When Blockbuster revamped its corporate communications department in 1997, it turned to veteran independent PR practitioners like teamworks communication to supplement and support its internal Corporate Communications department in the top 40 markets across the nation. This relationship lasted more than 15 years.

As part of the original Blockbuster team, teamworks had a role in virtually every Blockbuster PR campaign, product launch, and community relations initiative, from DVD releases to video game introductions to launches of new online services. These efforts in Phoenix and St. Louis included:

  • media relations

  • store events

  • mobile marketing

  • community affairs

  • roll-outs of new technologies and products

  • strategic program development


We were part of the most successful film to video launches ever, beginning with the promotion of the Academy Award-winning film, Titanic. In our markets, we developed and executed radio, television, and print promotions, as well as store events that generated significant added-value publicity and media exposure for the company. Blockbuster was awarded the Silver Anvil award by the Public Relations Society of America for this title’s launch.

Other movie release promotions included:

  • Twilight series. Executed radio promotions along with flagship store events and a sneak preview of New Moon in theaters. On average, these store events attracted more than 150 customers.
  • When each of the Toy Story movies debuted in Blockbuster, the company celebrated by taking fans to infinity and beyond. For Toy Story 3, in Phoenix, a tie-in with a very popular “moms” radio station attracted more than 300 kids and their parents, many in costumes, who visited our event store to watch the movie, win prizes, and get photos with characters from the movie.

We also supported new releases of popular video games such as:

  • Call of Duty series. We developed partnerships with a local, demo-appropriate radio station, negotiating:
    • Website takeover.
    • On-air and online contesting.
    • Station email blasts.

The radio contest culminated in a midnight debut of the video game, attended by numerous fans, as well as the promotion winner, who arrived in a stretch Hummer.

  • Beatles Rock Band. We developed radio promotional partnerships and hosted flagship events, including:
    • Live performance at Blockbuster by Beatles tribute band.
    • Original t-shirts for giveaways.
    • On-air and online contesting; loyal listener e-blasts.
    • We swept the local TV media with the story, generating 11 TV hits in St. Louis and 7 TV hits in Phoenix.

During our 15-year working relationship with Blockbuster, we also helped promote several mobile marketing efforts:

  • Legends Tour. In cooperation with the American Film Institute, Blockbuster sponsored the 100 Years/100 Greatest Movies Legends Mobile Museum tour. In addition to providing local and regional media relations support and logistics management in Phoenix and St. Louis, teamworks also was tapped to serve as a regional project manager, overseeing public relations activities in five Midwest markets for this tour.

The Legends exhibit featured actual costumes from The Wizard of Oz, the Oscar statue from The Godfather, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones’ suits from Men In Black, the Pharaoh’s throne from the epic film, The Ten Commandments, and dozens of other items related to the AFI’s 100 best films. In each market, we were responsible for securing sites for the tour and managing tour events that included private screening parties for local VIPs and government officials. We also arranged radio remotes and public events that drew tens of thousands of guests to the tour stops.

  • “Are You Game Enough” Nintendo Game Truck Tour. In the summer of 1999, Blockbuster rolled out the Blockbuster/Nintendo “Are You Game Enough” truck tour. This 75-foot-long interactive gaming vehicle introduced children and their parents to the latest in Nintendo games available to rent at Blockbuster. Using our knowledge of local venues, teamworks identified children’s events, family fairs, theme parks, major malls, media outlets and key tourist attractions to host events. We also arranged for the Game Truck to stop at a flagship store in each market.
  • Summer Family Gaming Tour. Having rented and sold video games for years, Blockbuster decided to expand its gaming products to include sales of gaming consoles and a larger library of game titles. The challenge was to get the message out to consumers in a fresh, dynamic manner. The solution was to raise awareness of the new offerings at Blockbuster by hosting Family Gaming Events at a Blockbuster store in each of our markets, along with 8 other cities. These gaming events served as launch pads for radio promotions and media coverage. In St. Louis, for example, the Blockbuster regional spokesperson played games on-air with morning TV personalities, complete with their own personalized avatars.

teamworks brings a wealth of experience to an organization, delivering high-quality work with results that exceed expectations.  They successfully handled numerous initiatives when I was with Blockbuster, always taking time to understand our brand message and the goals we wanted to accomplish.  Always professional, teamworks is a great agency that I would highly recommend.

Tami Cannizzaro, former Director of Marketing Public Relations, Blockbuster, Inc.