CONTEST: Zany baseball promotions

amarketersdream

I have always marveled at minor league baseball and the unique, zany, outlandish and absolute genius game promotions they dream up. And I want you guys to dream up some zany promotions as well, but we’ll get to that further down the post.

Some of my favourite ridiculous promotions include (note, those promotions in blockquotes are taken from this Sports Illustrated article):

Silent night

The Charleston Riverdogs went a record against the Capital City Bombers when they tried to play the quietest game ever. For the first five innings, there was no talking. Fans wore duct tape over their mouths and held placards that read “YEAH!,” “BOO!” and “HEY BEER MAN!” Also, ushers were replaced by librarians and golf marshals held up “Quiet Please” signs.

I’m not sure they would allow this at Rexall since they often confiscate placards at the door. I still can’t believe how anal they were when the Human Rake returned for the first time as a member of the Ducks. I loved the girls who dressed up pregnant with “Are you my Daddy” on them.

Awful night

Attempting to produce the worst atmosphere ever at a baseball game, the Altoona Curve had music by William Shatner and Milli Vanilli, a gate giveaway of a 12-inch square of bubble wrap, pregame autograph sessions with non-celebrities, batting averages listed as “failed averages” (a .300 hitter had a .700 average) and a special presentation to the 1962 Mets — baseball’s worst team ever.

Anytime you can incorporate one of the biggest musical frauds in history it’s a good idea. Can you imagine how excited Bingofuel would be if they asked him to sign autographs?

Ted Williams popsicle night

When Williams’ body was cryogenically frozen, the Bisbee-Douglas Copper Kings gave popsicles to the first 500 fans.

Not that unique, but how cool would it have been if they made the popsicles in a likeness of Williams!

Pre-planned Funeral Night

The Hagerstown Suns gave away a full pre-paid funeral valued at $6,500 to one (un)lucky fan. The package included embalming, a casket and funeral home use, as well as a death certificate. Two-thousand fans entered the contest.

This is still one of my favs. I had the PR guy from Hagerstown on my show to talk about it. The funniest part was that it was non-transferable. They didn’t want young kids giving it to their grandparents. A direct quote from the PR guy. Could you imagine your grandma’s face when she unwraps her Xmas present and it is a certificate for her pre-planned funeral. Nothing says love like that.

Salute To Indoor Plumbing Night

The West Virginia Power planned to close all the rest rooms and make everyone use portable toilets, when the Augusta Greenjackets came to town, but there were health code concerns. But they still made the best of it. With the team’s employees dressed in overalls, they mashed up brownes and made them look like “poo,” and then they had a “Poo Toss.”

Honestly who thinks of this? And how many fans want to partake in a Poo Toss? I’m guessing the editor of the Charleston Gazette was praying the home team lost just for the headline possibilities…Power Lay A Log…or…What A Shitty Game… feel free to come up with your own.

Well it isn’t just baseball that can come up with unique promotions. The Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL have come up with a pretty good one of their own. “DON’T BE LIKE MIKE NIGHT” in honour of bong lover Micheal Phelps.

Here is the release from the Admirals, or you can check out their website:

All fans who are graduates of a DARE program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) can get into the game for just $2 by bringing their DARE graduation certificate to the Admirals’ office or the Bradley Center box office. In addition, anyone with the name Michael, Phelps, Mary Jane, Cheech, Chong, Weed (Wied) or anyone who has won an Olympic Gold Medal can also get their ticket for only $2.

“I, along with Nancy Reagan, want to encourage people to not do drugs,” said Admirals President Jon Greenberg. “As an organization the Milwaukee Admirals don’t condone or encourage the use of illegal drugs, including, but not limited to marijuana, or anabolic steroids for that matter.”

The Ads will also be giving away a weed wacker, that will be signed by the team and if the Admirals score with 4:20 left on the clock in any period one lucky fan will win a season ticket for the 2009-10 season. The number 420 is often known as the police code for illegal drug use.

