DR Gives AccuQuote Life1 Feb, 2009 By: Thomas Haire Response
Sean Cheyney says direct response across all media has grown the company into one of life insurance's leading brands.
"When my wife and I got engaged, she wanted to get married in front of Cinderella's Castle at Disney World," he says. "About a month after getting engaged, we met with the wedding coordinators from Orlando. In talking about different options, we learned that the cost for getting married at the castle started at $80,000."
Clearly, that was not an optimal price. Briefly, it appeared that Cheyney would have to look at other options. Briefly.
"It turned out that during the first year of the marathon, nearly a decade earlier, that a couple got married by a justice of the peace at the end of the course," Cheyney says. "But the castle was at the 10.5 mile mark. We asked that if we ran the marathon, would it be possible to hold the wedding in the middle of the marathon at the Rose Garden in front of the castle? And would it cost significantly less?"
AccuQuote: A Brief History
The original answer was no. In fact, Cheyney says, "After three months, we got eight 'Nos' before getting an approval from the very top of the chain at Disney."
Still the costs were high, but again, Cheyney's creativity and marketing skills made a difference for the couple. "As we trained for the marathon, my wife wore New Balance shoes," he says. "I got the idea to contact New Balance, tell them our story and see if the company was interested in creating our running/wedding outfits. We ended up sponsored with custom designed outfits and running shoes."
Cheyney continues, "As you can imagine, there were a lot of on-site logistics involved. My wife's brother ran with her for the first 10 miles. I didn't see her until the ceremony. Then, after the ceremony, we ran holding hands for the next 16 miles, while our guests were taken to a character breakfast."
Cheyney credits the ingenuity in organizing the event, which earned the couple and Disney vast media attention, with "helping me get the job" at AccuQuote (Cheyney was interviewing for the job during his marathon training). He contends, "The diligence and process that went into it — 18 weeks of training for the marathon, working with New Balance and Disney PR. It showed I was disciplined and go after what I want."