Silicon Valley Fun: Who are You Rooting for to Win the Super Bowl?

UPDATE: Final Results and Congrats to our Winner Kelly!

Below are the results of the poll!

Super Bowl Poll Results

We picked a random participant using Random.org and the winner is Kelly P.!


Schipul California

The Big Game is on Sunday and whether you’re in it for the football, the commercials, or the real-life drama of two brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl for the first time ever… over 100 million of us will be watching (111.3 million last year set a new record!).

In support of our Silicon Valley California Office we are pulling for the San Francisco 49ers in the big game on Sunday – And we want to know who you are rooting for!

Crave Houston football cupcakes

Who will you be rooting for in the Super Bowl Sunday?

Vote in our poll and we’ll send one participant something sweet!

Vote before 5 PM Central time on Thursday January 31. We’ll pick a random poll participant and send you something sweet – if you’re in Houston we’ll send you cupcakes from Crave in your team’s colors!

Thanks and happy voting!

Client Spotlight on Reliant Park – Share Your Favorite Memory & Win!

The Client Spotlight Series

Beginning this week, Schipul will be starting a spotlight series for our amazing clients. The series will highlight a different client each week on Facebook, and will include a monthly blog post dedicated to showing off one amazing client! This post is dedicated to Reliant Park and all the great things they’ve done for the Houston community.

The Contest!

Schipul will be giving away 2 free tickets to a Houston Texans preseason game! To be considered eligible, simply comment on this blog post or on this post on our Facebook page  with your favorite story about Reliant Park. You can write an entire novel, or just 2-3 sentences, but either way Schipul wants to hear about it!

Don’t wait too late because the contest ends at noon CST on June 15. All participants before this date will be entered into a random drawing for the tickets. Read on for some examples of Reliant Park stories from the Schipulites. Good luck!

Let’s take a trip to Reliant Park

So much History

Reliant Park needs no introduction to the Houston community, but for the rest of the world: it’s Houston’s largest entertainment venue. Reliant Park holds 5 large venues including Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL Houston Texans, and the Astrodome, the old home of the Houston Astros and Houston Oilers. The park is famous for hosting the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Houston, Wrestlemania, and countless concerts from the world’s biggest musical artists.

A few of Reliant Park’s many notable claims to fame include building the NFL’s first retractable roof stadium with Reliant Stadium, the Astrodome, being the first domed structure of its size, and the city’s METRORail station stop in the park that allows for cheap and easy transportation for site visitors. The park is also known for Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction at the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII, and for giving shelter to thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims while they pieced their lives back together.

Our work with Reliant Park

Schipul has been working with Reliant Park since developing their website in 2005. In 2011, Schipul began a new redesign project with Reliant Park to update the website design to reflect the park’s new branding. It was also important to Reliant Park to have a CMS that had content-adding friendly functionality that would include interactive maps with directions for parking, an extensive event calendar with search capability, and an array of rich media addition options to document all of their events.

Knowing that image means everything to an entertainment venue, the Schipul design team submitted multiple designs  for the Reliant Park team. With the help of both teams, they were able to produce a functional, media-rich website that truly reflects the new Reliant Park branding. This 6-year business relationship has been maintained through Schipul’s commitment to customer service, and both company’s outstanding communication lines.

Check out the newest Reliant Park website!

Fond Memories of Reliant Park from the Schipulites

After sending out an office email asking my co-workers to send me their favorite memory of Reliant Park, I was surprised to receive a quick response from a large amount of  the office. The people of Houston absolutely love Reliant Park and have all had some experience there that they will never forget. Here are some of our stories:

Caitlin Kaluza, Marketing Manager

We definitely have a large Aggie following in the Schipul office, starting with our CEO, Ed Schipul. Caitlin is one of the zealous office Aggie alumni. Her favorite memory of Reliant Park is “having a blast” while watching her fighting Texas Aggies in last year’s Meineke Car Care Bowl in Reliant Stadium. The Aggies were able to pull out their first bowl victory since 2001, with a score of 33-22 over Northwestern.

