June 13, 2013
Last Friday we had the opportunity to help Coca-Cola celebrate its “Open For Summer” campaign with a beach party at one of America’s iconic summer destination — the Jersey Shore. And yes, there was some fist pumping involved.
We had about 3,500 people join us at the Seaside Heights beach and boardwalk to help celebrate the first official day of summer with a number of activities including beach soccer and volleyball, corn hole, sandcastle building, a live DJ and a ton of prize giveaways. We even helped Coke hand out 2,000 soccer balls to encourage healthy, active living.
All in all, we had great consumer turnout, strong media coverage and, from what we overheard on the beach and boardwalk, it sounded like everyone had a lot of fun.
But it wasn’t until I stepped back from the day-to-day goings on that I realized what an incredible day we were a part of – it was an honor to help Coca-Cola and Seaside Heights celebrate such a monumental and deeply personal moment for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Despite what we all saw on TV, it’s a different experience to talk to the people who experienced the hurricane first hand. The destruction was devastating. Families were displaced for months, houses and buildings ruined, basic infrastructure destroyed (the things you take for granted like street lights, sidewalks, etc.) and anything left standing was plagued with water damage after upwards of five feet of water flooded the island.
People had to change their entire way of life and focus on rebuilding in time to save the city’s very reason for existence: summertime tourism at the shore. And while the area has come an incredibly long way since last October, a drive around town makes it evident there is a lot left to do. After eight months of rebuilding, the city and property owners are still hard at work.
It’s incredible to see everyone come together to pitch in and rebuild a city. And honestly, that’s my lasting impression of Seaside Heights and one of the many reasons why I love my job. While it’s fun (and a lot of work) to coordinate events, it’s even more incredible to work with a client like Coca-Cola: Committed to its biggest fans, customers and consumers on the Jersey Shore, many of whom are in their greatest time of need.
So, cheers to Seaside Heights and cheers to everyone helping restore the Jersey Shore. It was an incredible experience and I’m grateful to have been a small part of it.