Linux Marketing Campaign Seeks $350k in 40 Days
Lobby4Linux announced an ambitious project to raise $350,000 or more to sponsor "Team Linux" with a big logo on the side of an Indy 500 race car. The Tux 500 project combines the efforts of volunteers at Lobby4Linux, Bob Moore, a visible GNU/Linux administrator, and Acceleration Marketing to sponsor the race car. If the group raises the money in 40 days to become a primary sponsor, the Linux name stands to reach millions of households. The Team Linux effort is not about marketing Red Hat or Novell to IT professionals; it is about making GNU/Linux a household name.
Contributors will be eligible for prizes, such as a trip for 2 to the race, pit passes, ipods and computers, depending on the contribution. Additionally, the project will be selling bumper stickers, t-shirts and coffee mugs to aid the fundraising effort. The project has a fall-back plan that involves lower-levels of sponsorship, but still significant recognition. For instance, a logo could grace the hood of a car, or smaller logos might be placed elsewhere on the car. If the project raises more than necessary, they will use the excess funds to make a bigger splash. Additionally, the project is being audited by members of the GNU/Linux media.
Historically, GNU/Linux has been marketed through word-of-mouth to end users, many of whom have never encountered GNU or Linux prior to a friend's introduction. The approach wins a handful of new users at a time when successful. The GNU/Linux community, however, needs to reach the masses. With no mass-marketing effort, the average computer user still doesn't know what GNU/Linux is, let alone to ask for it. Thus, major retailers use the excuse of no demand to reject requests for computers with GNU/Linux pre-installed. Since vendors are not willing to give people a choice, it is imperative that the GNU/Linux community reach beyond word-of-mouth advertising.
So far, the community reaction at LXer.com has been enthusiastic, with LXer readers offering suggestions for bumper stickers, t-shirts and other individual-level contribution ideas. If the idea catches on with corporate sponsors and individuals alike, at least 5.5 million television viewers - not counting print media audiences - could be seeing Team Linux on the Indy 500 track. That kind of audience could prove a boon to computer retailers, including Dell and HP, selling GNU/Linux pre-installed. Corporate players typically look out for themselves, and the larger community of around 30-40 million GNU/Linux users will need to pitch in. All that's needed is less than a $1.50 from 350,000 community members.
The importance of a good marketing campaign cannot be understated. Firefox realized its greatest marketshare gains in the wake of its first major advertising campaign - also undertaken largely by the Mozilla community. Although the Tux 500 team is hopeful that major corporate players in the GNU/Linux community will pitch in, it could, theoretically, succeed on the one-dollar (actually, $1.34 for Paypal donations) contributions of 350,000 community members. However the community plans to support the project, they'll need to get started soon. They have 40 days to meet the goal.
|Subject||Topic Starter||Replies||Views||Last Post|
|Make it Champ Car sponship and I'll donate $100||TOP2percent||28||3,469||Apr 20, 2007 6:27 AM|
|But Why?||stevem||40||2,540||Apr 18, 2007 7:55 AM|
|So WRONG! Thanks, but no thanks.||magicfab||38||2,754||Apr 15, 2007 7:30 AM|
|You may be a redneck if...||cubrewer||2||2,123||Apr 13, 2007 7:12 AM|
|Supplimental Advertising||theboomboomcars||7||2,053||Apr 12, 2007 2:51 PM|
|... Or 3500 OLPCs instead ?||stephanfeb||3||1,933||Apr 12, 2007 7:56 AM|
|Thank you Don||helios||32||4,680||Apr 12, 2007 6:46 AM|
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