Courtney Pemberton, Business Development Manager

Courtney is one of the few and proud Dallas Cowboys fans in the office. She was able to buy tickets to the Houston Texans’ and Dallas Cowboy’s game in the 2010 NFL season as a birthday gift for her boyfriend who is a Texan fan. Fortunately for Courtney, the Dallas Cowboys managed to defeat the Texans that day with a score of 27-13.  “It was glorious”, says Courtney. She also asks that you refrain from looking at her while you look at her picture.

Rachel Schipul, Consultant

Rachel loves the annual Nutcracker Market. She calls it “a little slice of Texas Christmas heaven”. Every year she and a close friend go through all the food and boutique booths. “Somehow my friend always ends up purchasing some very large physical object that we end up lugging all the way back to the car. Last year it was an ottoman!”

Ed Schipul, CEO

Ed is a known Reliant Park fan who has attended countless events: anything from WWF to dog shows. He most frequently visits Reliant Stadium to watch his Houston Texans. One of Ed’s many hobbies is photography. Check out some of his favorite pictures from Reliant Park on Ed’s Flickr account.

Forrest Purser, Support Team

Of all the times Forrest has been to Reliant Park, his favorite memory is graduating in the Reliant Stadium. Forrest was amazed walking around the ground level of the stadium and walking through the tunnels. He  “wondered who else had walked this same walk”. He still says that it can never replace the AstroDome as his favorite piece of Reliant Park history.

Sarah Worthy, Tendenci Community Manager

Sarah has been to so many Reliant Park events, from the Houston annual Rodeo to NCAA Championship games and trade shows; she’s done it all. Her best memories of Reliant Park are taking her son the the circus, and to see his pure joy from the train ride to the circus.

Sarah specifically appreciates Reliant Park’s wide array of vendors and the decongested ride into the park on the city’s MetroRail.

Check out more of Sarah’s circus photos on her Flickr account.

Dharol Tankersley, Data Analyst

Dharol is a season ticket holder to the Houston Texan games, and has also been to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo several times. She enjoys the cleanliness, the cowboy statue, the open dome, and the ability to take the metro there on gamedays. Dharol’s favorite memory is the “unmatched energy” of the Texan fans all the way through the last minutes of fourth quarter last season when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Katrina Esco, Account Executive

Katrina visited Reliant Park to see John Legend at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last year. She went with Schipul co-workers Cindi Crigler and Rodney Sabrsula. She loved the carnival, the concert, and how helpful the Reliant staff were. She described it as a “great experience.”

Share Your Favorite Reliant Park Memory & Win!

Now it’s your turn – share your favorite Reliant Park memory in the comments or on this post on our Facebook page to win two tickets (& a parking pass) to the first Houston Texans pre-season game Saturday August 15 vs. the San Francisco 49ers! We will randomly select a winner at noon central time on June 15th.

Book Give-Away: Greater Than Yourself

Update: We Have a WINNER!

Happy Thanksgiving folks! I hope that you have a wonderful Holiday. Thanks to all the folks who shared their comments about being inspired.

Now onto the important FREE Book thing – we dropped the names in the magical internet hat at www.Random.org and Jim Struck has won the Schipul Thanksgiving Book-Away! We will be sending over a copy of Greater Than Yourself: The Ultimate Lesson of True Leadership. Congrats Jim! We would love to hear your thoughts on the book once you get a chance to read it.

Thanx again everyone for sharing – now…  go eat some Turkey!

***

It’s November again in Schipul-land (well, it’s really November everywhere else too, but is makes for a good opener) … and we are once again focusing on thankfulness. This November we are celebrating the sources of our inspirations… those people, quote, movies, books, etc. that have influenced us, motivated us, inspired us to do bigger, better, awesomer things.

To celebrate our celebration of inspiration we have a super special giveaway!

While our blog posts are sharing those things that have helped us get farther down the road of life, we want to give away a copy of book that focuses on how we can all give to someone else – to inspire them, help them grow, lift them up, guide them through the obstacles of the work place, or community space, or fill-in-the-blank space.

Greater Than Yourself
Greater Than Yourself

Greater Than Yourself: The Ultimate Lesson of True Leadership is a book devoted the idea that the goal of genuine leader is to help others. To help those around us become more capable, confident, and accomplished than we are. That’s right… a leader’s goal is help the people we lead to be Greater Than Ourselves.

“Real leadership, in other words, is an extreme act rooted in love and motivated by a desire to create a better world – whether it’s the world of your company, team, neighborhood, or family.”

