ($2,000), ground transportation of say $500.00, paying a tech’s time to do the logo ($2,000) and to post on Facebook, and what may be just a trade in kind with Jerry Jones (say $10,000).  Not bad, potentially sell a few million Miller Lite beers for $21,000 plus whatever all those miscellaneous charges might be at the company level that are unknown.  Either way, this has to be under $100,000 total.

Will this be enough to bolster Miller Lite sales?  Maybe, maybe not.  It is unfortunately a one-time event.  Maybe Miller Lite should do these more often and by mailing in coupons inside Miller Lite cases each week for other Fantasy Football gimmicks each week.  Facebook lists “298,582 People Like This” as its fan count at the Miller Lite Taste Nation.

Maybe Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) can trump Miller here.  It could offer a slumber party with the Budweiser Girls…