THIS AUGUST, CGA MEMBERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY were busy promoting the 8/11 Day safety message with a wide variety of creative and far-reaching campaigns to keep the importance of safe digging top of mind for homeowners and professional excavators alike.
From Aug. 8-11, NASCAR fans at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., had the opportunity to visit a special 811 display along the midway, where they could meet Mark Stowe, 811 Outdoors personality and host of “The Direction” TV show on the Pursuit Channel, as well as check out the 811 Ranger bass boat. On Aug. 11, Joey Logano raced with the 811 logo and, “Know what’s below. Call before you dig,” tagline onboard the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Team Penske Ford at the Consumer’s Energy 400, reminding race attendees and millions of TV viewers to always call 811 before digging. This CGA collaborative effort was made possible thanks to Shell Pipeline Company LP, the American Gas Association, Energy Transfer, MISS DIG , OHIO 811, Vectren a CenterPoint Company and Verizon.
CenterPoint Energy, Colorado 811, Enbridge, Energy Transfer, Kinder Morgan, Phillips 66, Plains All American Pipeline and TransCanada partnered together to highlight the safe digging message at several Major League Baseball stadiums. Fans of America’s favorite pastime saw 811 messaging and signage leading up to and during games on Aug. 11, including the Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres, Houston Astros vs. Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, and Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins games.
In addition to these NASCAR and MLB efforts, check out the many initiatives that CGA members planned and executed to educate employees and the public about damage prevention on 8/11 Day 2019:
The Alabama Public Service Commission announced a resolution by the commissioners for 8/11 Day through a media release.
The American Gas Association attended the Washington Gas 8/11 Day celebration on Aug. 9, which featured a technical training demonstration at Washington Gas’ Pipetown training facility in Springfield, Va., and a presentation of this year’s 811 national contest award winner by the National Energy Foundation.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) encouraged safe digging practices among its member companies, their employees and their customers as Aug. 11 approached by distributing a press release highlighting the importance of 8/11 Day and key statistics from CGA research. AEM and its 900-plus members work diligently to promote 811 in a variety of ways, including publishing AEM Safety Manuals containing information on the 811 process and placing “Call 811” signage on equipment.
Atmos Energy unveiled its “Pledge to Call 811” to underscore the importance of safe digging. As an added incentive to aspiring 811 ambassadors – and to support a valued partner that often provides aid to communities affected by damaged utility lines – Atmos Energy will donate $1 to the American Red Cross for every pledge completed online. In Kentucky, Atmos Energy partnered with Kentucky 811 to donate more than 5,000 811 golf balls to driving ranges in Franklin, Paducah, Hopkinsville and Owensboro to encourage golfers to take the pledge.
Buckeye Partners, L.P. held 8/11 Day events at its Breinigsville, Pa., and Houston, Texas, offices on Aug. 9, which included information on 811, the one call process, locating demonstrations, games and prizes. Buckeye’s racing team also sported the 811 message on their jerseys while competing at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center.
CenterPoint Energy/Vectren delivered more than 85 cakes to 16 cities in seven states on Aug. 9 and held 8/11 Day training for local officials at CenterPoint’s Oklahoma office.
Colorado 811 hosted its fourth annual 811 Run in Arvada, Colo., on Aug. 10, featuring local utility companies, safety demonstrations, music and giveaways. The event benefitted Veterans Expeditions, a local charity that empowers veterans to overcome challenges associated with military service through outdoor training and leadership. CBS Denver covered the event, and meteorologist Dave Aguilera served as emcee.
On Aug. 11, Dig Safe System, Inc. ran 8/11 Day ads in the Boston Globe, Providence Journal, New Hampshire Union Leader, Burlington Free Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News; flew a “Call 811 Before You Dig” banner during a six-hour flight over beachgoers throughout New England; and aired PSAs during the Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels game, where National Grid had a table and distributed educational materials and koozies. Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation ran the 811 message on illuminated highway signs across the Commonwealth for the entire weekend.
