THIS JULY, nearly 9,000 brave individuals were confronted with the challenge of trudging through 10 miles of muddy terrain while overcoming 20- plus demanding obstacles at the Tough Mudder in Hugo, Minnesota. Among those individuals was a group of 26 safe digging advocates, known as the 811 Mudders. Not only were they able to rise to the challenge and triumph over the course, but they were able to reach numerous individuals with the life-saving, “Call Before You Dig” message, thanks in part to the logos prominently displayed on their shirts (when not completely covered in mud) and the conversations they had along the way with their fellow participants.
The 811 Mudders were formed in 2016, comprised of industry and non-industry professionals alike. For the past three years, this messy and thrilling endeavor has been a wonderfully unique way to spread the 811 message to individuals who might not otherwise be exposed to it. With countless mud runs popping up around the world, there is a pretty good chance one might be coming to a city near you. With events ranging from relatively tame 5ks to mind-boggling 24-hour challenges, there is something for nearly everyone. If you think your own organization might want to join the 811 Mudder effort, please contact Sundar at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll be happy to help you get your own team of 811 Mudders to the starting line.
The finish line? Well, that’s on you. Better get training!
8/11 Day Reaches New Heights!
Whether on their own or in collaboration with one another, CGA members once again raised the bar with this year’s creative 8/11 Day campaigns. Read on to see the full array of damage prevention advocates’ outreach promoting the 811 safety message in 2018.
PHMSA Hosts 811 Day at DOT and Nationals Park
The Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) celebrated 8/11 Day on Aug. 9, beginning with a morning event in front of the Department of Transportation’s offices in Washington, D.C., featuring an appearance by PHMSA Administrator Howard “Skip” Elliott, as well as One Call Concepts’ 811 Car, Washington Gas’ Care-a-Van and other safety exhibits. PHMSA then hosted an 811 Day at Nationals Park in conjunction with the MLB team’s afternoon game. Outside of the stadium, Virginia 811’s video truck displayed winning entries from the DOT-PHMSA 2018 811 Video Contest. Inside, game attendees could interact with the 811 Virtual Reality Experience, visit the Miss Utility of Maryland/D.C. educational booth and learn about the importance of calling 811 before digging.
Joey Logano Sports the 811 logo at the Consumers Energy 400
Joey Logano raced with the 811 logo on the decklid of his No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion over Aug. 11 weekend at the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.! The 811 Balloon flew over the track the evening of Aug. 11, reminding race attendees to always call 811 before digging. Joey participated in a radio interview for WWJ-AM in which he plugged the 811 safety message. MISS DIG provided additional 811 educational engagement at the race all weekend long, and CEO Bruce Campbell also gave interviews on WWJ-AM on Aug.11 reminding Michiganders to always 811 before digging.
811 Presents the Cody Johnson & Friends Concert
Enterprise Products coordinated a huge activation at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston on Aug. 11 at the Cody Johnson & Friends concert presented by 811. More than 16,200 attendees heard CGA’s Khrysanne Kerr introduce opening act Randall King. Khrysanne was followed by Deborah Duncan, host of KHOU’s Great Day Houston, who welcomed the Josh Ward Band, Easton Corbin and Cody Johnson to the stage through a rousing presentation of singing, storytelling and naturally reminding fans to call 811 before digging. As the title partner, the 811 logo and “call before you dig” tagline were displayed on a 40-foot cobranded banner on the stage, as well as in several signs around the admissions tent and on a 30-foot, 811-wrapped trailer out front. More than 4,200 people used Texas811’s Snapchat filter, yielding more than 318,500 total views.
Las Vegas’ Largest First Pitch, Courtesy of 811
The Nevada Common Ground Alliance partnered with the Las Vegas 51’s minor league baseball team to celebrate 8/11 Day with “Las Vegas’ Largest First Pitch.” As fans entered Cashman Stadium on Aug. 11, they were able to participate in a Touch-A-Truck event and children received t-shirts and 811-branded balls with which to participate in a history-making “Largest First Pitch,” which was enjoyed by all. The following sponsor organizations made this fun, educational event possible: Nevada Energy, Southwest Gas, Las Vegas Valley Water, USIC, RP Weddell, USA North 811, ELM, Western States Contracting and the Nevada PUC.
811 returns to the Winner’s Circle
The Ortiz brothers, Irad Jr. and Jose, both wore the 811 logo throughout the entire day of races Aug. 11 at Arlington Park just outside of Chicago – and Irad Ortiz, Jr. brought 811 back to the Winner’s Circle on 8/11 Day! The race aired live on NBC Sports Network, exposing hundreds of thousands of viewers to the 811 safety message.
