Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

I don’t know how I missed it for so many years, but I recently learned that April 13th is Scrabble Day, a day that celebrates the popular board game that was created in 1938 by Alfred Mosher Butts. Hasbro’s Scrabble is currently sold in 121 countries, in 29 different language versions. To date, one hundred and fifty million sets have been sold worldwide, and sets are found in one out of every three American homes. My home has four—including one travel version. I also play on online at pogo.com, lexulous.com and facebook—you might say I’m a bit of a word addict. I blame my grandmother. She was a crossword addict and taught me to play Scrabble as soon as I could spell. The woman was ruthless and never let me win a game, not once. I was eighteen before I finally won and I have been winning ever since. Call me cruel, but I played with Grandma Winston on her death bead and beat her by fifty points. It was the last game she ever played. The thing is, the old bird wouldn’t have it any other way. Once, when I had beaten her in ten straight games, I tried to let her win, but she wouldn’t have it. She rapped my knuckles with her cane and said she’d rather break her hip than win the easy way. She was tough, but taught me well. I miss the old girl, but remember her fondly every time I lay a tile on a Scrabble board.

Scrabble Day is a perfect day to remember that playing games doesn’t have to be a bad thing and, especially in business, sometimes it’s the only way to get ahead—as long as you play fair. Show your traveling sales team that you care about their mental acuity by gifting them with a Magnetic Chess/Checkers Travel set. Naturally, you’ll want to imprint your logo directly on the case to make it a gift with legs. That way, mixing business travel and pleasure is seamless.

Well, I’ve got to dust off my boards, the kids will be home soon and we have decided to remember grandma by playing a Scrabble tournament in her honor. As my Grandma Winston used to say, “A word a day keeps dullness away.”