CPR Promotional Check-Up - Apr 5, 2012
April 5, 2012
Ah…the smell of the Astroturf, the crack of the corked bat, the taste of the popcorn that was made three days ago and stored in large bins, reheated and sold by angry vendors: baseball season is upon us.
It's not just that the Twins have the best stadium ever paid for by my tax dollars, but I love the sport because there is SO freaking much we can "do" with it.
Baseball is great in terms of being a promotional venue for us because it's (usually) outdoor and it's a family-friendly sport. Just about everyone can afford to go to a ballgame. With that said, how're you set for the season?
Ball Boy/Girl For A Day A great prize if you can pull it off. Sometimes, you just have to ask.
Celebrity Softball The teams are usually cool with doing something after the game. What if you staged a softball game between your station and a visiting band and their entourage? Back-in-the-day, both the Eagles and Journey were always up for a game. Do it for a charity, ie: if the station wins, the band donates $1000 to a station-chosen charity and vice versa.
Father Mows Best What would be the coolest honor you could have given my dad? To be able to mow the field at the old Met Stadium before a Twins game. Fathers Day is around the corner.
Working For Peanuts One of the cooler Christmas promotions I've ever seen was at KSFM in Sacramento when Davey, Chris and Juan all took part-time holiday jobs and donated their paychecks and tips to a holiday charity. What if each jock sold peanuts in a different section of the stadium and all the money they raise goes to some vibing kids charity?
Banner Tow At a Giants game in San Francisco, Mancow once hired a banner tow over Candlestick Park that read "Mancow says 'Look Under Your Seat For $10,000'!" Everyone immediately stood up and looked under their seats. A few minutes later a second plane appeared pulling a banner that read, "Mancow says 'Gotcha!'" Banner tows are inexpensive and as witnessed by what Dave Ryan did to the Packers late last Summer, they're great for stunting.
Dinner, A Game & A Movie This once again is a post-game event. There are so many great baseball movies. What if you did a movie, on some massive screen in centerfield, following the game? Invite everyone out to grab a spot on the turf and watch the film.
Hey, Ump! Get Glasses! What if you made up eyecharts and handed them out before the game. If the ump makes a questionable call, everyone holds up their eyechart. The hook is that the thing needs to spell out some station slogan in large, and then smaller and smaller letters.
Give (Players) Bat A Boost It would require just the right scenario but in San Francisco God handed us a "gimme": Jose Canseco was dating Madonna AND was in a slump. So we printed up 10,000 Madonna faces on tongue depressors, and handed them out at an A's game. Whenever he came to the plate, they all went up. The backs were couponed in case you didn't want to keep it as a souvenir.
The Running Of The Balls This was done by The Wolf in Seattle at a Kenny Chesney concert but could just as easily be done during the 7th inning stretch. You get twenty numbered beachballs and a couple of DJ's with leafblowers to blow them around the bases. The first ball to circle them and cross home plate, wins something for "its listener".
The Family Section CBS in Charlotte has a NASCAR track that wanted a promotion. NASCAR is like football or hockey or to a way lesser degree, baseball. As a parent, I'm going to be a little trepidatious© about bringing the Paigettes to sit, surrounded by drunken foul-mouthed louts™. The Minnesota Twins have a family section. No alcohol. It's VERY popular.
So we pitched that at the track and they freaking loved it. It's now a standard on-going thing at Lowes. If your stadium doesn't have one, and you're a station with an audience of adults/parents, this is your bit.
Bench Warmer Of The Year Every team has one. Turn him into a folk hero. When I worked at Kiss 102, Steve Sheffler was that guy on the Hornets. He got maybe a minute of playing time every three games. So we created The Steve Sheffler Fan Club and sent a pair of winners to sit in the stations seats at every home game with a sign. By mid-season, when Steve did play, the whole arena erupted.
Community Clinics If you can finagle a player for an hour, to go down into the community and host a clinic for inner city kids is always always exceptionally cool.
Every Fan Counts People love those cheap handheld fans. I was at an outdoor Fray show in Memphis and the street team was mobbed by people asking for them. It is alleged that in the 1991 World Series, an employee at the Metrodome monkeyed with the blowers that keep the roof inflated, and turned the left field ones UP when the Braves were batting, and the ones behind the plate UP when the Twins were batting. Channel 5 sent a reporter out to test to see if it helped or hindered the flight of a ball…and it did. What if you plastered all the seats in left field with free fans. When the other team hits a long ball, flap 'em like crazy to keep it in the park.
Doubleheader Concert Series Get into the habit of checking your teams' road schedule for when you have concert flyaways. A couple of times there have been alignments of the planets where there have been day games the same date as a concert in a market that stations have sent listeners to. (Wow. That's one odd sentence.) But it was the Instant Hook that made it stand out from every other same-sounding flyaway that was going on. You fly, you see the game, you go back to the hotel, shower and catch the show that night. It also allows you to have some fun with the methodology. As exciting as qualifying people all weekend and having the morning show announce the winner, maybe you do something like….
Caged Heat It was less then a year ago and already the premise has faded from my memory. But it involved Curt Copeland from Z-107.7 in St. Louis going out to a batting cage in the middle of the show and trying to hit balls that the machine pitched at its fastest setting. He eventually nailed one. I think you had to guess how far it's go. Closest without going over would win.
National Anthem Idol Mix in Boston is blessed with not only a great morning show, but Kennedy actually has some pipes. Plus she can sing. She's traveled around to several ballparks and sung the anthem. There's a midday person across the street here in Minny who has sung the anthem at a Vikings game. You could go two ways with this: do something on-line with posting/voting to get a listener who can sing…or…you get a vocal coach to spend a month training the morning guy how NOT to humiliate himself when he sings it. Pack the stands with people to cheer him on.
Baseball's Version Of "Chuck A Puck" It'll be interesting to see how this flies outdoors (pun intentional) but one of the Twin's biggest nights of the year is always The Great Paper Airplane Toss. They bring in a dozen or so sponsors, they stick a Mercedes in the middle of the field, you buy unfolded paper airplanes for 25 cents and all the money goes to charity. Kind of the thought-starter behind this contest at Q-104 in Halifax. http://www.qtube.ca/contestdetails.asp?cid=155
An On-Field Wedding What if you did a version of The Ambush Wedding and have a guy propose to his girlfriend on the jumbotron after the 1st inning. During the 7th inning stretch…they get married at homeplate and then run the bases.
Did I miss anything? Absolutely. But this will get you started.