For diehard Lakers fans suffering from Kobe withdrawal after winning the 2009 NBA Championship, the Lakers have the perfect memorabilia for fans to always be with their favorite basketball superstar. For $13,000, they can purchase a life-sized Kobe Bryant bobblehead doll. With this ridiculous bobblehead, fans don’t even need to see replays of Kobe Bryant’s highlights, they can just gaze at this monstrosity and remember how he stared down over his competition for the 82-game season and the playoffs. Promotional bobbleheads are meant to be placed on people’s desks or shelves, not to serve as overbearing gargoyles to fend off unwanted guests. On the other hand, owners of this atrocious bobblehead can always roll it into their driveways and say they beat Kobe in an uncompetitive game of 1-on-1.
Archive for June, 2009
Forget Federer going for his record breaking 15th major and Venus Williams trying to three-peat at Wimbledon. It’s all about the Prince Wimbledon Ball Guess Contest this year. This past week, Prince, a leading tennis equipment company took part in the “HSBC presents Wimbledon 2009 at Rockefeller Center” which featured a week of complimentary activities and events, including live daily screenings of matches and free tennis for the public on Manhattan’s only grass court.
In addition to the perks of live match screenings and complimentary strawberries and cream that have been offered, Prince has given fans at Rockefeller Center and on-line the opportunity to guess the number of Prince tennis balls in a 2 ft. x 2 ft. x 7 ft. glass container. Visitors of Rockefeller Center can fill out a form to submit their guess, and those not in attendance can submit their guesses online. The contests will continue until July 5th. The person closest to guessing the exact number of tennis balls in the container, without going over, will receive a special Prince prize package including a new EXO3 racquet, premium racquet bag, and an autographed racquet from 2004 Wimbledon Champion, Maria Sharapova.
A free racquet bag and new racket?! I’m guessing 1127. Good luck!
Today is the “Inaugural Tuesday” of the 2009 New York-Penn League season. In honor of the 44th President of the United States, the Brooklyn Cyclones will take the name “Baracklyn Cyclones” tonight and give away a ton of patriotic, political themed products along with a few amusing promotions:
- Free Barack Obama bobbleheads to the first 2,500 fans in attendance, featuring the President in a Baracklyn Cyclones Jersey
- Universal Health Care: Free Band-Aids to the first 1,000 fans
- Naming Rights: Anyone named Barack gets in for free
- Joe the Plumber special: Any plumber named Joe gets two free tickets – one for himself, and one to “spread the wealth” with a friend
- Bi-Partisan Consolation Prize: Anyone named McCain or Palin will get a free Bleacher Seat
- A clear-cut Exit Strategy: Fans will receive American Flags and discount coupons as they leave the ballpark
Game-worn jerseys from the one-of-a-kind night will also be auctioned off throughout the game, with proceeds being donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which provides comprehensive scholarships and support services to minority students enrolled at institutions of higher education. Sure, minor-league games don’t have the same star power as their major league affiliates, but they sure know how to get people in the stands.
Golfsmith International Holdings, Inc. collaborated with Callaway Golf and PGA Tour professionals, Phil Mickelson and Rocco Mediate, to give golfers a chance to get free, new drivers in one of the biggest promotions the golf industry has ever seen. From June 3 – June 17, golfers who purchased one of three new Callaway drivers- the Big Bertha Diablo , FT-9 or FT-iQ – at any Golfsmith store across the country will have the purchase price of their Callaway driver fully refunded by Goldsmith if either Mickelson or Mediate wins the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in Bethpage State Park in New York. At the end of the third round, hopes for Mediate to win have all but evaporated with a score of 10 over par, but Mickelson remains in the hunt at only 2 under par, 5 strokes behind the leader.
For the second straight year, the U.S. Open will finish on Monday; this time due to the volatile weather and rain. While this promotion has the potential to be one of the greatest golf promotions ever, I’m sure Golfsmith will wish they would have picked a cheaper promotion to build their brand name this weekend, if Mickelson wins. I’m sure fans at Bethpage Black wouldn’t have mind receiving a few promotional umbrellas or golf ponchos to help fend off the downpour during the firs three rounds. It sure would have beat having to pay $49 for an umbrella at the merchandise tent.
Ever since Ichiro Suzuki made his debut with the Seattle Mariners in 2001, leading them to a MLB record setting 116-46 season, Ichiro bobbleheads have become a fixture of Safeco Field’s stadium giveaways. This year, the Mariners’ lineup of promotional bobbleheads includes Ken Griffey Jr. and Felix Hernandez. Tonight, they will be giving away Brandon Morrow bobbleheads to the first 20,000 fans in his promotional product debut.
Of the Mariners’ lineup of bobbleheads, Morrow is one of the least accomplished players, and the Mariners had been hoping that he would live up to his hype as a prospect to warrant having a promotional campaign revolve around him. Unfortunately, his performance has been subpar this season, and fans looking to cash in on the stadium giveaway will be disappointed. Hopefully, they will at least have fun at the game.
