How American Express Shared the Love with Small Gift Handouts


What do American Express and small businesses have in common? Great events. To jam-pack the holiday season with fun, American Express crafted an intuitive gifting campaign—surprising thousands of fans while leveraging its entire Shop Small platform. The event, itself, was all about putting small businesses first—sponsoring six different NBA teams while promoting holiday cheer.

The Shop Small for 2X Rewards Movement

American Express kicked off its event across six NBA games from November 10 to December 22. Their campaign, dubbed the Shop Small for 2X Rewards Movement, started at the HEAT’s Chicago Bulls game. The American Airlines Arena in Miami was a prime location for American Express’s reveal. Attendees were barraged with hundreds of customized T-shirts, which were ported directly from Peace Love World—a Miami retailer.

The Shop Small for 2X Rewards Movement didn’t stop there. American Express continued blasting fans until the Warriors game against the Celtics. At the event, American Express had a final huzzah by handing out 1,200 gift cards sourced from local businesses. On November 25, American hopped over to the Los Angeles Lakers game—offering another 1,500 sneaker wipes, gift cards and Lakers socks. This time, Blends—a local sneaker shop—was the benefactor.

Fast-Paced Giveaways

Among American Express’s big-time marketing initiatives, it’s fast-paced giveaways were certainly notable. It’s rare to see a competitive approach to swag handouts. That said, American Express’s presence at NBA games, in general, is telling. American Express distributed a recorded 22,000 candles at the Chicago Bulls game, representing 450 brand ambassadors in two minutes flat.

The historical experiential marketing moment might’ve been spearheaded by American Express, but the surrounding brands certainly had a say—and a massive presence. Local shop, Abbey Brown, was responsible for delivering the gifts. Once the campaign wrapped up, 250 Shop Small parachutes handed out another 2,000 wool gloves crafted by local Brooklyn merchants.

The Social Media Angle

No marketing outreach effort stands tall without a little social media support. In celebration of the event, American Express utilized its NBA partnership with Shaquile O’Neal to promote on Facebook and Twitter. Understandably, this approach was a good idea. The campaign, itself, was a prime example of American Express’s dedication to fan experiences.

Constantly encouraging credit holders to “shop small,” it isn’t strange to see American Express catapult an array of small-time gifts. Here, their targeting strategy is highlighted. American Express’s approach wasn’t about what was given—but how it was given. Card members are frequent amenity-lovers, and even a small marketing notion goes a long way. Marketing during a venue, certainly, is a unique angle. It’s entirely human, bringing products and services directly to the client’s level.

White Hot HEAT week 2016

Although the Miami Heat lost to the Toronto Raptors in game 7 on May 15, 2016, they started off the season with a bang!  The White Hot HEAT 2016 week began on Sunday April 10th, with a host of activities for all HEAT fans to enhance and enjoy more of their HEAT playoff experience. White Hot; the 2016 HEAT Playoffs presented by Miccosukee & Gaming, urges all HEAT fans to embrace their roles throughout the post-season by dressing in white. This is to support HEAT in all the daily activities, especially in its playoff games.  Many companies got into the spirit and participated in the weeks events as well. The weeks’ schedule was packed with activities for all ages!


April 10th- Fan Appreciation Night

At 6.00 pm

The week kicked off with a fan appreciation night at the AmericanAirlines Arena as the HEAT took on Orlando Magic in the final home game of the regular season. HEAT fans got the chance to win player-autographed memorabilia and HEAT giveaways among more.

April 11th- White Hot HEAT Playoffs car Decal event presented by Metro Signs Inc

6.00am -10.00am

If you stopped by the AmericanAirlines Arena during this time, fans got a free White Hot Heat window decal fitted on their rear windshield. Burnie, Heat dancers and the Xtreme Team will also present to take photographs.

April 12th- White Hot Heat road rally presented by Bacardi

6.30 pm

The first in a pair of seamless White Hot Heat road rallies got a chance to be at the Tarpon Bend in Ft. Lauderdale.  While there fans joined the Xtreme team, Miami HEAT dancers, In-Area host Uptown Dale, Michael Baiamonte, In-Arena Announcer and other HEAT fans and watch FOX Sports’ Sunday telecast of the HEAT playing the Detroit Pistons.

April 13th- XFINITY East Plaza White Hot Heat road rally presented by Bacardi

7.00 pm

Fans enjoyed the HEAT experience outdoors as White Hot Heat road rally took to the XFINITY East Plaza located on the AmericanAirlines Arena, and overlooking the beautiful Miami skyline. The festivities which included; delicious Bacardi drink specials, HEAT giveaways, and chances to win some HEAT playoff tickets.

April 14th-HEAT After Dark


The HEAT fans over 18 years got the chance to engage in the excitement of playing a pickup basketball game on the Miami HEAT hardwood, at the AmericanAirlines Arena. The event was hosted by the In-Arena Host as well as Uptown Dale, and fans enjoyed music, hoops and a special lighting along with entertainment from HEAT dancers, the Xtreme Team and Burnie. HEAT fans received a free HEAT t-shirt while supplies lasted.

April 15th- White Hot Heat Bar Crawl presented by Miller Lite


All the Miami Heat dancers, Burnie, Uptown Dale, and the Xtreme Team hit the streets on FOX Sports Sun HEAT Fan Express for a White Hot Heat bar crawl in the Wynwood area. Fans received giveaways and other fan kits from HEAT.

If you missed it check out @MiamiHeat on twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to see all the highlights of the week.

Miami Heat Presents It’s Hot in Here!

Who wouldn’t want to party with NBA champions? In April 2016, the season will be winding down in preparation for the playoffs, where viewers and season ticket holders will be ready and waiting. The Miami Heat presents It’s Hot in Here! event, where dedicated season ticket holders will personally meet and mingle with the team. This event will mirror a basketball court, complete with Heat dancers and cheerleaders dressed like the players. Varied dessert stations and food courts named after players, cupcakes in the shape of basketballs, and other food and drinks will provide the ultimate experience for those who love all things Miami Heat, and for those special visitors randomly selected to participate.

Highlights of winning championships and current games will be displayed on large rotating screens. Enjoy Heat karaoke with the players and other inclusive activities that break down the barriers between players and people. There’s something there for everyone – imagine a Heat carnival all in one place for season ticket holders and their families.

Sponsors and vendors will join the excitement with giveaways and special booths to say thanks throughout the event. Appearances from local and national celebrities, the entire front office, and former Heat notables will all be a part of the exclusive venue, such as Alonzo Mourning, James Posey, Shaquille O’Neal, Glen Rice, Tim Hardaway, Jamal Mashburn, PJ Brown, Eddie Jones, Gary Payton, Rony Seikaly, and Udonis Haslem. Personal autograph signings will be available for pre-purchased material and other items on sale at the event.

Standard tickets for the event start at $40, while VIP incentives starting at $60. Tickets are available through the Heat office, with additional tickets going on sale shortly thereafter through Ticketmaster.

The NBA’s regular season ends mid-April every year, and the NBA Playoffs begin, which run through the middle of June. The Miami Heat holds three season championship rings for the years 2006, 2012 and 2013, with Dwyane Wade as part of the dream team for all three championships, and Chris Bosh as part of the dream team for the last two.