A thank you goes to USA North 811 and the following group of CGA member- sponsors who made these eye-catching jockey sponsorships possible:
• Winner’s Circle: Atmos Energy, DigAlert of Southern California, Dig Safely New York and USA North 811
• Place: Alabama 811, Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P., OHIO811 and Pennsylvania 811
• Show: Colorado 811, JULIE Inc., Missouri One Call System, OKIE811 and South Carolina 811
• Exacta: Avista Utilities, Texas811
• Trifecta: Sunshine 811
In addition to those efforts, members across the country put on a host of memorable events to educate employees and the public about damage prevention on 8/11 Day 2018:
• Buckeye Partners, L.P. celebrated 8/11 Day with events at its Houston, Tx and Breinigsville, Pa. offices. The events included games, giveaways, line locating demonstrations and as much 811 information as possible! Buckeye also celebrated 8/11 Day at the Corporate Challenge bicycle race, where the company sponsored an 811 team and frequent PA announcements about the importance of calling 811.
• Call Before You Dig Connecticut (CBYD Connecticut) spent its 8/11 Day at Stafford Motor Speedway. At the race track, the CBYD 811 Challenge was open to drivers in each of Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions and awarded five drivers an $811 bonus at the conclusion of the Aug. 10 feature event utilizing a special points system. On Friday, Aug. 17 CBYD Connecticut presented the trophies for the 811 Points Challenge in addition to being the title sponsor of the Late Model extra distance race.
• Colorado 811 celebrated 8/11 Day with its Third Annual 811 Run. Nearly 300 runners and walkers lined up in waves based on the APWA color code system. Throughout the three-mile course, participants viewed 811 safety messages and enjoyed a safety expo with interactive demonstrations and games. The Colorado 811 Run was sponsored by Xcel Energy, Atmos Energy, Reconn, Andeavor, Paradigm and American Pacific Mortgage.
• Dig Safely New York (DSNY) hosted the “Everyone has a Hand in Safe Digging” painting experience to encourage 811 awareness among community members. The painting activity encouraged individuals to paint their hand and place it on one of three large canvasses to be displayed as artwork in DSNY’s new headquarters. DSNY staff members also awarded prizes to callers at 8:11 a.m. on Friday, August 10. The office additionally hosted a “hard hat” drive, raising $305 for the Central New York Muscular Dystrophy Association.
• Three days before Aug. 11, the Enterprise Products South Texas Safety Committee revealed its new tank logo at the ECHO storage facility in Houston. The 17 x 58-foot logo will display the company’s commitment to public safety to more than 27 million vehicles annually who travel along the south side of Sam Houston Tollway.
• Georgia 811 hosted a company cookout, virtual bingo and a selfie contest on Aug. 10. Call center staff and mascot Digger Dog attended an event at Southern Company Gas to share 811 resources and give employees and opportunity to take a picture with Digger. Digger Dog also teamed up with Georgia Power Company to greet fans at the Atlanta Braves game, as well as released a PSA in conjunction with 8/11 Day. The one call center then hosted Greenjackets Fireworks Night in Augusta, where Digger and 811 representatives shared safety information with the crowd.
• Gopher State One Call attended the Minnesota 811 Run where the one call center provided safe digging tips to participants.
• Indiana 811 hosted 8/11 Day at various baseball stadiums around the state, providing fans with glow-in-the-dark 811-branded bracelets and educating them about the importance of 811. The 8/11 Day festivities were celebrated with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, where fans enjoyed post-game fireworks, the Evansville Otters and Indianapolis Indians, where fans had the opportunity to see a VAC truck from Miller Pipeline and with the South Bend Cubs, where the first 1,000 fans received Indiana 811-sponsored locker figurines. Radio and news stations around Indiana received cakes decorated with the 811 message, resulting in media coverage on Indiana’s NBC affiliate, WNDU-TV, and WJJK-FM, a radio station in Indianapolis. Special thanks go to volunteers from CountryMark, Indiana Michigan Power, Miller Pipeline, NIPSCO and USIC, who helped Indiana 811 with staffing at the four simultaneous ballpark events. Indiana 811 also teamed up with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on engaging 811-branded signage throughout the Indiana State Fair.
• Iowa One Call spent 8/11 Day at the Iowa State Fair, where attendees participated in numerous photo contests to promote the 811 number. Participants were encouraged to spell “811” using fair concession food. Also in attendance was the MidAmerican Energy Company, which brought 811 cookies to pass out.
• JULIE, Inc. hosted Harry Potter Night at the Gateway Grizzlies game on Aug. 11. Fans were encouraged to dress up as wizards as they were sorted into Hogwarts houses, given a golden snitch stress ball and were provided butterbeer – all nods to the classic children’s books. Fans also received JULIE, Inc. drawstring backpacks stuffed with 811 safety information.
• Kansas 811 hosted its fourth annual 811 Run, with proceeds of over $3,000 donated to the Kansas Food Bank. Kansas 811 staff, first responders and 24 sponsors donated to the race and educated attendees about the importance of using the 811-notification system before all dig projects. More than 1,000 people attended the family-friendly event which included games, food trucks, free giveaways and prize drawings.
• Lone Star 811 educated attendees about the 811 safety process at the 2018 South Texas Oil and Gas Convention, hosted by Roseland Oil and Gas. The one call center also celebrated 8/11 Day with the 811 Trike and Bike at its 811 Day concert event with country singer-songwriter Cody Johnson.
