AA: Wisconsin Baseball Fans LOVE Cheap Gimmicks

Wrestling mascots, tennis balls littering the mound next to a 5 gallon pail, robotic t-shirt guns, under age college students rolling kegs around the bases, and of course “the beer batter” whom gives the fans $1 beers if he strikes out. These are only some of the differences between the professional level and any amateur level of baseball. Without these gimmicks, how else would amateur baseball get fans to enjoy themselves at the ballpark. Well, those items and the chance to witness the rising of the next Bob Gibson.

Professional clubs try to simulate this atmosphere, but at a much more tame level. The Brewers have the Sausage Race, Pittsburgh has the Pierogi Race, Washington has the Presidents Race (which is funny because Teddy Roosevelt isn’t ever allowed to win), teams give out items to the first X number of fans (ranging anywhere from an umbrella, to a bobble head, to the sweetest t-shirt of all time). But none of these gimmicks are as great as what the amateur organizations will try in order to persuade their fan base to contribute to the team’s revenue.

Thus, I am going to try to start a new weekly (semi-weekly) column where I share one or multiple organizations’ greatest 2010 promotions. If you stumble upon any or know of any, feel free to send me a link. You can get a hold of me via the contact page.

So let’s begin this year long journey I am dubbing “Attendance Augmenters” or AA for short.

This week I will be hi-lighting the Madison Mallards 2010 promotions. One, because they bring back fond memories of my great alum days; and two, because they always have great promotions ( see the Gary Coleman stunt RIP Gary).

The Madison Mallards are part of the 16 team Northwoods League. This league is formed by some of the top collegiate players around the country and allows them to play competitive summer ball. The Northwoods League is also known for playing more games and drawing the most fans (partially due to these gimmicks) than almost all the other collegiate summer leagues. The league has produced some of the top names in baseball today, including Ian Kinsler (ex-Mallard), Andre Ethier, Juan Pierre, Max Scherzer, Ryan Spilbroghs (ex-Mallard), Josh Willingham, and Ben Zobrist just to name a few.

As I mentioned before, the Mallards know how to coax every age demographic to the ball park. Their first gimmick (targeted towards the college town it is) isn’t a one game deal… it’s an every home game drunk fest. Their park is appropriately named the Duck Pond and what is a Duck Pond without a Duck Blind. The Duck Blind is a 1000 person capacity patio in right field that comes with an all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink package. Sure most teams have something similar, but this patio comes with 18 different beers on tap which is the most in the Northwoods League. That’s an opportunity to try 1 different beer every half inning!!!

Another great promotion they are throwing this year is on June 12 vs the Waterloo Bucks. The first 250 guys receive a complimentary “Fix Plumber’s Butt” Night with Longtail T-Shirts. They don’t have a picture but I hope they will look something like this photo. I think they should have paired this item with giving away 1 gallon tubs of spackle to the first 250 women. That way the guys who didn’t receive the shirt could at least get their cracks spackled by some good looking women.

On June 21 (again vs the Waterloo Bucks), the Mallards are hosting a GM recall night. No this is not a night for you to bring in your Escalade or H2 for trade or free warranty work. This game the Mallard GM, Conor Caloia, is recalling the “Bad PR Day” from July 7, 2006. What this means is that any person who attended the July 7, 2006 game will be able to watch this June 21 game for free. I knew I saved that game ticket for a reason. Now if I can just remember what safety deposit box I stored it in.

Dejope Casino is sponsoring the Cash Craze Night during the July 7 game vs the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. The first 1000 fans through the gates will receive an envelope. The envelopes contain monetary values ranging from $1 up to $100. Nothing like getting paid to watch a collegiate baseball game. It’s like the music class “clap for credit” in college. I just hope the beer batter strikes out for those 999 fans who receive the $1 envelopes.

And now for their two greatest promotions of 2010… (I’m sure these games are on the verge of selling out already, so buy your tickets soon)

On August 6 vs the Eau Claire Express, the Mallards have the Super Bowl commercial celebrities… “Mini-KISS”. What’s better than KISS? How about KISS at an average height of 4 feet. Check out their new number one single, “Shorter Than Life” (not really). Not only are they going to be appearing at the game, but you can join them at their post game festivities. It’s going to be like a college kegger… only smaller.

And on July 9 against the Wisconsin Woodchucks, Madison will be a whole lot more western with Whiplash The Cowboy Monkey riding into town providing in-game and post-game entertainment. Just when you thought the Wild West was dead, here comes Whiplash riding into town on his trusty stead… I mean mutt. It would make the night very entertaining if he rode around lassoing woodchucks. Now I would pay money to see that.

Remember you can still buy your tickets here if you haven’t done so already (I was sold after the 18 varieties of beer on tap). And if you have any inside tips for promotions you would like to see next time, send them here.

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One Response
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