Monday, June 13, 2011

Fun Promotional Ideas for the Detroit Tigers

For all the silly criticizing I do of the Tiger players, management, reporters, and fans, there’s one thing I rarely (if ever) give the team any crap over. And that would be the marketing the team does. There’s a good reason for that.

Between the recent “Who’s Your Tiger” and “Always a Tiger” campaigns, I think they’ve done a splendid job. And I’m not just saying that because I was lucky enough to meet one of the Tigers marketing people (who shall remain nameless for associating with scum like myself) at Saturday’s game. No, I like them because there’s something for everyone in those campaigns. Nostalgia, team loyalty, and friendly arguments over exactly who IS everyone’s favorite Tiger are all fun things for Detroit fans to banter about. I love that stuff and consider it better than any of the campaigns I’ve seen put out there by the other stupid teams in the league.

In addition, for any complaining I do about Comerica Park, the promotions run by the team there are usually well done, too. Things like the Negro Leagues weekend, the various events they do with the armed forces, and the cool “Shirt Off Our Back” night are all brilliantly done. I’ve got a bookshelf overflowing with giveaway items I’ve received at Tiger games and can’t wait until my kid has the attention span to sit through 9 innings at the CoPa so I can steal any items from him that they only give out to the 12 and under fanbase. Hey, until he can take his old man in a fight, he’s just gonna have to deal with it. Builds character, I say…

But for all the good they do, I think things could be better. And since part of my job the past ten years has been in marketing and coming up with promotions for the various sports bars I’ve been employed at, I thought today I’d share my brilliant suggestions for upcoming promotions the Tigers should consider. These ideas are SURE to pack the CoPa to the rafters and be the talk of Major League Baseball. I am the Bill Veeck of the Tiger blogosphere, I tell ya.

Here we go with six ideas the team should consider ASAP.

-The “Always a Tiger” slogan is probably my favorite thing the team has done over the years. It can mean so many things to people and with the rich tradition of the Tigers franchise going back over a century, there’s so many legendary figures that can tie in with it.

But for every Kaline, Horton, and Trammell out there, there’s dozens of other guys that time has forgotten. That’s why I’m proposing a campaign to bring the spotlight back on the forgotten heroes of Tigers past. Just imagine the commercials on TV and banners at the stadium asking the question…


Yes, “Remember This Asshole?” would spotlight those players that didn’t quite have the careers of a Cobb, Greenberg, or Whitaker as a Tiger. It would be fun and educational for the newer fans to learn of the exploits of Paul Gibson, Nook Logan, Geronimo Berroa, Nate Cornejo, Felipe Lira and others. Consider it a payback to us fans that sat in empty Tiger Stadium and Comerica Park through the lean years of the 70’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s. I mean, I for one would like to see a little break in the action to spotlight some of these guys I was forced to watch in agony. I’d like to think there was a point to it all. It would go something like this:
DEEP VOICEOVER: “Remember THIS asshole? Karim Garcia was born in Mexico in 1975. Signing with the Dodgers at the age of only sixteen, this left-handed hitting outfielder came to the Tigers from Arizona in 1998 in exchange for Luis Gonzalez AND cash. Randy Smith sure was a prick, wasn’t he?

On May 28, 1999, Garcia became only the 34th man in baseball history to hit a home run over the right field room at Tiger Stadium. That would be the highlight of Karim’s lone season in the D as he was quickly sent to the Baltimore Orioles for nothing. Karim would spend the next several years bouncing around from team to team before ending up in the Mexican League where he remains today. Luis Gonzalez, however, would go on to play in five All-Star games, hit 57 homers in 2001, and win the World Series that year in Arizona. Meanwhile, Karim Garcia is available for birthday parties and bar mitzvahs for a very reasonable price.

The Detroit Tigers are proud to remember THIS asshole, Karim Garcia.”

-Get rid of Elvis Night. Elvis Presley was a piece of shit. As soon as he got a little fame, he ballooned up a hundred pounds, turned into a pill head, went crazy, and died in the bathroom alone and disgusting. He only got famous in the first place by stealing the music of the African-Americans of his time and making it “safer” for the white folks. Sure, it’s cute for FSD to break out the same doctored photos of Rod and Mario as “The King” ever year, but this promotion needs to die. So eff Elvis, quit celebrating the overrated prick, and let’s make a better musical theme night.

But who?

Motown night? That would be cool. Good music. Ties into the city really well. Fun for everyone, I’d think. But wait…it would attract a lot of black folks. Dombrowski would probably crap himself in fear. We can’t have that.

