A next-generation lottery promotion requires a next-generation communications strategy, and through its partnership with Alchemy3, the Texas Lottery has created the ideal program. The Lottery is collaborating with Alchemy3 and Space Perspective to offer an experience that’s truly out of this world: sending winners to the edge of space. However, every ambitious endeavor comes with its unique set of challenges. Given the Texas Lottery’s budgetary constraints, a widespread traditional advertising campaign is off the table. Instead, the lottery is planning a vigorous public relations (PR) initiative led by Alchemy3 and their PR firm, Pierpont. The goal is clear: a campaign so impactful that it reduces the need for normal advertising.
It’s a bold departure from the conventional. PR is usually reactive, addressing issues or combating negative publicity. It is rare to see it as the backbone of a major promotional campaign. But for the Texas Lottery, this prize is so unique it has the potential to set a new paradigm.
“We knew from the start that the opportunity for lottery winners to travel to space would be newsworthy,” says Jeffrey Schweig, President at Alchemy3. “When the Texas Lottery approached us to consider crafting a strategic PR plan to support the program, we jumped at the chance. We always strive to deliver ‘beyond the brand’ added value for our customers, and a strong PR component can do that job better than just about anything else. We’ll be looking for ways to build campaigns like this for as many programs as we can moving forward.”
To maximize the potential of this promotion, A3 created a four-phased PR strategy designed to ignite media interest and captivate audiences. It will use local PR experts, fantastic events, and iconic figures like veteran NASA astronaut and President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, Chris Cassidy to help generate earned media.
The Four Phases
Phase 1: All Systems Go (December 2023) – The journey begins with a carefully orchestrated launch sequence. Invitations are extended to media outlets and key stakeholders, generating anticipation. A press conference is being held at La Fleur’s Austin Conference on December 4-6 in Austin. The plan also includes targeting media in key Texas cities, such as Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, and the Rio Grande Valley for outreach. Additionally, a virtual media tour will engage reporters and influencers beyond those regions to expand the campaign’s reach.
Phase 2: Ignition Sequence Start (January-February 2024) – Seventy-five winners will be selected, through a series of drawings, in the first stage of the contest. Following each draw in early 2024, Alchemy3 will reach out to their media contacts to generate buzz. They will also focus on outreach specifically in each winner’s local media market. In cases where multiple winners come from significant markets, local event celebrations will foster community and shared enthusiasm. Feature stories will be pitched for winners benefiting from Texas Lottery proceeds.
Phase 3: Main Engine Start – All 75 winners and their guests will fly to Cape Canaveral, Florida, where they will enjoy accommodations at a space-themed Courtyard, a private concert, and a visit to the Kennedy Space Center. During this phase, Texas Lottery will draw the four grand prize winners, broadcasting the event via satellite media and the lottery’s social channels in real-time. Alchemy3 will also extend invitations to reporters from each major Texas market, allowing them to interview the winners and capture visuals for future stories.
Phase 4: Liftoff – The apex moment is the flight itself, which will be broadcast via satellite media and social platforms. Texas-based reporters from major markets will attend the launch. Alchemy3 will arrange pre-flight media tours of the Neptune Capsule, the luxurious spacecraft the winners will ride. On flight day, a satellite press conference will engage Texas broadcast media and social audiences, ensuring the venture resonates across the state and beyond. They will also encourage one winner to be their lottery influencer, providing live, periodic updates on the day they embark.
“It’s not every day that a program this rich in public relations content comes along,” says Ryan Mindell, Deputy Executive Director at the Texas Lottery. “This is a big story, with noteworthy milestones that can capture the imagination of our players and the general public for years. Through collaboration with our friends at Alchemy3, Space Perspective, and Pierpont Communications, we’ve created a PR roadmap that will keep this program relevant well into 2025.”
The synergy of in-state partnerships, targeted media outreach, influential figures, and well-timed efforts establishes the strategy as a groundbreaking venture in the realm of lottery promotions. In essence, the Texas Lottery, Alchemy3, and Space Perspective are offering an unparalleled opportunity matched with an unparalleled PR strategy. In an industry where every promotion shoots for the stars, this is the only one with a spaceship.