Plus, to ensure that no one ends up in the same predicament as Michael Phelps, the team will provide a document shredder at the DigiCopy Information Table outside section 225 so fans can bring any embarrassing or incriminating photos to be destroyed.

Does anyone know someone named Cheech or Chong, because if you do their parents must have loved the hippie whiskey. I can just picture Wanye and BMJS hovering outside section 225 hoping to get a glimpse of some incriminating photos, or stealing them and sprinting out of the building like they had just pulled off the greatest coup in history. Of course, they would get tripped up by an usher in section 227 and then having to spend the night having a “Poo Toss/Plug” of their own at the crowbar hotel.

In honour of great promotions, whoever comes up with a funny, and possible promotion that the Oil Cats could do this summer, will get a pair of tickets to next Saturday’s Oiler/Flames game, courtesy of yours truly. This is my Valentines gift to the Nation.

The winner will be decided by the promotion girls from the BEAR. And if it’s that good I will forward to the Oilers PR staff, with a guarantee that if they use it, the winner will be showered with gifts for that game.

V-Day? More like D-Day

Speaking of Valentines Day, is there a more stressful holiday for guys? This day is all about the lady in your life. As guys, if our women cooks a nice meal wearing a teddy, lets us watch sports all night and then has a spirited roll in the sheets we are pumped.

Meanwhile most women expect us to be some Casanova for a day. It’s great getting your pocket picked at the flower and chocolate counter, while sweating bullets wondering if lillies, roses or tulips are her favourite. She’s told us many times, but as usual we weren’t paying attention.

For any of you newbies who are experiencing your first Valentines with a new women, don’t fall for their, “You don’t have to get me anything,” or “Don’t go overboard.” Those are warning shots.

Be prepared to do your best Slick Rick or Lance Romance impression. Women don’t want to hear from their friends about how sweet their boyfriend/husband was while you thought getting her a teddy bear from 7-Eleven while you cashed in your sports select ticket was the good enough.

While most of us don’t want to cave to the pressure, we ultimately do because the consequences are too much. Getting cut off is not an option, and neither is spending the next month trying to make up for it. I suggest getting her tipsy while watching the Oilers/Kings game and hope it goes well from there.

Good luck, fellow gents.

And to Amber and the other female readers, if there are any: enjoy your day, because March 14th is when you better return the favour.

  • RCN

    nutsandgum wrote:

    @ MarcAndre Pooalot:
    Damn, a Tribute to Owner night (with everyone dressing as Batman) was my idea too!!
    But then I thought if it was a *real* tribute to the owner night, no one would show up, since the guy’s invisible in this town anyways, and then so should the stands be.

    Great minds think alike…

    Nuts and gum? What a GREAT invention!

  • RCN

    V-Day? More like D-Day wrote:

    Well guys here’s a bit of Valentine’s advice from a woman’s perspective. DON’T EVER hire a Barbershop Quartet and have them serenade the “woman of your dreams” at the office with the song “O, how I love thee! How I dote on thee!” by Shakespeare. I just had this happen to me today . . . and it was absolutely awful!!! And to top it all off, they gave me a rose, a card, and wanted to take my picture, I was so horrified that I scurried back into my office before they could snap a shot!

    Also a great idea *scribbling down furiously* Did they give you a business card or anything?

  • RCN

    James Gunner wrote:

    “Prostate Exam Night” A free ticket and a bottle of KY Jelly to anyone willing to get a full rectal exam at some point during the game. Put up live video of the taunt facial expressions made during the ungodly procedures on the big screen between innings/periods.
    Play some good ass shaking music the entire night. “There’s a bad moon on the rise”, and so forth.
    It’s educational, healthy and sporting all wrapped up in a single night.

    That was actually similar to my idea, which was to promote Health and Awareness for "Cancer down there"….some proceeds could be donated to "the underwear affair" (A charity event being held in June), and everyone would be encouraged to show up in their underwear. Everyone who had a doctors note proving they had been for a check up in the last 2 months or so would get a discount, and if everyone shows up in their underwear, there has to be a world record in there somewhere!

