Ask any baseball, basketball, or hockey fan – they follow their favorite teams as if it were their religion. Their dedication puts Tom Cruise to shame. You think he’s so loyal to Scientology? Well, that’s because you haven’t met the most devout fan of the bunch. The more successful the team is, the easier marketing should be. In fact, some team owners don’t need to do much but sit on their asses and announce to the rest of the world when the next game is.
When the Yanks or Dodgers are in town, every seat in the stadium is sure to be warm at the end of the night. The NBA playoffs? Fans stay as near to the court as possible just to see Lebron James up close and personal. If they could bottle his sweat and sell it as perfume, don’t ever doubt that they would!
Okay, so we can ramble on and on about what the fans are capable of doing, but you get the gist. You don’t need to do much to draw the crowd. Bobbleheads and blankets may have worked, but some of the gimmicks implemented were just downright disastrous. Seeing the players in action should have been more than enough, but then again, there’s a fool born every minute.
Team owners adopt a lot of maxims in their careers, all of which involve luring in hoards of people. Here are just some of their most ridiculous efforts:
1. Ft. Myers Miracle Scientology Night
Speaking of the great Mr. Cruise, the Ft. Myers Miracle minor league baseball team is no stranger to unique tactics. The plan was to showcase images of Tom Cruise and other famous scientologists to get people entertained. People simply needed to pay $5 for their seats. Did it work? Nope! People were more invested in seeing the Dave Matthews Band tribute that was slated after the game. The owners should have known that after that couch-jumping incident in Oprah, Mr. Mission Impossible himself was already set to self-destruct in 5 seconds.
[tps_title]2. Disco Demolition Night[/tps_title]
Two baseball giants were set to go head to head in July 12, 1979: the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. It was the end of the disco era and the beginning of the cool 80s rock music. White Sox fans were encouraged to bring disco records in exchange for admission. What was supposed to be a baseball game turned into the wildest Ultimate Frisbee match. Records were hurled while firecrackers and beer cans decorated the night sky. Batting helmets have never been more useful for this ill-fated night.
[tps_title]3. 10-Cent Beer Night[/tps_title]
Fans get rowdy. Drunken people are even worse. Combine the two and you have something akin to a natural disaster. Fans are over-indulgent by nature, especially when they’re watching their favorite teams at play. Ten cent beer only fuels their passion. Need we say more or do you get the picture?
We get it! Everyone’s going green and it’s time that we encourage fans to do their part. While the idea seems ideal, the execution is, pardon the pun, garbage. What’s compost made of? Trash collected from the ground. In this case, it’s trash from the stadium. This is where your hot dog, spit, and peanut shells end up, and you’ve just been given the privilege to take it home with you. And where would you keep this compost? In your jacket pocket?
Sports fans are often fathers who need to spend quality time with their kids despite their heavy schedule. After all, their commute from work to the stadium takes a good portion of their time every season. So, team owners try to lure the whole caboodle into the arena. Some idiot assumed that kids would shout with glee if they’re given the Weather Curriculum book. As if they need to be reminded about school! Well, they certainly achieved one thing: kids blamed the powers-that-be for raining on their parade.
[tps_title]6. All You Can Eat Seats[/tps_title]
When restaurants feature an “all you can eat” day, customers come flocking. It’s nice to know that you can binge without having to pay an extra dime for your gluttony. Bring this to the Dodgers stadium and charge the people $35 for it, and you’ll get a completely different outcome. Beer is considered a staple in these venues. When you combine food and alcohol, you can expect disaster. Ask the person to constantly jump up and down in excitement while binging, the chances for disaster to strike exponentially increase. Needless to say, the whole place smelled like putrid acid at the end of the day. This became the place where bacteria went to defecate and die.
