CONTEST: Zany baseball promotions

Jason Gregor
February 13 2009 10:03AM

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.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 Jason Gregor
February 14 2009, 07:21PM
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Mike W wrote:

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.

What jokes did I use? Of course I wrote my WORDS in the fist person, as I always do. Don't you think the Grey font separates my thoughts from the explanation of what the promotion was? I thought using the different font would make it pretty clear to people that they were not my words.

Like I stated, I'm sorry if it misled anyone to think I was claiming these ideas as my own. Never once did I make any reference that these were my ideas. I'm not sure what you are looking for here. I ask you to show me where I said anything to make someone believe the PROMOTIONS were my ideas. I've apologized and will move on. And since a legal media lawyer said there would be no recourse, I take it as an honest mistake on my part and will move on.

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#102 Alan
February 14 2009, 07:26PM
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Mike W wrote:

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

Mike,

I'm curious why you are so upset? Gregor seemed to have made an honest mistake. The first time I read it I knew the promotions weren't his idea. It seems you have a grudge against the guy, and are trying to make him look bad.

Gregor don't worry about it. I think I speak for 99% of the Nation and we appreciate your work and your original ideas. It's too bad I suck at thinking up unique promotions, because I would love to see the Oil crush the Flamers next week.

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#103 Jason Gregor
February 14 2009, 07:29PM
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Mike W wrote:

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

If you would like to discuss it further contact me at jason@justagame.ca and I will gladly talk about it with you.

Thanks.

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#104 Mike W
February 14 2009, 08:28PM
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Jason Gregor

Don’t you think the Grey font separates my thoughts from the explanation of what the promotion was? I thought using the different font would make it pretty clear to people that they were not my words.

Wait, are you suggesting that you had blocked quotes and grey text all along?

That seems like a new development to me, and oddly I no longer can prove it because this site has blocked web archiving for some reason.

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#105 Tyler
February 15 2009, 10:16AM
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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.

Holy fuck. The writer from SI.com, presumably, did the research in terms of going out and finding out about these events and then writing them. Your suggestion that he copied them directly from a press release is almost certainly wrong - for one, the verb tense would be weird in a press release. I would bet a large amount of money that he wrote the descriptions himself.

FWIW, I googled the offending paragraphs and wasn't able to find these press releases. Filice's story popped out without a problem. It also strikes me as a little strange that you quoted the Milwaukee Admirals' press release but not Filice's story, until you were called on it.

In any event, and I really shouldn't have to say this, but from where I sit, the issue goes beyond just taking the ideas. It's actually cut and pasting his text. Maybe lifting Filice's ideas without crediting him is acceptable - I wouldn't do it but then I'm not a media professional - but you sure as hell can't just copy and paste what he wrote. Suggesting that he himself didn't write that stuff just compounds things IMO.

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.

Gennaro Filice had an idea for a story about wacky minor league baseball promotions. You copied and pasted his story without attribution. The issue isn't whether Filice came up with the promotions, which is what you seem to think. The issue is the story.

This is textbook plagiarism, fixed somewhat by your attribution after you were called on it but compounded by you suggesting that you haven't really done anything wrong and suggesting that Filice himself just copied and pasted. Given that you were the guy telling Staples earlier this year about how unaccountable and unprofessional blogs are, and the bloggers were worried about the invasion of media professionals, it's all the more egregious.

In any event, now that I know you guys are cool with this, I guess I'll just start copying and pasting the posts here onto my own site.

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#106 Jason Gregor
February 15 2009, 01:22PM
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Mike W wrote:

Wait, are you suggesting that you had blocked quotes and grey text all along? That seems like a new development to me, and oddly I no longer can prove it because this site has blocked web archiving for some reason.

Mike, I could send you the original email that I sent to Bingofuel. It has different font, size and shading. The only thing different now is the link to the article. That doesn't excuse the error, but it does show that I was never once trying to take credit for the promotional ideas. Tyler wrote:

In any event, now that I know you guys are cool with this, I guess I’ll just start copying and pasting the posts here onto my own site.