Last night, the Boston Red Sox celebrated their 500th consecutive sellout at Fenway Park which started on May 15, 2003. To commemorate this momentous occassion, the Red Sox and corporate sponsors showered the fans with their appreciation and tons of free promotional products. All of the fans attending the game received a commemorative postcard featuring a panoramic photograph of Fenway Park and the graphic “Thank you for 500 Consecutive Sellouts at Fenway Park 2003-2009” and a commemorative baseball etched with ‘500’.
The promotional bonanza didn’t stop there. At the end of every inning, randomly selected fans throughout Fenway Park received giveaways from Red Sox corporate sponsors:
Aramark: 500 Certificates for a free hot dog
D’Angelo: 500 free lunch coupons (includes a small sub/sandwich, chips and a drink)
Dunkin’ Donuts: 500 $10.00 gift cards
Gulf: 500 $10.00 gas cards
Qdoba Mexican Grill: 500 certificates for a free burrito
Papa Gino’s: 500 Coupons for a free large cheese pizza
The Red Sox Team Store: 500 $10.00 gift cards
Stanley Tools: 500 25′ Stanley FatMax Tape Rules
In addition to the giveaways, one fan whose seat was located 500 feet from home plate received two authentic bleacher seats from Fenway Park. After the top of the fifth inning, video “thank you” messages from players, ownership and other Boston notables were also played on the center field videoboard. The number 500 was also mowed into the outfield grass.
This is one game I wish I could have gone to. The giveaways seemed like they would never end. I may not have the need for a promotional tape measure or a custom imprinted baseball, but who wouldn’t want free stuff to remember the night?
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is renowned for being a full contact combat sport, which encompasses a wide variety of fighting techniques and martial arts traditions. Recently, its popularity has exceeded that of boxing as the physicality of the sport and the minimal rules for safety have won over many fans. To attract more fans and improve its recognition among the public, MMA leagues have begun producing promotional t-shirts imprinted with highly graphic designs.
While MMA leagues offer promotional apparel and accessories, including MMA grappling gloves and board shorts, which effectively reflect the intense competitors and extremely physical nature of the thier leagues, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s recent Lightweight Champion, BJ Penn took a more gentle approach in his marketing campaign with a a coconut scented promotional air freshener of himself. It didn’t exactly instill fear in me, so I’m guessing his opponents were scared either.
Of the four major American sports, ice hockey teams are often said to have the greatest home advantage. All teams have boisterous crowds of passionate fans when playing at home, but ice hockey teams have additional strategic advantages. During stoppages of play, the home team is allowed to make player substitutions after the visiting team, enabling them to create favorable player matchups. Also, home teams have better odds of winning faceoffs because the away team’s center must place his hockey stick on the ice before the home team’s center, giving him the ability to time the faceoff better.
Despite the strategic advantages on the ice, the constant cheering and support of the home fans contribute signficantly to their home advantage. In the past teams have used “White Outs,” in which fans were asked to wear white clothing to home playoff games to create a more intimidating atmosphere. The Pittsburgh Penguins had a “White Out” and gave away white t-shirts at Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Despite the success of some promotional schemes, the Detroit Red Wings had a Ted Lindsay book signing to promote Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. A book signing, for the most important game of the season. Way to rally the fans! They would have been better off with some promotional towels or custom thundersticks resembling hockey sticks to charge up the fans at Joe Louis Arena? Maybe their lame promotional event is one of the reasons why they lost that pivotal Game 7 to the Penguins.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were awarded their Super Bowl XLIII rings during a ceremony Tuesday night, and boy were they in for a treat. These rings are twice as large as their last Super Bowl ring, according to John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Each ring contains 63 diamonds equalling 3.67 carats, and the entire ring weighs 3.7 ounces. On one side, the player’s name is displayed along with his number, the Steelers logo, and the NFL logo. On the other side is the Super Bowl XLIII logo, the score of the Super Bowl, and six Lombardi Trophies sitting inside Heinz Field.
Fans can purchase replicas of the Steelers’ rings, but they look nothing like the original. They’d be better of with something simpler like jewelry or football themed products that could just as easily commemorate their 27-23 Super Bowl win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Baseball is one of America’s favorite pastime, but the Japanese culture has come to embrace baseball as one of its favorite sports.
Promotional products given away at American major and minor league baseball stadiums have become repetitive and predictable with towel and baseball cap giveaways becoming the norm. However, the way promotions are done in Japan may be a great untapped resource for American baseball, especially at the minor league level. An article by The Biz of Baseball, “Japanese Promotional Baseball Products Coming to U.S.” highlights how the introduction of new stadium promotional products could help boost the attendance of minor league teams.
Unlike major league teams, minor league teams typically do not have marquee athletes to market, so they rely heavily on marketing the more intimate feel of a smaller ballpark and promotions. By offering some of the unique and inexpensive giveaways used at Japanese ballparks, such as 7th Inning Stretch Balloons and keychain-like “Straps,” minor league teams can begin to draw more fans into the ballpark.