Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Local Sports Marketing Trends

A couple of the latest sports marketing trends making waves in the Twin Cities area:

--A few Sundays ago, the St. Paul Saints did a promotion where they gave "bobblefoot dolls" away to the first few thousand fans. Instead of a bobblehead, they spoofed the Larry Craig sex solicitation incident at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, making the leg underneath the bathroom stall divider shake. This was met by scores of people who said it was over the top and in bad taste. To those people, I just want to say: get a life, and a sense of humor. The Saints are known for over-the-top, irreverent promotions that completely entertain and satisfy their core fan base, and this fits right in with what they've done all along. The same people that complained about this are not the ones most likely to sit outside for 3-6 hours on a rainy day and watch a minor-league baseball game. Not only do I believe this was a brilliant promotion, and extremely funny, but it's more evidence that the Saints know their audience, and they continue to deliver the goods. And just guess how many tickets they sold that day.

--The Minnesota Twins recently had two games in which they sold upper-deck seats along with all-you-can-eat concession coupons. These, apparently, were such huge successes that they are expanding the promotion to six more home games still this year - a rarity in the business today.

I'm not sure what it says about our society that people want to stuff themselves silly at a ballgame, or spend the majority of the game waiting in line where they can't see the game in the Metrodome's pathetically terrible concourses. Personally, when I go to a game, I actually like to sit in my seat and watch the game. But you have to tip your cap again to the Twins marketing team, the same folks who brought the bobblehead craze back to the sporting world several years ago. They've come up with another brilliant way of making their product relevant to the masses and creating an "enjoyable" game-day experience. And it's helping them making the best of a bad situation with the Metrodome and the 2008 edition of the team.

I dare you to find another sports market in this country with the top-to-bottom quality of team marketing and promotions that we have in the Twin Cities. You just don't hear of intelligent stuff like this happening in other places; on the flip side, for example, we heard all about the "19-0" plans made in Boston...we all know how well that worked out for the Patriots.

I'm out like Juan Rincon.

1 comment:

Mark Roberts said...

I saw a picture in the Strib after the first night, and there were ridiculous lines for the 'all you can eat' crowd. Looked like maybe just one cash register line to service everyone. Seems like poor planning - cause word will get out that it's not worth it if you stand in line the whole game.

Nonetheless, I like the idea of all the dome dogs i can pound.