Huffington Post: How to Make Chess Cool

10/9/2010 – Chess as a marketing tool is both a strength and a weakness. It is unique enough to reach a niche market but misunderstood enough to confuse. 39 million people in the US play chess, other statistics claim 600-700 million people worldwide know how to play. So clearly a lot of people know the rules to the game; whether they truly understand beyond that is another story. Article and videos.

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How to Make Chess Cool (and Other Marketing Conundrums)

By Claire Wasserman, Development Associate at Chess-in-the-Schools

How can we effectively use chess to market ourselves to this new demographic of donors? How can we make chess "cool"? Do we even need to?

And then it struck us. Chess doesn't have to be a niche market; in fact, chess is constantly and consistently being pushed into our collective subconscious. Through ads, subliminal messages, and Christopher Nolan's screenplay. Though Bobby Fischer has held the longtime monopoly on the mainstream's association with chess, apparently so have advertising agencies.


From sleep aids...


...to cell phones, financial planning services...


the NBA Finals...


and Marine recruitment, chess is the chosen symbol for all things Public Relations.

It's history, it's setup, its strategy: all these make chess ripe for advertising interpretation and product hawking. Film and television also frequently feature chess. Usually the intellectual emblem, chess can be seen in "Casablanca", "Inception", the "West Wing", "CSI" and "House". The list goes on. If chess is used so often, with such vast and varied audiences, then perhaps Chess-in-the-Schools need not worry so much about how to go "mainstream." Perhaps our demographic is built right in, with a bit of help from


Ronzini pasta and...


the NHL.

Rather than explain why chess is useful, we might be better served to just show our track record of success. However, the advertising world beckons. There is something there for Chess-in-the-Schools to capitalize on and collaborate with. The Tacori diamond ad puts it well, "Adorn her like a queen. In this vignette, ornate chess pieces are a metaphor for the passion of conquest."

Look for Claire Wasserman's next article on how Chess-in-the-Schools is planning to team up with advertising agencies and production companies in an effort to streamline chess in the media while benefitting New York City public school students.

Full story in the HuffPo here.


The Huffington Post is an American news website and aggregated blog founded by Arianna Huffington and others, featuring various news sources and columnists. The site was launched on May 9, 2005, as a commentary outlet and liberal/progressive alternative to conservative news websites. It offers coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment, living, style, the green movement, world news, and comedy. It is a top destination for news, blogs, and original content. The Huffington Post has an active community, with over one million comments made on the site each month. According to Nielsen NetRatings, the site has around 13 million unique visitors per month (number for March 2010); according to Google Analytics the number is 22 million uniques per month.


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