Arena Takes Golden Promo Cue From 'Willy Wonka'

Mention Willy Wonka or his chocolate factory and chances are, you'll encounter children and adults alike with fond memories of Oompa Loompas, Violet Beauregarde and Veruca Salt.

Combine social media with golden tickets hidden in chocolate bars and you have a daylong campaign executed last week in Boston.

Boston's TD Banknorth Garden, home to the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins, was officially renamed TD Garden on July 16.

To celebrate the venue's new moniker, the TD Garden Golden Ticket Giveaway was launched. The promotion, executed in-house, began at noon July 16.

A whopping 19,600 chocolate bars were distributed, one for each seat in the arena, with five holding golden tickets.

One grand-prize winner will receive a pair of season tickets to every single TD Garden event for the 2009-2010 season. That's every Celtics, Bruins and Blazers game, not to mention any concerts and family shows the arena hosts. The winning seats will vary depending on event. The value of the grand prize is $22,606, more than $19,600, which I initially guessed. And I'm sure that the grand-prize winner won't feasibly make every single game/concert won, so there's always room to increase that value by reselling tickets. Remaining golden ticket holders receive a Bruins/Celtics 10 game pack and $500 in Garden Gold.

The promotion was advertised through print ads, radio spots, online at, Facebook, Twitter and via the arena's email "Insiders" club.

The chocolate bars were free, and each person was entitled to one chocolate bar, except for "Insiders" members who participated in TD Garden's social media program. They were allowed two candy bars. In addition, radio promotion winners were entitled to more than one bar.

Candy was distributed at TD Garden and 24 TD Banknorth branch locations.

The TD Garden Web site listed the bank locations, but followers on Twitter were given real-time updates when branches ran out of candy, when golden tickets were found, and which Boston Bruins players would be at TD Garden during the giveaway.

So how long does it take to distribute 19,600 candy bars? Try less than three hours.

A total of 900 prizes were hidden in total, including sport and concert tickets, Garden Gold cards, TD Banknorth Visa Gift Cards and discounts to the Boston Bruins ProShop.

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