Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

3 of the Dumbest Sports Promotions EVER

Well I’m back…did you miss me? I’ll start this post by pointing out what you may already know: the Packers are 6-3 and on a roll. Meanwhile, I think it’s pretty obvious that the Bears are the worst 5-3 of all-time. That’s all I’ll say about that topic!

I promised my fans that I would get back to focusing on the sports world after my last post. However, I’m taking a slightly different approach this week by highlighting some of the biggest mistakes that have been made with promotions and sports. Mistakes are the best ways to learn, and all companies can learn what to do and what not to do with their promotions based on what work and what doesn’t work for other companies. So this is one point I hope to make in this blog (but really, I just think it’s funnier than shit how IDIOTIC some people can get with their promotions)!

10 Cent Beer Night

10 Cent Beer Night = a disaster waiting to happen!

10 Cent Beer Night

This fiasco happened in 1974, but if it happened now it would be even more of a disaster. The Cleveland Indians were a mess in the early 70s, so they tried to increase attendance with 10 Cent Beer Night. Now, I’m a college kid, and let me tell you: if you were to say this to me, I would immediately get all my friends together and we would head to this event. I don’t give a shit if it’s gymnastics, figure skating, or ballet. WE WOULD BE THERE! So needless to say, this game turned into an absolute disaster and thousands of thousands of non-baseball fans showed up and got incredibly black-out intoxicated. In the end, the Indians were forced to forfeit the game because they couldn’t contain the fans and it was so rowdy the players’ safety was in jeopardy!

Disco Demolition Night

Disco Demolition Night soon turned into a full-blown riot and an infamous promotion.

Disco Demolition Night

Leave it to a Chicago sports team to come up with an excellent promotion like this. Disco Demolition Night also occurred in the 1970s, and let me say that having anything that deals with explosions and disco seems like a completely horrible idea. The White Sox put out the promotion that fans could come out to the game with old records to put in a pile, which would later be blown up in an explosion between Games 1 and 2 of the doubleheader. They expected around 10,000 people to show up to the game, but it ended up being more like 90,000 people. Fans ended up storming the field and a riot ensued when the explosion knocked over the outfield wall. It was an absolute and complete disaster!

Ice Hockey Helmet Night

What happens when fans throw hockey helmets? People at the Ice Hockey Helmet Night promotion found out!

Ice Hockey Helmet Night

Let me tell you, I LOVE having Chicago Sports teams in this blog about idiot sports promotions! Don’t get me wrong, there were several other idiot promotions that were in the running for this third promotion gone wrong, but in the end the Chicago Blackhawks got it. On February 27th, 2009, they decided to give away several thousand hard-hats as a free promotion. People love free stuff, so no problem right? Come on people, what happens if there is a hat-trick in hockey? Doesn’t the Blackhawks promotion team know ANYTHING about hockey? In the end, of course, there was a hat-trick by Jonathan Towes, and the safety of all the fans was on the line when hard-hats were being thrown back onto the ice.

The point of this blog was to get a little laugh, but on a serious note there is something that everyone can learn in the promotional industry. Bad mistakes can be made with promotions and promotional products if you aren’t teamed up with the right promotional company who legitimately knows what they are doing and have fully thought it out. Team up with Quality Logo Products® to take every precaution to avoid a promotion gone bad! Promotional disasters can put companies in a crisis, as you can see from this post.

These are just three of the dumbest sports promotions of all time, but trust me there are MANY more. Do you know of any more? And I’ll end with GO PACK GO!


Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. QLP Jill

    Wow, it’s hard to believe that promo teams actually thought any of these would be good ideas! What did they THINK would happen by giving away 10-cent beer or asking people to bring Frisbee-like objects to a sporting event? And giving away helmets at a hockey game?!? That’s crazy. You have to be extra careful anytime there’s alcohol and crowds together in the first place, so why add potential weapons to the mix?

    All of these promotional attempts were pretty pathetic. Although, as you mentioned, you live and learn from mistakes…so I can only hope that these teams learned from their errors and didn’t repeat history with any other sports promotions!

  2. Scooby DOO!

    Hey cheese-head, just because the PACKERS got lucky, doesn’t mean you have the right to get ornery on us. I have not heard of any promotions coming out of the packers camp, but that is probably because most of those fans can’t read, or could not understand what to use it for. So, why not copy the terrible towel, that’s original!

    Seriously though, think about your audience before handing our promo items. If nothing else, make sure not to hand out your stress ball squeezie to a toddler. First off, they aren’t buying what you are selling, and like a Packer fan, they just would not get it and could hurt themselves in the process.

    Bear Down!

    • Joe6795

      guess where your terrible towels are made, in WISCONSIN so i think your terrible towels can be used for the Packers whenever we want.

      • Bret Bonnet


  3. Bret Bonnet

    I’d be all over $.10 beers too…

    I remember when a gallon of gas used to cost a nickle! 🙂

    … I’d have to say the DUMBEST sports moment of all time was the birth of Vince Lombardi.

    How did you like that one Joe – JK! 🙂

    We all know Papa Bear, aka. George Halas, created the NFL, and he alone is responsible for the greatest sport in the world! 🙂

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