This year, for many of QLP’s media and marketing team members, the days leading up to Labor Day weren’t filled with water cooler conversations about barbeques or parades we’d attend. Instead, they were filled with meetings about what we would name our water bottle and stress ball characters for our Labor Day sponsorship game with the Kane County Cougars.
Oh yes, you read that right. We sponsored a giveaway with the Cougars and that allowed us the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and help with mid-inning games at the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. We had some serious planning to do, but I knew our team would go above and beyond that call to make our plans a reality.
I wrote a blog earlier this summer about advertising at a baseball game, and all that knowledge came from first-hand experience I received from organizing this event. Looking back on the entire experience from beginning to end, I would highly suggest small businesses hoping to get their name out to the public consider this advertising option; it’s not only fun for fans to learn about your business but fun for your employees, too!
First things first: our giveaway item. In our product descriptions we always say that people can never have enough can koozies. We’re not just saying that to sell more koozies! People LOVE koozies and that’s why we went with these Collapsible Koozie Can Coolers with our logo and the Cougars logo, too.
The first 2,000 fans received one, and boy, they were an instant hit! The staff had several guests asking if there were extras for them to take another one or two. Not every giveaway item will warrant people asking for more, so choose wisely.
Once guests got their koozie, grabbed a hot dog and some nachos, and found their seat, it was time for the ceremonial first pitch. In addition to Ozzie, the Cougars’ mascot, they also saw our very own Billy “Bottle Tops” Williams and Sammy the Squeezie show off their muscle. Billy got it over the plate with ease and no embarrassing stories to tell.
After some hydrating drinks, next was the “Ozzie Race,” where Ozzie raced a lucky child around the bases. Billy and Sammy were there to offer support and cheers to the little boy at third base to make that final stretch to home plate. Nice going, guys!
With QLP’s game involvement complete, we were all able to let out a deep breath knowing that the day was a success. The number of children smiling as Billy “Bottle Tops” Williams and Sammy the Squeezie walked past and getting a high five from them was awesome. The number of impressions that our customized koozies made was great and definitely a crowd favorite! If you’re a small business and you have the opportunity to sponsor a giveaway at your local minor league ball park, I say go for it!
To see all the fun times in pictures, check out the SlideShare below:
Some helpful tips if you decide to go this route for the 2014 season:
- Be as Organized as Possible: Get every team member’s cell phone number because no matter how prepared you are, you will still need to get a hold of them if plans change or are altered.
- Do a “Practice Run” of your Pitch: Kurt looked like a pro during his pitch because he had practiced ahead of time to make sure he knew what his “silly antics” would be. There’s nothing worse than a boring character just doing the bare minimum or too nervous to try anything. Kurt went above and beyond and if Disney ever needs a person to be a character at one of their parks, he’s got a letter of recommendation from me!
- Stay Flexible and be Early to Everything: For the “Ozzie Run” we were told to meet during the middle of the second inning, which was fine with us. We met at the correct time and were ushered down to the visiting team’s dugout to wait for the end of the second inning so our team members could go do their thing. They did and it was a success because they didn’t feel rushed or stressed or worn out from sprinting from their seats to the dugout below.
- Have Fun with your Team: Before our first pitch and while waiting for the end of the second inning, our team hung out and talked, watched a bit of the game, and drank some hydrating beverages. It was great, and nothing bonds a team together more than chilling out with a man dressed as a water bottle.
This was Quality Logo Products’ first outside advertising adventure from our usual web-based advertising and I’ve got to say, I think it went great! The guests at the Kane County Cougars had a blast and our team definitely did, too.
What item would you like to receive at a baseball game? What’s your favorite thing about watching a baseball game? What were your Labor Day plans? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!