ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JOE KLEINSASSER
When it comes to marketing promotions, professional baseball resorts to all kinds of gimmicks to entice people to the ballpark. Bat day, ball day, dollar hot dogs, soda, concerts and fireworks are among the run-of-the-mill baseball promotions.
Certainly some creative ideas are rejected in the process and never see the light of day. As marketing and promotions staff brainstorm, they probably pitch all kinds of interesting ideas.
Let me submit some unusual promotions that will probably never see the light of day.
Performance Enhancing Drugs Day: The first 20,000 fans at every major league baseball stadium on Saturday, July 1, will be given syringes, free steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
The packages will be personally autographed by all players who currently use these drugs and includes a Barry Bonds bobblehead doll.
All recipients will, of course, be barred from recreational sports and gainful employment.
— Fan Appreciation Day. Fans attending games on designated days in each major league city will be treated to a free barbecue and free player autographs sponsored by the Major League Baseball Players Association.
— Turn Back the Clock Day. Baseball owners will roll the clock back 50 years and for one day charge ticket prices of a professional baseball game in 1956. Concession costs also will reflect 1956 prices.
— Hug an Umpire Day. Immediately following the baseball game, 1,000 fans will be chosen randomly to hug an umpire and tell him how much he is appreciated. Before approaching the umpire, the selected fans must go through a metal detector and submit to a breathalyzer test.
— Lie to Congress Day. Sponsored by the Major League Baseball Players Association, one lucky fan in each ballpark will be given tips on the pros and cons of lying at a congressional hearing.
— Contribute to a Needy Player Day. As fans enter the stadium, they will have the opportunity to donate cash or cans of food to the family of the player with the lowest salary on the team.
— Raise Your Hands If You’re Sure Day. Sure deodorant will provide free samples to all fans anytime the game time temperature is at least 95 degrees.
— We’re Sorry We Stank Day. Royals fans who attend the last home game of the season will receive dirty socks from their favorite baseball players.
— Mike Sweeney First-Aid Kit Day. The first 10,000 fans who arrive at Kaufman Stadium will be given a first-aid kit featuring oft-injured Royals star Mike Sweeney’s picture on the box lid.
In addition to the requisite Band-Aids, first-aid cream, etc., the kit will include a card-very large, possibly unsuitable for framing-listing all of the dates that Mike Sweeney was on the disabled list.
— Lay a Goose Egg Day. Every time the Royals lay an egg at home and don’t score a run, fans can turn in their ticket stubs at any Kansas City area grocery store for a free dozen eggs.
For obvious reasons, this complementary prize will not be distributed at the stadium.
— Stick Your Head in the Sand Day. At the conclusion of a dismal season, the worst team in baseball, the Royals, will give the first 5,000 fans a plush ostrich in honor of their team’s lousy play on the field.
— Fan Appreciation Day II. One lucky Kansas City fan will receive free tickets and free transportation to all major league stadiums in 2007 to see how major league baseball is really played.
— Tom Stoppel Day. All Free Press readers will be admitted free to the first Marion High School and Tabor College home football games in honor of former Free Press sports reporter Tom Stoppel, who recently resigned his position.
Stoppel did a first-class job covering Marion High School and Tabor College athletics.
You better accept this offer, because you won’t have Stoppel’s game reports to make you feel like you were there yourself. He will be missed.