Dig Safely New York, Inc. (DSNY) hosted a community day for families on Aug. 11 to generate brand awareness and education, celebrate DSNY’s 50-year anniversary, tie into 8/11 Day celebrations, and serve as a public open house. DSNY also sponsored 10 events across the state, giving out 10,000 branded phone accessories, sunglasses, reusable grocery totes, picnic blankets, mugs, work gloves and T-shirts, as well as created two Snapchat filters for the week of Aug. 11.
Dominion Energy North Carolina Gas held fire pit demos and contractor gas safety classes on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7 with media in attendance, including Spanish-language outlets.
ECI Building Corp held a picnic for employees and community members on Aug. 20 and distributed pamphlets from its LDC energy providers to share information about protecting buried utilities like natural gas.
ExxonMobil Pipeline Company set up a table at its Houston campus eating area to give out 811-branded work gloves, garden trowels, cooling towels and hats. ExxonMobil also placed 811 messaging on its campus-wide CCTV system.
Georgia 811’s Corporate Communications Manager Megan Estes and Cliff Meidl were interviewed on 11 Alive’s Atlanta & Company on Aug. 9. Georgia 811 also joined AGL (Southern Company Gas) for an “8 Days, 11 Ways” campaign to spread the safe digging message – which included a cupcake delivery to local firefighters and a surprise visit from Georgia 811’s mascot, Digger Dog, at Georgia Power’s Customer Care Center – as well as held an 811-themed office cookout for employees and a geo-fencing campaign at all Home Depot and Lowe’s locations in Georgia.
Gopher State One Call, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy sponsored the MN 811 Run/Walk 5k at Bde Maka Ska lake on Aug. 10 at 8:11 a.m., where all proceeds benefitted the Twin Cities Firefighters Operation Warm, a nonprofit organization that provides new, warm winter coats for Minnesota children in need.
Among many other 8/11 Day efforts, Indiana 811 engaged in a takeover of the Indiana State Fair with a coordinated branding campaign throughout the fair and sponsorship of the midway, in partnership with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC ). Indiana 811 messaging appeared on hand sanitizers in every animal barn, the gondola ride that runs down the major thoroughfare, fair shuttles, ground clings and interactive 811 learning kiosks. Indiana 811 also commissioned an artist to create a 3D art piece of the buried utilities that run beneath the fairgrounds, resulting in 13 unique airings of TV stories.
Inland Empire Utility Coordinating Council thanked 21 local equipment rental stores for sharing safe digging information with customers throughout the year by delivering additional 811 items and cupcakes to the stores for 8/11 Day.
Iowa One Call sponsored an Iowa Cubs minor league baseball game, including giveaways of T-shirts and other items and an appearance by Iowa One Call mascot Gabby the Groundhog. Iowa One Call also promoted 8/11 Day through a booth at the Iowa State Fair, which averages more than 100,000 attendees per day.
JULIE , Inc. held special events with the Chicago White Sox, Brookfield Zoo, Illinois State Fair and Planet Underground, as well as an 811 Run with Nicor Gas. JULIE also hosted an event at its call center to celebrate its 45th anniversary and 8/11 Day with employees and their families, ran a social media awareness campaign from Aug. 1-11, and secured a radio interview on WJOL 1340 in Joliet for Executive Director Mark Frost.
Kansas 811 hosted a n 811 5K Run/Walk at Riverside in Wichita on Aug. 11, featuring Laughing Feet performers, games, sponsor tents, the 811 Balloon and Thunderdog.
KorTerra, Inc. celebrated the success of the industry in keeping underground damages to a minimum and for the safety of those who work around those facilities.
Louisiana 811 participated in TV interviews on FOX 44 in Baton Rouge and KALB-TV in Alexandria to share the 8/11 Day message. Louisiana 811 also participated in Shell Pipeline Company LP’s celebration of 8/11 Day and the company’s 100-year anniversary, featuring one of Joey Logano’s cars.
Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. organized a virtual 8.11K run to be completed on Aug. 11. Participants completed the run on their own on the honor system, received an 811-branded running buff and medal, and were encouraged to share photos of themselves running while wearing the buff via Facebook.
MISS DIG 811 partnered with United Shore Professional Baseball League to give away MISS DIG 811 bobbleheads to the first 500 fans in the gates at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, Mich., on Aug. 10. In celebration of 8/11 Day, MISS DIG 811 also debuted its new virtual reality experience and secured an interview on the “Hire it Done” radio show.
Miss Utility of Maryland/District One Call and utility partner Baltimore Gas and Electric spread the 811 message to attendees of the soldout Aug. 9 and Aug. 10 Aberdeen IronBirds minor league baseball games through a variety of engaging promotional items, in-stadium signage, PA reads and a radio broadcast interview. On Aug. 11, Miss Utility partnered with Washington Gas to spread the word at the sold-out DC United vs. LA Galaxy Major League Soccer game with marketing tables both inside and outside of the team’s brand-new stadium. Later in the month, Miss Utility worked with Columbia Gas of Maryland to educate Hagerstown Suns minor league baseball fans about safe digging.
Miss Utility of Delmarva held its second annual 811 5K at 8:11 a.m. on Aug. 11, which also included a one-mile Fun Walk and a Kiddie K. The cost to enter the race was $18.11, and proceeds benefitted Construction Angels.
The National Utility Contractors Association ran a social media campaign across its platforms to promote 8/11 Day and the safe digging message.
North Carolina 811 (NC811) and Piedmont Natural Gas highlighted 8/11 day at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., by supporting NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Burt Myers. NC811 also ran a digital geo-fencing campaign to promote awareness of 811 to those within the area of every Home Depot in North Carolina, and Executive Director Louis Panzer was interviewed on WXII News 12.
On Aug. 9, Nebraska811 held a free excavator lunch at a large construction project in downtown Omaha to thank excavators for digging safely, as well as distributed 811 coolers and other promotional items at dig sites throughout the state. At an Omaha Storm Chasers minor league baseball game, Nebraska811 threw out the first pitch and sponsored a “Dig for Cash” contest benefiting Construction Angels.
Nevada Regional Common Ground Alliance (NRCG A), Southwest Gas Corporation, USA North 811, EL M Locating, USIC , NV Energy and RP Weddell partnered together to sponsor 811 Day at Cowabunga Bay water park in Henderson, Nev., on Aug. 11 and offered $8.11 tickets in advance of the event. Attendees could also bring their proof of ticket purchase to the 811/NRCGA booth to receive a gift. The event was attended by more than 2,900 people.
New Jersey Natural Gas Company’s Partners in Safety team hosted its annual 811 Dig Safely Fair and BBQ at a Home Depot in Hazlet, N.J., on Aug. 11, where the team gave out 811 T-shirts and educated attendees on how to dig safely and conserve energy.
New York 811, Inc. partnered with the New York Mets, SNY, WFAN and Yankees Broadcast to spread awareness at the Aug. 11 Mets vs. Nationals and Yankees vs. Blue Jays games. New York 811 sponsored home plate, LED and billboard signage throughout the stadiums, and its logo received additional coverage during a recap of the Mets game on “ABC World News Tonight.” At the Mets game, New York 811 also presented scholarships to 10 college-bound students during an on-field ceremony.
OHIO811 and Columbia Gas participated in the Franklin County Engineer’s Office Family Day with the Columbus Clippers, where they passed out 811 fliers and promotional items, and OHIO811 partnered with Marathon Pipe Line LLC to distribute safe digging information at the Ohio State Fair. OHIO811 also promoted 8/11 Day at the Cincinnati Reds game.