Kiss night? It would give them an excuse to play Detroit Rock City the whole game. Fans could dress up as their favorite member of Kiss. Everyone could mock the morons that dress as Peter Criss. But wait…Kiss is awful. Makeup would get everywhere. Lots of cleanup involved. That prick Gene Simmons would probably want 85% of the gate. Hmmm.

No, what we need is someone that EVERYONE can get behind. We need a performer that everyone in Detroit knows and respects. We need someone that is instantly recognizable to every fan that has entered Comerica Park and they can do their best to dress like the fashion icon that he is. With his imitated, but never duplicated singing voice, I can think of only ONE man who deserves his own promo night at Comerica Park. And he is, of course, this man:
"Eat ‘em up Tigers, eat ‘em up!"

Oh, how fun that would be. And I’m willing to bet that he'd work cheap for a live performance!

-Okay, next one. Everyone loves bobbleheads. Myself, I’ve got ones of Sparky, Cabrera, Higginson, Verlander, Sheffield, VMart, Drew Carey (stupid Cleveland giveaway), and Leyland. But how do you make one of those better? How do you make it different?

Now my brat kid makes me take him to McDonalds all the time. I’ve tried to convince him that their chicken nuggets are going to give him stomach cancer, but he doesn’t care. He just wants whatever useless hunk of plastic is in the Happy Meal this week. And some of those toys make noise when you push a button. And if McD’s is doing that, they can’t be expensive to make. Thank goodness those small children in Malaysia work so cheap.

So in the tradition of the old toys where you pull a string and it says something, I came up with the “Talking Jim Leyland” bobblehead night! You’d get a smaller than normal bobblehead (keep them costs down) that at the push of a button or pull of a string, says one of a few selected phrases. And since Jim is a mush-mouth in real life, if the sound quality sucks, it won’t matter! No one can understand his mumblings in the first place! Here are a few suggestions for the Jim doll’s words of wisdom:


I know I’d be first in line for THAT giveaway!

-September 10th is Star Wars night. Yeah, like I really want to go to a Tiger game and be surrounded by thousands of fat guys that couldn’t get laid in Vegas with unlimited credit. If you want to do a night centered around a movie, I think there’s a much better choice out there.
Yes, The Big Lebowski! One of the funniest movies of all time and one featuring something for everyone in the family! Think of the possibilities!

*Folks dressing as their favorite character, be it The Dude, Walter, The Jesus, and what have you.
*White Russians available at all concession stands. You can get cheap vodka for $4 a bottle. With the insane booze markup the team does at games, they’d make a mint on selling Caucasians, Jackie.
*Have Paws wearing a bathrobe and bowling with kids on the field after the game.
*Free rug giveaway during the 7th inning to a random fan with a cool costume. Something that’ll really tie a room together.
*MOST OF ALL, every time Don Kelly comes up to the plate, show one of the many clips of Walter saying “Shut the fuck up, Donnie!” Oh, that would be glorious. We could go on forever here…

-Lynn Henning Appreciation Day is a must. What you do is plan a big ceremony before the game to honor Henning for all his tireless work as a Detroit News columnist over the years. With big fanfare, you bring him out in front of the masses by one of the dugouts to give him an award or something. Have him wave to the crowd and whatnot. Some nice music playing in the background, too.

What you don’t tell him, though, is that every fan sitting in the sections near the awards ceremony has been given balloons filled with urine. At the count of three, they all throw their balloons at Henning to show the city’s true appreciation. Then everyone else in the stadium competes to see who can point and laugh at Lynn the loudest.

I think that would be fun. Then a week later, do it with Drew Sharp.

-A natural promotion, at least for this year, is “Bat Second for the Tigers Day”. Leyland obviously doesn’t care who does it. And since the people we’ve had in the slot since Placido Polanco has left haven’t been much better than the usual fan, why not let the average Joe have a shot? The team could save some payroll that day and who knows? You might find the next Ryan Raburn, Clete Thomas, or Don Kelly sitting in Section 122, Row 6, Seat 5. Actually, I’m partially convinced that actually is where the team found those guys…

I’ll keep my thinking cap on with this one. There’s untapped potential when you have a gathering of tens of thousands of people 82 games a year. And as good as the Tigers promotional staff has been, there’s always room for improvement.

Glad I can help.


Spockmaster said...

The Big Lebowski night is the best idea ever.  Every time the umps fuck up, they can put a vid up of walter going "This isnt 'Nam, this is bowling.  There are rules."

Julian Miller said...

Max Scherzer colored contacts giveaway night.

h2opolopunk said...

Your Lebowski reference brings me unlimited joy, Rogo. Hang on.... there's something in my eye....

ggt said...

Also at concession stands on Lebowski night - Bunny Lebowskis offering "services" for $1000.  We can take up a collection and send Brad Thomas there around the 7th inning so Leyland can't find him in the pen to f things up.