Utley All-Star Animals
In 2008, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley and his wife Jennifer began hosting their flagship Utley All-Star Animals Casino Night and Silent Auction event to support the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In its first three years, this event has raised well over $600,000 for the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Etana Fund to Stop Cruelty Against Animals. As the sole organization in Philadelphia dedicated to fighting animal cruelty, the Etana Fund helps to prevent and protect against future abuse and neglect through its Humane Law Enforcement department, which investigates an average of seventeen cruelty cases per day. In 2011, the Utleys formed the Utley Foundation with the purpose of bringing awareness to the increasing epidemic of animal cruelty in the United States. Through this new foundation, Chase and Jennifer hope to educate the community about the proper treatment of animals and help fund non-profit organizations that are active in the fight against animal neglect, pain, and suffering. The Utleys will not only continue to support the Pennsylvania SPCA but also expand their efforts to the rest of the community, facilitated by the over $320,000 raised for the Utley Foundation at the 2011 All-Star Animals event.
The Utley All-Star Animals Casino Night is an invitation-only event that consistently attracts over 450 guests each year. Past attendees have included Phillies stars Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, and Carlos Ruiz. During this special night, guests enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, try their luck at craps, roulette, poker, and blackjack, and place bids at the silent auction on dining packages, fashion items, and unique dog statues designed and decorated by Phillies players and their wives.
Cashman & Associates was hired as the Public Relations agency for the Utley All-Star Animals event. Our main functions within this role are to promote the Casino Night in the media before, during, and after the event each year. Leading up to the event, Cashman was instrumental in obtaining sponsorships and donations for the event by mailing letters to prior sponsors that provided benefits and incentives for renewing their support. Additionally, we were able to utilize our extensive client base to form lasting relationships between certain clients and Utley All-Star Animals. For example, Bernie Robbins Fine Jewelers, Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, Dusk, and Stephen STARR Events have all donated to the Utley All-Star Animals event by providing raffle prizes and food.
To secure media coverage for the event and the Utleys’ efforts, Cashman & Associates created a press release and media alert that were distributed to local and regional media. Cashman & Associates also arranged pre-event interviews for Jennifer and Chase Utley to help spread the word about their efforts to help stop animal abuse. Pre-event interviews included but were not limited to:
- CBS 3 “Talk Philly”
- NBC 10 “The 10! Show”
- CBS 3 “Eyewitness News in the Morning”
In addition to pre-event interviews and coverage, Cashman & Associates secured placements about the upcoming Utley All-Star Animals Casino Night in Dan Gross’s popular gossip column, “Dan Around Town,” in the Philadelphia Daily News.
To secure night-of coverage for the event, Cashman & Associates hosted a red carpet arrival for media, inviting media to take photos of the players’ arrivals. In addition, we pre-arranged broadcast interviews for both Chase and Jennifer Utley. A professional photographer was hired to document the red carpet, as well as the food, gambling, raffles, and guests during the event. Photos from the red carpet were circulated in publications, including but not limited to:
- Philadelphia Style Magazine
- Philadelphia Magazine
- Philadelphia City Paper
- Philadelphia Inquirer’s I Magazine
Coverage of the event ran on Philly.com, who sent Dan Gross to interview Chase and Jennifer, along with other special guests like Roy Halladay and Jimmy Rollins. These videos were posted on Philly.com the following day as part of Gross’s local gossip column. Broadcast coverage from the event aired on local news stations, including but not limited to:
- MY PHL 17
- CBS 3
- NBC 10
- 6 ABC
- The CW 57
- FOX 29
- Comcast SportsNet
Finally, Cashman created individual gift bags for each guest that included Pennsylvania SPCA materials and Philadelphia Phillies and Chase Utley memorabilia to leave a lasting impression of the Utley All-Star Animals event and its cause.
Cashman & Associates is proud to be part of the Utley All-Star Animals event team. Our Public Relations and Special Events personnel have helped Chase and Jennifer Utley spread awareness of their fight to end animal abuse and gain donations to the Pennsylvania SPCA. With our services, Utley All-Star Animals has raised over $600,000 for the Pennsylvania SPCA and will raise even more for the fight against animal cruelty in the future.