OKIE 811 sponsored a giveaway for the first 811 fans to enter the stadium at an Oklahoma City Dodgers minor league baseball game and had its very own OKIE D Critter throw out the first pitch, as well as ran announcements during five games during the week of 8/11 Day. OKIE 811 also distributed branded fans at an OKC Energy FC soccer game and gave out fly swatters at the two-day PBR Rodeo in Tulsa in partnership with Oklahoma Pipeline Awareness Liaison (OPAL).
ONEO K, Inc. encouraged employees to spread the word about the importance of calling 811 before digging, shared photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram from a “Day in the Life of pipeline operator Kurt Noon” demonstrating a line locate in progress, and hosted a booth at ONEOK plaza to remind employees and educate other building tenants about calling 811.
Oregon 811 provided a coloring contest at the NWUCA Equipment Rodeo and partnered with NW Natural to hold the first-ever Safety Day at a Hillsboro Hops minor league baseball game, where Board Member Joyce Nelsen threw out the first pitch and attendees could check out the 811 Car.
Pennsylvania 811 celebrated 8/11 Day with several events across the state, including an employee lunch in West Mifflin, as well as several minor league and independent team baseball games in partnership with Columbia Gas of PA, Lehigh County Authority, Peoples Natural Gas, PPL Electric, UGI Energy, UGI Utilities and USIC: Altoona Curve, Lancaster Barnstormers, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, State College Spikes and Washington Wild Things. Additionally, fire departments like Lafayette Fire Company spread the 8/11 Day message to communities by participating in Pennsylvania 811’s fire station marquee campaign for the chance to win $500.
PG&E took to the air and the ground to highlight 8/11 Day through a series of technology demonstrations for local media throughout its service area, including aerial patrols of gas pipelines utilizing an aircraft equipped with a high definition video camera featuring infra-red capability, as well as “on-the-ground” demonstrations of specialized GPS-devices that are attached to excavators to help operators avoid potentially striking underground utility lines.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) sponsored 8/11 Day messaging and signage at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.
During 8/11 Day weekend, the Southeast Texas Damage Prevention Council co-sponsored the Clint Black and Trace Adkins concert at Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land, as well as the Cody Johnson & Friends concert at the Toyota Center in Houston. Both events included 811 signage, handouts, social media, TV, radio and digital messaging.
Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) ran 300 Bus King Ads with 811 messaging throughout major metropolitan areas, as well as partnered with the California Regional Common Ground Alliance and Orange County Fire Authority to hold a mock utility line strike.
Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. gave all employees 811 T-shirts to wear during a group photo following an 811 presentation by its safety team on Aug. 8. Employees also completed an 811 quiz for the chance to win Amazon gift cards.
Southwest Gas delivered cookies to multiple radio stations, posted messages on social media and community center reader boards, aired radio PSAs, held a water park partnership, and conducted field visits to excavators.
Spire Inc. delivered sweets to the crews at its operating areas, as well as sponsored an 8/11 Day at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.
UGI Utilities, Inc. attended AAA, AA and A baseball games throughout its service territory, where the company had table displays with giveaway items and offered game tickets to its employees.
UniSource Energy Services participated in the Arizona 811 Contractor Appreciation BBQ by helping to prepare and serve food and give out raffle prizes.
On Aug. 11, Urbint, which builds AI-powered software that empowers infrastructure operators to reduce risks on their system, harnessed realworld data and trained new AI models to predict which recent 811 tickets its clients received would lead to a damage.
Virginia 811 worked with the Virginia General Assembly to designate Aug. 11 as 8/11 Day in Virginia and pass a resolution to add the holiday to the permanent list of recognized dates in Virginia. Virginia 811 also sponsored VA811 Night at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., and a Norfolk Tides minor league baseball game; ran digital ads on Facebook and YouTube; held a canned food drive; launched the redesigned va811.com website; kicked off a backyard makeover contest on Aug. 11; and sponsored the Cox Utilities hot air balloon at a balloon festival on Aug. 17.