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The Big Pay-Off: Rewarding Tween Behavior with Prizes, Perks and Rewards

Prizes, special benefits and rewards add excitement to your campaign and pay-off the anticipation of your campaign’s promise. Research shows that tweens value incentives and public recognition. Build an image of inclusive exclusivity by rewarding the physical activity of all tweens who participate (inclusive) with prizes and rewards that are just for VERB Scorecard participants (exclusivity).

Prizes and rewards also appeal to parents, who revealed in previous VERB Scorecard campaign focus groups that valuable prizes, like YMCA memberships, increased their willingness to support their children’s participation in the campaign.

 Prizes can be donated or purchased. Persuade partners/vendors that prize contributions are a good advertising opportunity by including their name or logo on VERB Scorecards and other promotional materials.

Campaign Incentives: What prizes, perks or rewards will you offer?

Most VERB Scorecard campaigns have offered small prizes for all tween participants as well as significant grand prizes for some participants. Small prizes for each tween who turns in a completed VERB Scorecard makes every child feel included and rewarded. Previous VERB Scorecard campaigns have awarded a limited number of valuable, appealing grand prizes by randomly selecting winners from all completed VERB Scorecards. Friendly competition for the limited number of grand prizes can motivate tweens to be more active.

Prizes also identify tweens after the campaign is over as a VERB Scorecard participant when they use their incentive prize in public – keeping the campaign buzz buzzing.

Of course, choosing prizes that reinforce physical activity makes sense. Video games and fast food coupons may be offered, but your planning team can decline prizes that don’t fit the VERB brand.

Special events (see page 19), classes or clinics just for VERB Scorecard holders are perks that bolster the inclusive exclusivity image for the tweens. Ask your partners/vendors to offer special hours or events just for VERB Scorecard holders. Recruit local high school or college athletes to conduct special classes or skills clinics.

The small prize distribution and grand prize drawing can be held at a grand finale event (see page 19) just for VERB Scorecard participants. Distribute small prizes to each tween as the completed VERB Scorecard is turned in. For the grand prize drawing, keep in mind that not every prize is desirable to every tween. It works well to let tweens pick the prize they want in the order in which their cards are drawn. For example, the first name drawn selects a prize from the grand prize list. The selected prize is crossed off the list, and the second name drawn picks from the remaining prizes, and so on.

If a culminating event isn’t included in your campaign design, there are several options that previous VERB Scorecard sites have used.

  • Hold the grand prize drawing with just representatives from your partner organizations present. Afterward, notify the winners and mail prizes.
  • Tweens can turn in their completed VERB Scorecards and receive their small prizes at some of the VERB Scorecard partner/vendor sites (libraries, schools and after school programs). Your planning team needs to stock their supply of small prizes beforehand, and collect the redeemed VERB Scorecards afterward.

Wolfe County, Kentucky distributed their prizes through the school classrooms that they targeted, with a prize awarded to the student in each class who had been the most physically active.

Suggestions for Perks, Small Prizes, and Grand Prizes

  • Meeting local celebs at VERB Scorecard events
  • Running the bases on a professional baseball field at grand finale event
  • Appearing on TV talk shows
  • Attendance at special active events
  • Being featured in promotional materials for the next year’s VERB Scorecard campaign
Small Prizes
  • Nylon sports bags
  • Water bottles
  • Flying discs
  • Awareness wristbands
  • Footbags (or HackeySacks®)
Grand Prizes
  • Autographed basketballs, footballs and baseballs
  • YMCA, Children’s Museum, fitness center and gym memberships
  • Taekwondo, gymnastics, tennis and dance class series
  • Private roller skating lessons
  • Week long summer camp admissions
  • Apple iPod®
  • Gift certificates from sporting good stores
  • Tennis shoes
  • Bike and scooters with helmets
  • Tennis rackets
  • Birthday party packages at skating rinks and bowling alleys
  • Inflatable jump rentals
  • Kayak rentals and kayak excursions
  • Golf greens fees
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Girl Scouts camping kits (sleeping bag, compass, mess kit)
  • Boy Scouts camping trips
  • Karate uniforms
  • Dance pads and Dance Dance Revolution®
  • Cases of bottled water
  • Caving expeditions

Contact Us:
  • Division of Adolescent and School Health
    4770 Buford Hwy NE
    MS K-29
    Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
    24 Hours/Every Day
  • Contact CDC-INFO
- The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO

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