• Louisiana 811 was featured on two different radio stations in Baton Rouge on Aug. 7. While on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge and Talk 107.3, Louisiana 811 spoke about the importance of calling 811 and the significance of 8/11 Day on the calendar. Louisiana 811 also celebrated 8/11 Day at the New Orleans Baby Cakes baseball game. Tickets on Aug. 11 were discounted and the first 1,000 fans entering the ballpark received a free Louisiana 811 Baby Cakes baseball cap, courtesy of Louisiana 811.
• Miss Utility of Delmarva hosted the 2018 Miss Utility of Delmarva 5K to educate runners and community members about the importance of the 811 safety process. All proceeds from the 5K were donated to Con- struction Angels, a national nonprofit organization that assists immediate surviving family members of a construction worker who has lost his or her life while working on a job site. After the 5K, attendees enjoyed beverages at Mispillion River Brewing.
• In addition to its presence at the Aug. 9 Nationals baseball game, Miss Utility of Maryland/D.C. and member company Washington Gas orchestrated an 811 cake drop for the hosts of the popular 106.7 morning drivetime show, The Sports Junkies, which resulted in an on-air mention of the importance of calling 811 to reach Miss Utility before digging (simulcast on TV via NBC Sports Washington). Miss Utility also sponsored the minor league baseball team Hagerstown Suns’ fireworks night on Aug. 17, where the one call center distributed t-shirts and other educational goodies.
• Nebraska 811 taught kids and parents the importance of preventing damages to underground utilities at the Lincoln Electric System (LES) Sustainability Festival in celebration of 8/11 Day.
• New York 811 (NY811) partnered with National Grid for the Long Island Ducks vs. the York Revolution baseball game on Aug. 11, where NY811 Executive Director Roger Sampson threw out the first pitch of the game. Earlier in the month, NY811 recognized 10 recipients of its inaugural scholarship program in an on-field ceremony at the Aug. 2 Mets game. Prior to the game, New York 811 Board President Mike McMahon presented each recipient with a check for $1,008.11 toward college tuition for the upcoming school year. Fans and attendees of the game viewed a sponsored 811 message on the display board outside Citi Field.
• North Carolina 811 (NC811) celebrated both 8/11 Day and the one call center’s 40 years of service with an employee appreciation event at its new call center. The event included food, games and tours of the new NC811 offices that are under renovation. NC811 rounded out the event by responding to a lip sync challenge from Virginia 811 with their rendition of “Celebration” from Kool and the Gang. NC811 also highlighted 8/11 Day with a night out at the Bowman Gray Stadium racetrack where the one call center gave out frisbees and stadium cups to fans in the pit area.
• North Dakota One Call helped educate the public about damage prevention by showcasing the 811 Trike and Bike and the North Dakota State Fair. The newest 811 vehicle reached 811 miles on its odometer just in time for 8/11 Day! North Dakota One Call also sponsored “811 Day at the Ball Park” and distributed 811 baseball caps to fans at the Bismarck Larks baseball game.
• OKIE 811 spread 811 awareness at three sports venues across Oklahoma. At the Oklahoma City Dodgers Game, fans had the opportunity to complete a safe digging and pipeline safety quiz in exchange for 8/11 Day prizes. While at the Oklahoma City Energy Game, OKIE811 accepted the official Okie Energy Jersey, while fans received prizes. OKIE 811 also attended the 25th PBR Rodeo in Tulsa where attendees received 811-branded bullhorns.
• Oregon 811 and members of the LaGrande/Union UCC attended the Union Country Fair from Aug. 2-5. Fair attendees stopped by the Oregon 811 trailer to spin the 811 wheel with the hopes of winning 811 promotional items.
• Pennsylvania 811 (PA811) partnered with USA North 811 to bring the 811 message behind home plate during the San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates game on Aug. 11. PA811 also raised 811 awareness with minor league baseball teams across the state over 8/11 Day weekend, including the Curve, Senators, Fightin Phils, Wild Things, Crosscutters and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. PA811 also organized a social media outreach campaign asking shoppers at Home Depot and Lowe’s to send in a selfie with the #811Partner logo located on the trees and shovels in both stores. Participants received an 811 hat in return.
• Greg Peterson, from the Peterson Farm Brothers, went on Facebook Live at 8:11 on Aug. 11 to convey the importance of completing an online ticket. Additionally, the Peterson Farm Brothers hosted a contest for participants to send in their 811 photos with a chance to win 811 prizes.
• Tennessee 811 was featured on Good Morning Chattanooga, Tennessee’s market-leading ABC/FOX affiliate news channel. Tennessee 811 Awareness Manager Craig Ingram highlighted damage statistics from CGA’s 2016 DIRT Report and showed a damaged gas pipe in a live interview to emphasize the importance of safe digging.
• TransCanada employees turned to Snapchat to celebrate 8/11 Day. In the week leading up to Aug. 11, TransCanada customized 811 Snapchat filters for employees to post on personal social media accounts.
Thank you to all of our incredible members who made 8/11 Day 2018 the biggest and most impactful one to date!