Written using the now very popular allegorical form, Greater Than Yourself wraps the three tenets of Greater Than Yourself – Expand Yourself, Give Yourself, and Replicate Yourself – inside a fictional narrative. We follow the main character on his journey towards understanding and embracing the “GTY” way of life.  The book is a short and sweet read… ending with a perfectly useful recap of the steps to the Greater Than Yourself philosophy. It strips out the entire story and gives you the guidance you need to embark on your “GTY” way of life. The book is also supported by a vast and active online community at www.greaterthanyourself.com

My favorite quote of all time, the one that keeps inspiring me over and over again is the Marianne Williamson quote stating, “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” It will come as no surprise then that one of my favorite quotes from this book is right in line with this idea…

“One tricky part of a Greater Than Yourself project is that you cannot truly give in a worthwhile way to those around you without accepting within yourself the qualities the program emphasizes. You must be willing to expand yourself, to give your abilities to another, to tap into the greatness inherent not only in you, but it those around you.”

So – we want to inspire you! We want to inspire you to inspire others! We want to give you a copy of “Greater Than Yourself.”

How do you win this amazing book? Glad you asked:

  1. Leave a comment below – who or what has been a source of inspiration in your life?
  2. That’s it!

We will pick a winner using the random integer generator on Wednesday, November 24th.

PS –Be sure to let us know a good way to contact you when you win!

I Am Waters Needs Your Vote!

Have you ever thought about how easy it is to get a glass of water? There is tap water, bottled water, filtered water…all conveniently available within the comfort of your own home. It is so accessible that we almost take this basic necessity for granted – a basic necessity that is a key component to our everyday survival.

So what  about those who live without clean drinking water? You see them every day and more often than not, glance towards the other window in hopes of a red light turning green.

One woman not only stopped to take a deeper look, but realized the hope and inspiration a simple bottle of water could bring to those less fortunate…thus, creating the I Am Waters Foundation.

“I knew I needed to “Bring water to the homeless” and not just any water, but water with special messages delivered by powerful words such as Love, Faith, Gratitude, and Peace. These words may be the only source of inspiration for a person on the street. My goal is to fill the hearts, minds, and bodies of all of the women, children, and men who don’t have access to life’s most basic necessities.”

-Founder, Elena Davis

Elena Davis is quite a remarkable woman in the fact that it’s not just about the water…it’s about giving the homeless inspiration to succeed in life. It’s about sharing the real-life stories and the trials of day-to-day obstacles. It’s about Steven Higgins realizing his potential through one single photo…

This is the cognition of our world and it is refreshing to see a movement for revitalization.

So how can you help “bring physical and spiritual hydration to the homeless?”

Please vote for the I Am Waters Foundation in the Pepsi Refresh Project contest – rewarding $250,000 in grants to those who are creating a positive impact in their community. If I Am Waters receives the funding, they would be able to extend their efforts in order to bring a human face to the homelessness problem in America, deliver water to American’s homeless, and revitalize the homeless with messages of inspiration.

Voting ends February 28th!

To find out more information about the I Am Waters Foundation, connect with them through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

*The I Am Waters Foundation is one of Schipul’s newest clients and we are absolutely thrilled to be working with Elena!

Schipul Cheer ’09 Contest Winner!

Merry Christmas! Well, almost Merry Christmas. A big thanks to all of the people who entered our Schipul Cheer ’09 contest. Most entries came in via Twitter which was both awesome and huge time suck for me.

Our lucky winner was picked by our random integer counter is the victory goes to entrant number 13, aka CosmoPolitician, aka Monica Danna! So kudos to her and we really hope she enjoys her spoils.

What did she get? A slew of stuff. Some books, a few toys, maybe some free coffee. We still want her to be surprised when she gets the stuff, so details will have to come from her.

Again, thanks to everyone who participated! We had a lot of fun looking at trees – even the hand drawn ones. This certainly won’t be the last contest I run, so make sure you stick around.

Oh, and here is Monica’s tree:

Full of Christmas spirit!
Full of Christmas spirit!

Schipul Cheer – Super Awesome Contest Time!

schipul-cheer

In case you missed the memo, we will be releasing a series of gift guides this month. Last week we went over gifts to get for geeks and gamers and this week we will list out some items for those artsy types.

