After starting her business in her Las Vegas home, entrepreneur Felicia Parker never thought she’d have the chance to have her brand plastered inside a $2 billion NFL stadium.
Parker will get that chance, in addition to other marketing assets totaling $100,000, as the winner of the Small Business Showcase put on by the Raiders and America First Credit Union.
“It’s a surreal moment,” Parker said inside Allegiant Stadium on Tuesday evening. “Even walking in the stadium now and seeing the Small Business Showcase up there, I thought ‘Oh man, that could be my business.’ And to know now that will be us and we’ll have that level of exposure, words can’t describe the trajectory it will have for our business.”
In addition to advertising inside Allegiant Stadium for the Raiders 2021 season, Any Occasion Baskets will also receive an ad in the Raiders game day program, radio spots and digital promotion, and tickets to a home game.
Parker thought her chances of winning the showcase were “one in a million.” Her chances improved after the field was whittled down to the seven finalists, including her, ahead of Tuesday.
“Small businesses, the lifeblood of the community, had an astonishingly tough year,” said Thayne Shaffer, president and CEO of America First Credit Union. “America First is honored to continue promoting and fostering entrepreneurship and proud to be part of the small-business journey.”
All Occasions Baskets offers customizable gift baskets for a variety of occasions. Parker said she does a ton of community-based work, which is one of the reasons she won. That included handing out free baskets when the pandemic hit and left the business with a mass of product, but few customers.
“So, we took a moment and decided that we were going to start giving back,” she said. “We started giving back to the frontline ER workers and just donating baskets and donating them from other businesses, to help other small businesses grow as well because so many businesses were impacted.”
Raiders President Marc Badain said the team is always looking for ways to help people in the community they live and play in, especially those who might not otherwise have the resources to grow and promote themselves.
“When we get involved in a charitable or philanthropic organization we can help raise the profile of that entity, maybe giving them attention they might not otherwise get,” Badain said. “This young lady will be able to showcase her business to all of our fans in the stadium and get a very substantial marketing package and hopefully it will amplify her business and become a pretty big success story.”
Parker said anyone who is thinking about starting a small business should do what it takes to make it happen.
“Chase that dream and that passion fearlessly,” she said. “Look, we’re in Allegiant Stadium and I started in my dining room with a thought of a pretty basket with a bow on it and here we are today.”
Contact Mick Akers at email@example.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.