First Flight Centennial


First Flight Centennial Foundation

Wilbur Right MemorialTHE CHALLENGE
In preparation for the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight , the Foundation’s mission was to raise funds to make improvements to Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, NC; increase public awareness about the Wright Brothers and their accomplishments; and to support the events of the Centennial in 2003. In addition to sponsorships, a licensed merchandise program was commenced to achieve additional revenues and to create commemoratives for the Centennial event.

Additional challenges included meeting the educational content requirements of the National Park Service (“NPS”) for the products to be sold on site at the Memorial through Eastern National (the park’s concessionaire), creating distribution channels outside of the immediate Outer Banks, NC region, and providing products at all price points to allow consumers of all income brackets to join the celebration.

Since October 2001, BC Connections has been working with the Foundation to strategically grow the licensing program from a limited “fledgling licensing program into a healthy and productive program” with a comprehensive range of products. The agency quickly grasped the international scope of the centennial organizations and became acquainted with the many people and groups associated with it. It identified lifestyle categories in which the brand could touch consumers in a meaningful way: apparel and accessories, gifts, home furnishings, jewelry, stationery, model aircraft, toys, private label wine and other collectible commemoratives.

BC Connections developed a strategic approach that enabled the Foundation to market its brand throughout the aerospace industry, the U.S. and through it’s online store.

The agency inherited six licensees and proceeded to recruit thirty-nine additional licensees. Total guaranteed royalties to be received by the Foundation through 2005 exceeded $1 million.

Retailers throughout the Outer Banks and the U.S. carried the products including Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Belk’s, Walgreen’s, various local souvenir shops, aerospace and science museums, and the First Flight Pavilion Gift Shop on site at the Memorial. The First Flight Centennial online store was also developed and managed by BC Connections. In addition, various companies in the aerospace industry purchased First Flight Centennial products to celebrate the Centennial with their staff and clients.

Retail sales through 2006 have exceeded $5,000,000 including $1,000,000 in sales on site at the Memorial during the 6 day Centennial Celebration. In addition to the funding for improvements received by NPS from the Foundation, NPS also receives a large portion of the retail sale revenues from Eastern National. The Foundation has modified its logos and trademarks to “First Flight” to continue its licensing program to create ongoing revenues


Promotional and Licensed Merchandise Programs

Solicitation of Licensees / Retailers / Promotional Partners

Product / Packaging Concept Development

Strategic Marketing Plans

Creation & Administration of Licensing Agreements

Creation of Collateral Marketing Materials

Oversee Merchandising for Online/On Site Retail Outlets