Don’t you love it when the local sports league or school club calls requesting a sponsorship for the upcoming season? For $50, you get a business card size ad - that nobody pays attention to - in the program, which gets quickly filed away in a scrapbook (if you’re lucky) or the trash can. I’ll be honest. I usually categorize these as donations rather than advertising. Until last month.

The Shining Stars dance studio held its end of year dance recital in May. For a mere $15, I chose to place an ad in the program. “Chose” might not be the best word. My wife paid for the ad and told me after the fact that I owed her $15. I digress.

Fast forward to August. A new customer called because their unit wasn’t cooling. We arrive to find the unit low on Freon with large leaks in the indoor coil, and the furnace blower bearings a little loose. The Day & Night furnace and coil had served them well, but it was time for some new equipment. Two days, and several thousand dollars in sales later, we installed a new furnace and coil. When asked why they chose Oren Atchley Company, they said “We weren’t sure who to call, but we remembered seeing the ad at the dance recital.” Wow.

So was this a onetime thing or should I start viewing these ads a little differently? What are your thoughts?

Michael Atchley is president of Oren Atchley Air Conditioning and Heating.