    Plus, if you couple it with the KY give away, its a win win…because who doesn't love free KY? Maybe it would spawn some wrestling matches…

    p.s. as a single female, hoodlum, did it ever occur to you that our plan is to find some idiot of a man who is going to buy our drinks for us all night, because he thinks we're "lonely", and we can go home knowing that we don't have to sleep with him because he'll be "too drunk" (read: unable) anyways, and in the morning we can just slip away with another hilarious story to tell our girlfriends?

  • RCN

    If people are really set on the KY thing, since its a baseball game, it could be a

    "don't catch something you can't throw back" night, and condoms and KY could be given out at the door!

    The teenagers who are still scared to go and buy condoms would flood the stands!

  • RCN

    How about a "Bean Blaster"?(I suck at names).

    Fans bring food for the food bank to the game, the 3 fans that bring the most food get to do a skill competition for a pair of season tickets/ Jerseys etc. Fielding, batting and pitching(speed/accuracy) components would be included.

    The twist?: It's done with cans of beans while in full catcher gear(for safety issues).

    I think it would be fun and the food bank could use a summer campaign, there's lots of awareness around x-mas not so much the rest of the year.

  • RCN

    Colin wrote:

    How about a “Bean Blaster”?(I suck at names).
    Fans bring food for the food bank to the game, the 3 fans that bring the most food get to do a skill competition for a pair of season tickets/ Jerseys etc. Fielding, batting and pitching(speed/accuracy) components would be included.
    The twist?: It’s done with cans of beans while in full catcher gear(for safety issues).
    I think it would be fun and the food bank could use a summer campaign, there’s lots of awareness around x-mas not so much the rest of the year.

    You could also have bean related dishes and give something to a lucky fan everytime a "beanball"(a batter is hit by a pitch) is thrown

  • RCN

    Colin wrote:

    Alternatively they could call it “Can night”, keep the food bank component and the rest, but reduce admission price for food bank donations & girls in bikinis.

    And you could give something to a lucky fan everytime somebody is canned! yahoo!

    God i am bored. Sorry for posting so many lame things today. Even my name was wrong. I will try and be more insightful in the future.

  • RCN

    Jason
    We all know that baseball is a tough drawn here in e town. I guess this promo would try to help that cause. so how about this.
    Make it a two day event
    Have an exibition baseball game between the Oilers And the Oil Cats before the season kicks off, this will draw people to the building and mabey spark an interest in new comers ,give it a new twist now that the Oilers and the Oil Cats share the same owner. Use one to help the other.
    You also should have a contest game day..face painting,costumes and have thier picture take by a selected news paper.. If your face appears in the …. you win …….Lunch with selected players from both teams..
    For women Best Cougar costume
    for men Best Tiger costume
    And kids Best kitten costume..as examples

    And with that selected news paper you can also have contests leading up to the event ..incorperate both teams hockey and baseball.

    Baseball here needs a kickstart if you got to use hockey to do it why not..

  • RCN

    @ Bruno:

    I like it, but don't want to see someone like Sheldon Souray from injuring himself from playing baseball, sliding into third, etc. NHL SPC also forbids non-hockey activity, including baseball, without explicit permission for this reason (which could be granted likely, but it's there for a reason).

  • RCN

    I Am The Law – FMNF wrote:

    @ Bruno:
    I like it, but don’t want to see someone like Sheldon Souray from injuring himself from playing baseball, sliding into third, etc. NHL SPC also forbids non-hockey activity, including baseball, without explicit permission for this reason (which could be granted likely, but it’s there for a reason).

    Permission from who the P.A.??I guess I should of thought of that. Its more aimed at a fun interaction between the two teams. they could actually even start by inviting some of the Oil Cats to the Oiler games get some sort of a buzz show thier faces .. I just dont think any thing else would work to bring in new fans without the oilers.. If Not a game how about a carnival .. like they use to have with the esks.. Involve a numrous amount of charities . Get all fans from each sport to interact..