[tps_title]7. West Michigan Whitecaps $1000 Cash Drop[/tps_title]
Minor league baseball teams are no strangers to moronic marketing schemes. Exhibit A: the West Michigan Whitecaps. In 2006, someone thought that it would be great to have someone drop $1000 at the Fifth Third Ballpark. Children were there to witness a helicopter fly overhead and drop the pledged amount. As said time and again, the fans are a passionate bunch of hardcore hero worshippers. But when it comes to money, even Santa Claus himself couldn’t stop anyone from the tidal wave of incoming people-traffic. Two children got trampled on, but thank goodness they weren’t hurt. Katie Croft, the representative of the event, defended her decision by saying, “It’s for fun and games…This is why we have everybody sign a waiver.” We wonder if she still has a job…
[tps_title]8. Hooters and Golf[/tps_title]
PGA golfer John Daly had it all – a thriving career, lots of cash, access to everything, and to every man’s consternation and envy, an all-you-can-drink-and-eat deal with Hooters. He may have been surrounded by large bosoms and sexy asses, but what the establishment failed to notice was that booze is dangerous for this man. He got so hammered one night that the police had to take him into custody. He because uncooperative and rowdy. Well, you can certainly blame booze for this. He has since reformed from the bad experience. More importantly, Hooters now makes sure never to have an alcoholic endorse them ever again. But then again, can you blame the man? Seeing those breasts must have made him sweat. He simply needed something to help him cool down.
[tps_title]9. Ice Hockey Hardhat Night[/tps_title]
Hard objects and sporting events never mix well. The Chicago Blackhawks gave several fans free hardhats. They wore this all throughout. That is, until Jonathan Toews scored his first ever career hat trick. A shower of hardhats ensued. This must’ve been the fans’ way of paying tribute. As the game continued, fans became more inebriated. Hence, hardhats constantly rained upon fans and players. Ironically, aren’t hardhats supposed to protect your head and not damage it? Well, suffice to say that it served a different purpose that night.
Now, this is probably one of the dumbest freebies ever thought of! First of all, why would a resident of Minnesota want a map of Minnesota? Chances are, they know even the most obscure roads that lead to the stadium. More importantly, doesn’t everyone have the GPS attached to the cars and the Google Maps app downloaded on their phones? It’s a waste of paper and this is certainly far from being environmentally aware. Fans got bored with this paper and decided to make paper planes with it. You could just imagine the plane models they’ve come up with. Never underestimate what these people can do. Those seated at the very top could actually create parachutes with paper napkins!
[tps_title]11. Seattle Mariners Jay Buhner Buzz Cut Night[/tps_title]
If you’re balding, then a buzz cut might just work for you. But when it comes to going bald, some men carry it well while others look hideous. And if you decide to watch the Seattle Mariners and end up looking like Mr. Clean, that’s another story altogether. While the fans did love Jay Buhner (he was the Michael Jordan of baseball in those days), some may be hesitant to have their heads shaved even by Jay himself in order to get free seats. But even more surprising were the folks who actually accepted the dare. This is definitely hero worship at its worst and finest.
[tps_title]12. Vero Beach Devil Rays Anti-Doping Night[/tps_title]
It’s no secret that some athletes take steroids to enhance their talents. The Vero Beach Devil Rays minor league team decided to host an anti-doping night. This was their way of discouraging the use of any form of drug, especially when the Olympics were just around the bend. The fans got something for free for attending the event – urine sample cups!
[tps_title]13. Christmas in July[/tps_title]
This was a Phillies event that seemed to make no sense whatsoever. Seeing a fat man wearing a thick red suit in the middle of summer makes you want to slobber like a thirsty dog. Who is crazy enough to wear a thick sweater when the sun is high up in the sky? With no snow in sight and without the smell of pine trees, Santa simply decided to giddy-up on his reindeer and watch baseball. As far as we know, he could’ve been more comfortable in the North Pole. The organizers would have been better off giving away free bottles of water. The already dehydrated fans would have appreciated this even more.
We still don’t know why the Hickory Crawdads used this Bobblehead and gave it away to fans who knew Joakim Noah more than Noah, the historical arc builder. Hickory must have suffered from a great flood years back. Or, they must have assumed that fans would part like the red sea just to get their hands on this Bobblehead.
What Are Your Favorites?
It takes all kinds of crazy to make the world. Sports teams are definitely in need of a better, smarter, and wiser marketing planner. Or, they could actually benefit a lot from someone blessed with something as simple as common sense.
[tps_footer]Let us know in the comments which ones you think are the best (or worst!)[/tps_footer]