BUT WAIT!

You didn’t think that I would write a series of posts without having a sweet contest extravaganza to go with it, did you? It is Christmas time, yo!

Starting immediately, we are going to have the first official Schipul Cheer contest! And yes, winning will be just as easy as every other contest I have done. So yeah, lets break this down and get to deckin’ halls with good tidings and some pimped out joy and stuff.

HOW TO WIN:

Super easy. Ready?

  • Take a picture of your Christmas tree.

That’s it! Take a photo and post it in our comments section of this post, any of the Schipul Cheer Gift Guide posts, –OR– our new thing, post it to Twitter with the tag #schipulcheer09!

PRIZE(S):

Psyche! It is CHRISTMAS, geeze. You cant know what we are getting you. But yeah, I guess I can give you this hint: Some of the items (yes, more than one thing) are hidden within the Schipul Cheer Gift Guide lists. That’s right, you have the chance to win something rad from those lists.

But it isn’t that $200 robot so don’t ask.

DEADLINES:

  • Contest starts December 7th and runs until the 17th!

We will take all of the photos and run them through our random integer counter thing of magic and randomly select a winner. One entry per person.

So what are you waiting for? Show me some trees! And seriously, someone needs to remove the exclamation point from my keyboard.

New Rules for Facebook Contests

Earlier this month, Facebook announced a new set of promotional guidelines for running contests through Facebook. There are a lot of don’ts on this list – including things that were previously common practice to build fans and get people talking about your brand. Here’s the rundown on the new rules.

Facebook, changing things up once againThe Basics

  • You can’t ask someone to create Facebook content to enter (unless it’s through a third party app)
  • You must have express written permission from Facebook to put on any contest
  • Facebook has laid out specific industries and geographies that cannot be included – and no one under 18 can be eligible
What’s Not Allowed
  • Status update contests (where someone enters by updating their status)
  • Photo upload contests (where someone enters by uploading a photo)
  • Become a Fan contests (where someone is automatically entered by becoming a fan of the page)
  • Any kind of contest that requires commenting on or responding to items in the News Feed
  • Anything that requires purchase of a product or “completion of a lengthy task”
  • Contests engaging those under the age of 18

Specific prohibitions from the Facebook official guidelines:

You may not publicize or administer a promotion on Facebook if:2.1 The promotion is open or marketed to individuals who are under the age of 18;

2.2 The promotion is open to individuals who reside in a country embargoed by the United States;

2.3 The promotion, if a sweepstakes, is open to individuals residing in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India;

2.4 The promotion’s objective is to promote any of the following product categories: gambling, tobacco, dairy, firearms, prescription drugs, or gasoline;

2.5 The prize or any part of the prize includes alcohol, tobacco, dairy, firearms, or prescription drugs; or

2.6 The promotion is a sweepstakes that conditions entry upon the purchase of a product, completion of a lengthy task, or other form of consideration.

Prior Written Approval

Contests require prior written approval. More specifically, you must contact your account representative at Facebook to obtain this approval and expect a 7 day turn around. Don’t have an account rep? Use this contact form – but don’t expect a response unless you’re willing to spend a minimum $10,000 on advertising.

From the Facebook official guidelines:

You may not administer any promotion through Facebook, except that you may administer a promotion through the Facebook Platform with our prior written approval. Such written approval may be obtained only through an account representative at Facebook. If you are already working with an account representative, please contact that representative to begin the approval process. If you do not work with an account representative, you can use this contact form to inquire about working with an account representative.

What does this mean?

If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to shell out for Facebook marketing, you can use a third party application (like Wildfire) to condition entry. It’s not free, but a $5 set up fee plus $1 a day will get the basic package set up.

Or, you can run a contest using another venue and leave Facebook out of it. Which is what some people are doing. Tweet #finalfantasyxiii to unlock a secret XBOX code when the game comes out, follow @DrewFromTV and Drew Carey will donate $1 to the Livestrong Foundation, be Whole Foods’ 1 millionth follower to win a gift card… these kinds of promotions are no longer allowed on Facebook.Nathan's famous hotdog eating contest

Or… just hold a hot dog eating contest on Coney Island. Though that may be a little less than original.

More

Photos thanks to flickr users robleto and dietrich!