Fitness boot camps are all the rage these days. At these grueling workouts, participants run sprints, flip tractor tires and strain through push-ups, all with a red-faced “drill sergeant” screaming in their face.
I experienced a different type of boot camp during my nine weeks of basic training in the U.S. Army. I remember my stereotypically loud drill sergeant repeatedly telling me to pay attention “because something you learn today may save your life someday.” So far, not much I learned in that basic training has saved my life, but I did learn a few important things. Whether at an Army base or in a gym, the goal in both of these boot camp programs is essentially the same: Work hard on the basics so that in the heat of battle, you’re better prepared.
The same philosophy is true for sweepstakes, contests, and other promotions. If you concentrate on the basics and ensure your promotions’ processes are correct and legal, then you’re in much better shape down the road when a problem crops up.
To that end, I will spend the first part of 2013 acting as your (much friendlier) drill sergeant in a series of posts we’re calling Sweepstakes Boot Camp. These posts will hone in on some basic elements of sweepstakes and contests, bring you up to speed on any new regulations or rules, and offer common-sense tips that you can use to review your own promotions processes.
Thompson Coburn Sweepstakes Law Boot Camp will probably not save your life, but it may someday save your sweepstakes or contest.
Some of the topics I plan to cover include:
- Photo and video contests
- Travel companions
- Travel prizes
- Scratch off cards
- Gift cards as prizes
- Protecting yourself from typos and other errors
- Canadian sweepstakes
- Customer-only sweepstakes
At the conclusion of the boot camp, I will post a short quiz that will be accompanied by a sweepstakes where you could win a fabulous military-themed prize
If you have any topics or questions you think deserve a few drills in the sweepstakes Boot Camp, please let me know
Grab your boots, sweepstakes soldiers. Ten-hut!
Dale Joerling is the chair of Thompson Coburn’s Advertising, Marketing and Promotion Law group. He is editorial director of the Sweepstakes Law Blog. You can reach Dale at (314) 552-6058 or firstname.lastname@example.org.