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

    @ Gregor:

    Regarding the guy on your show today that said Hemsky for Jay Bo. He probably read it at Hockey Leaks. Who believes that crap?

    quote, "The Oilers are apparently willing to include Hemsky in a deal to bring in Bouwmeester"

    pftt.. just plain stupid!

  • RCN

    How about… 100% money back, guaranteed win night at Rexall?

    In fact the more I think of it. If the Oilers lose by more than 2 goals, all pay-per-views that are purchased at a residental home should be free. And make the players pay the loss.

  • RCN

    Smokin' Ray wrote:

    How about… 100% money back, guaranteed win night at Rexall?
    In fact the more I think of it. If the Oilers lose by more than 2 goals, all pay-per-views that are purchased at a residental home should be free. And make the players pay the loss.

    Smokin' Ray wrote:

    How about… 100% money back, guaranteed win night at Rexall?
    In fact the more I think of it. If the Oilers lose by more than 2 goals, all pay-per-views that are purchased at a residental home should be free. And make the players pay the loss.

    hey remember at the oiler games when everyone got a card with a colored penguin on it. Then if your color came up at the game you would get a free apetizerat earls/ Bring those back!!

  • RCN

    Gregor: I'm gonna ask you an honest question and I hope I get an honest answer.

    There are quotes out there from an interview you did with David Staples that point towards you not having a lot of respect for bloggers.

    So, let's say a blogger made the same mistake you did tonight; perhaps even from his parents basement!!!:) And he piece he cribbed from was something you had written.

    What would you say?

  • 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.

    Jason, I thought you were pretty clear that these were actual, really-happened promotions. There was no indication from your piece that you were inventing these.

    The problem is, if they are Someone Else's Words — even if they are from several sources or "unknown" sources — you have to be clear that they aren't Your Words. Anyone reading this piece would assume that the descriptions of the promotions were in your words, and would certainly have no idea that the descriptions were cut and pasted verbatim from elsewhere.

    Really, you can't do that, it's generally considered pretty serious. (And also, are you saying that the SI.com writer cut & pasted his descriptions from here/there, or that he wrote it originally, but you found some of his descriptions elsewhere?)

  • RCN

    BUCK75 – FMNF wrote:

    My personal favorite would be a jersey trade in night. I have in my possession a ‘M COMRIE’ (from the days of Paul), an away Torres & a home Stoll sweater.
    How many people have jersey’s like that. They are like $200 & I have seen a guy in Carolina game 7 of the cup finals with an old ‘Marchant’ with the name covered up in hockey tape with ‘Winchester’ written on it instead.
    Plus everyone has the old sweater – good way to get them into the ‘edge’ sweater…
    JMHO

    Not a Bad Idea there… With The Oil's 30th Year…

  • RCN

    Okay, here it is

    People who bring their own cats get in free that night…1 person per cat, that is, not a whole family of 12 per cat…

    They could have cat races, as well, to chase balls of yarn…the quickest individual time from point A to B wins 1 season ticket to the baseball team. It has to be individual times so there aren't cats everywhere and absolute mayhem! The season ticket would encourage that person to bring others with them and raise the attendance hopefully throughout the season.

    Simple, but I like it…

  • RCN

    I am a big fan of trading in your old jersey night, too, I would love that – but I don't see the Oilers wanting to give the new jerseys away when the fan who bought the old jersey is exactly who they are wanting to sell the jerseys to…I wish they would do that, though!! (I'm sure I could find one, although what would they do with 6,000,000 Pronger jerseys, I wonder…give them to the homeless shelters, maybe as toilet paper?)

  • 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.

    Jason, unless Gennaro Filice copied and pasted his story from some other common source, you have clearly plagiarized his words, and made no attempt to attribute them to the proper source. It's no defence to say "I never claimed these were my ideas". You are ostensibly a writer / member of the media. The presumption when reading an article in this context is not "unoriginal work unless stated otherwise".

    If I am wrong about any of this, please correct me. If not, you owe the readers of this site a more forthright statement than the bullshit non-apology you posted above. This is a serious issue for someone in your position.

  • RCN

    How about… Fan Interaction Day. Tours of the locker room, Batting Cages, Throw the fastest pitch contest, Players Meet with fans at gate, Some kind of MLB involvement (Former/current MLB Allstars for Signings and Photo's), visit announcer booth, wlak on field after game, stuff like that.

    Basically anything to make a non fan into a fan of the Oil Cats.

