A scratch-ticket game featuring the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s golf course may have been a stroke of marketing genius.
“Go for the Green” is giving the resort advertising that money alone couldn’t buy. And, in its first week, it’s brought the Idaho Lottery a windfall of sales.
“It outsold the bingo game, which is the most popular ticket. That sold 62,000,” said lottery marketing director Rick Calinsky. “We’re very pleased with it.”
Calinsky and lottery sales director Pat Reilly came up with the idea for the lottery’s first partnership with private enterprise. They approached the resort owner, the Hagadone Corp., with the idea of a golf game.
The lottery got a new game that appealed to what Calinsky calls “upscale enthusiasts.”
Those more well-to-do players liked the extra value of the game, Calinsky said. Players get a shot at winning three-day vacation packages at the resort in addition to one of three $18,000 top prizes (for those who score holes in one).
As of Wednesday, no one had claimed a top prize.
The lottery printed 1.5 million “Go for the Green” tickets, which are sold at 1,100 locations.
In return for the advertising, the Hagadone Corp. is providing the 10 vacation packages, valued at up to $1,500 each, Calinsky said.
It’s too early too tell if the resort is reaping any direct benefit from the deal, but “it certainly is getting a lot of exposure,” said Steve Wheeler, marketing director for the Hagadone Creative Group. “That’s the beautiful part of it.”
The ticket is selling well around the state, Calinsky said.
“People (in the Panhandle) like the idea because we’re supporting North Idaho,” he said. “People in Twin Falls either have been to Coeur d’Alene and want to go back, or just want to see it.”
Calinsky said he’s eager to promote other Idaho destinations in the same way. Also in the works is a special Christmas-season ticket, which will feature the work of a prominent Sun Valley artist.
“We’re going to offer original artwork as one of the prize levels.”
The Idaho lottery, which celebrated its eighth anniversary last Saturday, brought in $19.5 million in the past year. Proceeds benefit public schools and the state’s Permanent Building Fund.