At its recent winter meeting, the Supreme Council approved a three-tier plan designed to support lodges and its members while raising the public profile of the Fraternity. The plan includes direct support to lodges that have suffered the loss of business during the COVID-19 pandemic; the introduction of a local marketing/promotional opportunity for individual lodges within their communities; and a national awareness campaign centered around NASCAR and driver Ross Chastain.
First, the Council committed up to $2 million towards pandemic relief grants to those lodges in need who were severely impacted by the COVID-19 shut-downs.
The first application period began in February and checks will be sent this week to 278 lodges which were approved for grants based on their need, fraternal record and cash reserves. The grants covered expenses such as mortgage payments, rent, utilities, insurance and taxes. Each lodge was evaluated based on its submitted application and grants were issued for amounts between $700 and $5,000. A second application period extends through March 10 as more lodges will have the opportunity to submit their requests, while those lodges that were not issued grants during the first round will be reevaluated again.
This pandemic relief program follows last May’s initial $1million + pandemic relief initiative that granted lodges as much as $5,000 each as COVID-19 was just starting to impact their business. As a result of this program, 369 lodges received funds to help pay needed expenses. Previously, the Supreme Council allocated $1 million per year since 2014 for lodges to apply for improvement/ infrastructure programs that would make lodges more appealing and comfortable for its current and prospective members. In total, the Council has dedicated over $9 million in grant money for our lodges during the past eight years.
Second, the Supreme Council has committed to funding another $500,000 beginning in May that allows lodges the ability to market themselves locally.
Funds may be used to promote the Moose during community events and public gatherings, such as festivals, minor league ball games, local races, and more. Funds can also be used for promotion at an event in the form of announcements, ads in programs, or even radio, newspaper or online advertisements. As part of the program, Moose International will provide display materials and signs, along with brochures and other handout materials that will help lodges raise their profiles locally.
The promotions will be tailored locally to events and activities within a lodge’s community, and lodges will be limited only by their own creativity. It is also anticipated that lodges within certain regions or areas also may work together on combined marketing activities meant to raise the profile of all fraternal units within a region.
More information about the program will be sent via Official Communications and on the Moose International website after May 1.
The third part of the plan is the extension of the NASCAR sponsorship, which promotes the Fraternity to a national audience and gets the Moose name out in front of potential members who know little about the organization and its missions.
The Moose will once again partner with NASCAR driver Ross Chastain and the Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) team to help promote the Fraternity throughout North America. Chastain, who flashed the Moose Fraternity logo during three NASCAR Xfinity Series races and one Cup Series race last year, has moved to the Cup Series full-time in 2021 as he races the CGR No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for the entire season.
The Moose will be the primary sponsor for four races during the current season, and an Associate Sponsor for a minimum of 18 additional races throughout the year. Further, the Moose will have a personal services agreement with Chastain, a member of Tice and the Shores Florida Moose Lodge 1297, for the entire season.
“Last year, the races we participated in averaged between 1,000,000-3,000,000 viewers each, and along with additional marketing with NASCAR online, we were able to at least triple the traffic on our website and social media sites,” Director General Scott Hart stated. “This was all done within a very short time frame in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, so as our lodges get back in business, we expect an even bigger impact in 2021.”
Members can root for Ross all season long, but especially during those races when the Moose is the primary car sponsor. Those races include the Drydene 400 at the Dover International Speedway on May 16; the FireKeepers Casino 400 at the Michigan International Speedway on August 22; the Federated Auto Parts 400 at the Richmond Raceway on September 11; and the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at the Bristol Motor Speedway on September 18. The last two races are part of the playoffs at the end of the NASCAR season, promising even larger audiences for the Moose.