It was an honest mistake. I apologized and now we are moving on. The fact you chime in at the very end shows you just want to be an ass for the sake of it. Clearly you are still upset that I gave an honest answer about bloggers with Staples. I'm secure enough to know that all the sane people see it as an honest mistake and nothing more. You harping on it just shows your ignorance once again. I'm sure I could go find reasons to rip many of your articles, but I can honestly say I've never once read one and never will. I didn't even know you have a site. Trying to make this more than it is, an honest mistake, is unfortunate. I admitted I made a mistake, so what else is there. Do you think you calling me out will ruin my name? Is that your M.O?

If you are that upset about our site then don't come and read it. You have that choice. This will be my last comment on this. I made an mistake and will move on, and since the whole point of the story was to give a loyal NATION reader a pair of tickets I'm glad we will still be able to do that.

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#107 Tyler
February 15 2009, 02:02PM
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It has different font, size and shading. The only thing different now is the link to the article. That doesn’t excuse the error, but it does show that I was never once trying to take credit for the promotional ideas.

Well that's a defence. I'm surprised that you didn't just say that in the first place and explain that you should have provided a link. Seems odd to me that original draft had quotes in it that the reader would have just thought were quotes from nowhere, as compared to say the Admirals' thing, which was properly cited from the beginning with: "Here is the release from the Admirals, or you can check out their website:" but I'll take your word for it.

Clearly you are still upset that I gave an honest answer about bloggers with Staples. I’m secure enough to know that all the sane people see it as an honest mistake and nothing more.

I suspect that you would have an awfully hard time finding a respectable member of the media who accepts any of your defence of this up until the point that you said that Bingofuel screwed it up. If the editor screwed up, the editor screwed up. It took an awful long time to get to that point though and you don't quite seem to

Taking you at your word, which I do, you were then putting in quotes without providing sources for those quotes, which is pretty bad writing from a media professional (the reader is left to wonder who said the stuff that you're quoting) but probably not outright plagiarism, in that you intended to indicate that the writing belonged to someone else. So ethically you're ok, although your writing is a bit so-so.

Re: the Staples thing. I have no doubt that that's your honest view and belief. I just think that it's an awfully asinine view and the bit where you talked about the bloggers being concerned about the media professionals invading their turf bordered on absurd, particularly when the media professionals apparently have problems getting their quotes done properly.

I’m sure I could go find reasons to rip many of your articles, but I can honestly say I’ve never once read one and never will.

Hilarious. You actually can't honestly say that, as you have (honestly - people can look) commented on posts on my site before.

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#108 Jason Gregor
February 15 2009, 07:03PM
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Tyler wrote:

Hilarious. You actually can’t honestly say that, as you have (honestly - people can look) commented on posts on my site before.

I never read an article. I commented after it was pointed out to me that you took shots at me. I commented in the comments box. And up until now I never knew you were the same person. I couldn't even tell you what the site is because your comments were emailed to me and I clicked on it. Sorry dude. I don't read your stuff.

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#109 bingofuel
February 16 2009, 10:14AM
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@ Mike W: Looking back at the original text Jason sent me, the quotes he used were in a different type and size. We didn't communicate clearly on what was and was not Jason's writing, so this is definitely an unfortunate mix-up. Jason's owned up to it, it was my bad as editor for not realizing wtf was going on.

Sorry about all this, folks. An honest mistake I feel that we've corrected. Again, if it's a matter you wish to discuss further, please email us at oilersnation@gmail.com and we can certainly continue this discussion.

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#110 mike smth
February 16 2009, 10:19AM
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I say that they just re-tool the good ol' souvenir baseball bat. So that the ladies can enjoy it. Then the men can go out galavanting, drinking, causing mayhem and what not. All the fat ass hardcore Baseball fanatics don't care about pussy cats and cute little puppies. Especially when Casey's at the bat, huh? Meanwhile back at home during the "mini-bat" giveaway you dont even realize that those bats are smacking those pussy cats and the puppies are crying because you are watching your team go.