  • RCN

    Dennis wrote:

    Gregor: I’m gonna ask you an honest question and I hope I get an honest answer.
    There are quotes out there from an interview you did with David Staples that point towards you not having a lot of respect for bloggers.
    So, let’s say a blogger made the same mistake you did tonight; perhaps even from his parents basement!!!:) And he piece he cribbed from was something you had written.
    What would you say?

    Dennis, never once did I take those promotion ideas and claim they were mine. The writer from si.com actually took the words from press releases from the teams themselves, so they weren't his original ideas either. Did he quote the press release? No.

    As for respect for bloggers. I have none for the guys who take personal shots at people, or write something derogatory about someone that they will never have to meet. It is easy to rip someone when their is no recourse for you comments. Calling a player a chicken sheet is easy when you don't have to face him.

    A columnist, or talk show host who rips a player has to show up in the room the next day and face the potential wrath of that specific player or the entire room. That was my beef.

    As for not quoting si.com…Let's get serious. I never claimed the ideas to be mine, and the ideas were never the original thought of the si.com writer to begin with.

    Show me where I took the thoughts, or ideas of another and claimed them to be my own. That is the true definition of plagiarize.

    The reason I started to write on the Internet, was because I had entire shows about a certain topic that no one talked about, and then a few days later a writer would write those exact thoughts. I didn't jump up and down and scream. I just started writing so I could prove that in certain cases I came up with the idea first.

    If someone took a piece of one of my articles/columns and wrote about it and didn't credit me, I wouldn't be that upset. Because if someone wanted to call him on it, they could find the date of my original article to show I had wrote it first.

    Never once in this post did I make a reference that these were my ideas, or that I was the first to report on them. I use my own ideas for stories, and in this case I guess I could have quoted the sites I got them from, but the sites weren't the original origin of the story to begin with.

  • RCN

    Mike W wrote:

    This is so nakedly a textbook example of plagiarism, no matter how feeble the explanation.

    Actually Mike it isn't

    Plagiarize by definition is this.

    Take and use the thoughts, writing, of another as your own.

    If you notice the font of the promotions is different font than my actual words. It was in GREY to seperate that they weren't my words. I have never used someone else's ideas and CLAIMED them as my own.

    sycamore wrote:

    Jason, unless Gennaro Filice copied and pasted his story from some other common source, you have clearly plagiarized his words, and made no attempt to attribute them to the proper source. It’s no defence to say “I never claimed these were my ideas”. You are ostensibly a writer / member of the media. The presumption when reading an article in this context is not “unoriginal work unless stated otherwise”.
    If I am wrong about any of this, please correct me. If not, you owe the readers of this site a more forthright statement than the bullshit non-apology you posted above. This is a serious issue for someone in your position.

    Using the different font made it pretty clear they weren't my words. And ONCE AGAIN never once did I make the claim these were my ideas, which is the basic term of plagiarize. I added a link and said it was an oversight. Not much else that I can do. Feel free to want to take it further, since I called a media lawyer and he looked at the site and said there is nothing that would be deemed lawbreaking. He also noted I erred, but with the colouring of the ideas ( which came from a few different sites) he said it wouldn't be a chargeable offence. Like I stated earlier, an oversight on my part and one that won't happen again, but there is nothing to state I was claiming these to be my ideas.

    If any of the readers thought these were my ideas I am sorry. I thought I made it pretty clear they weren't. I'm not wacky enough to think of INDOOR PLUMBING NIGHT or the other zany ideas. I apologize if I misled anyone.

  • RCN

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    Show me where I took the thoughts, or ideas of another and claimed them to be my own. That is the true definition of plagiarize.

    You literally copied and pasted another writer's article into a story with your OWN byline on it (please tell me you know what a byline is, it's right up there under the headline, for starters). You even wrote in the first person, for crying out loud.

    Not only that, you even kept intact some the jokes from another writer, word for word.

    As plagiarism, it doesn't get any more glaring than that.

  • RCN

    **Show me where I took the thoughts, or ideas of another and claimed them to be my own. That is the true definition of plagiarize.**

    You literally copied and pasted another writer’s article into a story with your OWN byline on it (please tell me you know what a byline is, it’s right up there under the headline, for starters). You even wrote in the first person, for crying out loud.

    Not only that, you even kept intact some the jokes from another writer, word for word.

    As plagiarism, it doesn’t get any more glaring than that.