The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 13, 2011

‘Ambassadors’ help Enid shine

By Kasey Fowler, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID — New events created for the community add to the economy and spirit of Enid, according to officials with Eagle Marketing, which has worked with many local businesses and organizations to create around 30 of those new activities and events.

One of Eagle Marketing’s most recent successful events was Dachshund Dash, held to raise money for Enid Police Department’s purchase of a new canine. Eagle Marketing worked with Security National Bank, The Groom Closet and Chisholm Trail Expo Center on the event.

“We raised around $7,000 for a canine for the police. It was a fun atmosphere. I think we have the potential for a yearly event that has the potential to keep growing,” said Frank Baker, director of Eagle Marketing.

Another event debuting in 2010 was the eco-friendly GreEnid, held in conjunction with Enid Farmers Market.

“The event was huge. It was bigger than we even expected. We had everything from the city with information on recycling to bank employees who grilled organic vegetables,” Baker said.

One of Eagle Marketing’s favorite projects is a “classic” in Enid, Baker said.

Candy Cane Cash, is a huge annual event that grows each year, drawing thousands hoping to win a cash prize as a reward for shopping in Enid. Local merchants give tickets with purchases during the Christmas shopping season for the chance to win.

“It really gets the cash registers ringing. Why shop in Enid? If you shop in Enid, you can win money,” Baker said.

He said he hopes Eagle Marketing has had a positive influence on Enid.

“We have become incredibly successful at marketing. We are a for-profit company but virtually everything we do has a spin-off for the local economy,” Baker said. “We are trying to get good, fun events. We are trying to get Enid to be fun and a good destination for fun.”

One of those destinations has been Red Dirt Barbecue, which draws a crowd each spring. Judges and contestants come from multiple states.

“Last year, six states came to Enid. It is a great tourism event with contestants and judges coming in,” said Lynn Benkendorf, project coordinator for Eagle Marketing. “Our judges, 75 percent are from out of town. Several come back every year.

“It is also a great event to bring people into Enid’s downtown, not only locals but also from statewide and farther,” she said.

Last year the event raised more than $30,000 for five non-profit organizations.

“This year we are partnering with Enid Noon AMBUCS, with part of the proceeds to go to renovations to ABC Park. This event will help complete phase I of the renovations. They also use the luncheon to raise money for their AmTrykes,” Benkendorf said.

She said she hopes these events put Enid in a positive light.

“We really want to showcase Enid. We are ambassadors from Enid,” she said.

Cathy Nulph, marketing director with Eagle, said she is lucky to be able to apply her prior knowledge in cosmetology to events she has put together for Eagle Marketing.

“I’ve been lucky to do some makeover events. We get to showcase doctors, dentists, exercise places, clothing stores and cosmetologists,” Nulph said. “We’ve done LifeBalance at Serenity Springs. We brought in non-traditional ways to be healthy. We brought in a hypnotist, acupuncture and massage therapy.”

Nulph also helped plan Food for the Heart during Oakwood Mall’s Crazy Days.

“We brought in home-based businesses and non-profits. The mall was packed all the way to closing, and they were shopping,” she said. “Hopefully, this brings money back into Enid and gets people thinking about Enid.”

Amber Bailey, creative director for Eagle Marketing, has helped coordinate two parties in conjunction with Uncensored, a magazine geared to adults ages 18 to 25.

“At the launch party we had totes made up and filled with items from the community. We had live music and food. The turnout was really good. We had probably over 500 people at the launch party and 90 percent were in the target demographic,” she said.

The second party was at Felt Bird for the launch of the “Girlie” issue.

“We had custom fake tattoos made for everyone. We had free pink mustaches on a stick. We had live musicians. We probably saw around 400 people that night,” she said.

The next Uncensored party is April Fool’s Day.