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#111 mike smth
February 16 2009, 10:34AM
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Blah Blah Blah...All the Oilers have to do is shoot the puck! Enough of this dancy patsy pass the puck until we turn it over. Shoot it! make teams know that we will crank it up and hit the damn net. Pepper the other goalie until he actually wants to be replaced. Forget about angles..SHOOT! It only makes chances...shots=rebounds or faceoffs. Rebounds=second/third chances. When I was playing pee-wee I scored at least 5 goals off of bank shots. NHL players should be able to score 10 times more that that, and if the don't it's a faceoff or rebound op. Watch the Oilers, they never shoot. They diddle. Shoot the puck.

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#112 alphah
February 16 2009, 11:21AM
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Lets have Plagiarism Night with special guests Jason Gregor and Coldplay will perform Viva La Vida.. ;) Everyone can throw rotton vegetables!

J/k J Gregs (although if you like the idea feel free to give me the tickets ;-) -- it seemed pretty obvious to me that you were just referencing random promotions you found online...

Now for my second and more real concept.. Lets have some fun. The most attractive thing for any particular event (or party) is the fun factor. For a lot of us, some of the most fun we've ever had on a consistent basis was at college parties. Lets throw a theme party for the cracker Katz.. If you wear "anything but clothes" you get a discount, if you wear a toga or crazy colors you get a lesser discount.. beer pong at the gates for chances to win some sort of crappy prizes! Student discounts! Root beer is cheap for the kids.. If only I could remember that one fateful year better I would add some more, but you get the idea..

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#113 Matt
February 16 2009, 12:19PM
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@ alphah: you forgot to include roofie roulette. You can't have a good frat party without roofies.

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#114 Jason Gregor
February 16 2009, 12:56PM
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alphah wrote:

Lets have Plagiarism Night with special guests Jason Gregor and Coldplay will perform Viva La Vida.. Everyone can throw rotton vegetables! J/k J Gregs (although if you like the idea feel free to give me the tickets — it seemed pretty obvious to me that you were just referencing random promotions you found online… Now for my second and more real concept.. Lets have some fun. The most attractive thing for any particular event (or party) is the fun factor. For a lot of us, some of the most fun we’ve ever had on a consistent basis was at college parties. Lets throw a theme party for the cracker Katz.. If you wear “anything but clothes” you get a discount, if you wear a toga or crazy colors you get a lesser discount.. beer pong at the gates for chances to win some sort of crappy prizes! Student discounts! Root beer is cheap for the kids.. If only I could remember that one fateful year better I would add some more, but you get the idea..

Can I invite Milli Vanilli too...

Your party idea is a good one...Winner will be announced on Thursday...

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#115 Matt N
February 16 2009, 03:00PM
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How about "Bitter Divorced Night". Have the 50/50 draw go to the guy with the largest child support payment. Bring your ex and he/she gets %50 off admission. One free beer for every divorce agreement or restraining order you bring to the game. Fans could throw baseballs at "divorce lawyers" during the stretch for prizes.

Lots of angles to play here.

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#116 Jason
February 16 2009, 11:21PM
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So minus all the drama..... did my Cat night idea win or what?? haha...im mean ROaaaar! This was the right place to post my idea right...i dont see a tonne more...just people giving Gregor crap for no reason!???

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#117 Tuco
February 18 2009, 02:16PM
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Re plagiarism: I think Gregor has figured out that blog writing can be just as formal and rigorous as dead-tree writing.

There is MORE accountability in blogging than in newspapers because the feedback, as gregor has learned, is immediate and can be harsh.

Gregor needs to bone up on ethics and plagiarism, to be sure.

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#118 GDB 58: A contest winner and a game night - OilersNation.com
February 19 2009, 05:23PM
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[...] promotional ideas, we have come up with a winner for the Oiler/Flames tickets. Congrats to Mrs. Cogliano with this post: Promote Health and Awareness for “Cancer down there”….some proceeds could be [...]

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#119 Disappointment - OilersNation.com
February 23 2009, 01:40PM
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[...] Recent example? Jason Gregor’s “plagarism.” [...]

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