  • RCN

    I've been trying to think of a clever name for my idea for 20 minutes, so if anyone has one let me know. Have an all things cat night. Cougars get in free if they're wearing a tank top. Have a pussy shaving contest where people shave a design into their cats and bring them in. Winner gets an oz of catnip. Anyone who brings an article of hello kitty merchandise to the game gets in free, and then have a bonfire after the game with all the merchandise, a la disco demolition night.

    Or have a night when you're playing against the Chicago Outlaws where anyone who has been charged with a felony gets in free. BYOB.

  • RCN

    Bring Your Own Cup night.

    Bring your own beverage container and fill it up with pop, beer, nacho cheese, etc. for a unit price/fillup. That way I could drink out of my 4 gallon paint bucket in public.

  • RCN

    Bruno wrote:

    I Am The Law – FMNF wrote:
    @ Bruno:
    I like it, but don’t want to see someone like Sheldon Souray from injuring himself from playing baseball, sliding into third, etc. NHL SPC also forbids non-hockey activity, including baseball, without explicit permission for this reason (which could be granted likely, but it’s there for a reason).

    Permission from who the P.A.??I guess I should of thought of that. Its more aimed at a fun interaction between the two teams. they could actually even start by inviting some of the Oil Cats to the Oiler games get some sort of a buzz show thier faces .. I just dont think any thing else would work to bring in new fans without the oilers.. If Not a game how about a carnival .. like they use to have with the esks.. Involve a numrous amount of charities . Get all fans from each sport to interact..

    It's more an issue of permission from the team, according to SPC Art. 7. Although the more I think about it, I think the team would give permission if it was a "softball" game as opposed to a full-on baseball game. Again, would suck if someone got injured over it. Unlikely, but then again, Sakic's on the shelf for snow-blowing.

    I think you have the right idea Bruno. I think the Oilers have to be involved, but the question is "to what extent?".

  • RCN

    I like the simple old school disco night. Polyester and bell bottoms or plaid pants if you prefer ala Reg Dunlop ooh ooh how about a Slap Shot night. It works for hockey and would draw people to the Oilcats game as well because who doesn't like Slap Shot.

  • RCN

    Where have I been for the past 5 years and why have people been keeping this March 14th thing from me? This is fantastic! Are you kidding me? Next month I get steak too? Unreal!

  • RCN

    Oooookkkaaaay,
    How about " Crotchless Panty Night"? Women agreeing to the terms and conditions would be let into the game for free!!

    Women would be given a plastic poncho and would be required to wear nothing else. They wouldn't need an actual seat because they would be….er, bouncing up and down on my knee if you get my drift. I see this as a win-win situation.

    Do-able? Yes/No.

  • RCN

    I should state that none of those ideas where mine. Apparently someone thinks I was trying to take credit for them. I researched those on the web and took the ideas from a few different sites. I copied and pasted them and then took out some words that didn't add to the general idea.

    Here is one of the links…
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/baseball/mlb/07/30/minors.promotions/

    Once again I never claimed these were my ideas…and should of included a link, but these ideas were all from a team's website originally that have been copied and pasted many times over.

  • RCN

    How about Bum Darts off the High Level Bridge before the game (sticking with the "poo" theme). Contestants could use little wee bats, and "drop" for accuracy at a target on the river below….or maybe some sort of version of the Great Duck Race.

  • RCN

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    I should state that none of those ideas where mine. Apparently someone thinks I was trying to take credit for them. I researched those on the web and took the ideas from a few different sites. I copied and pasted them and then took out some words that didn’t add to the general idea.
    Here is one of the links…
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/baseball/mlb/07/30/minors.promotions/
    Once again I never claimed these were my ideas…and should of included a link, but these ideas were all from a team’s website originally that have been copied and pasted many times over.

    Who else would com up with a George Costanza night Jason…You theif!!!!Jk JK