Last year I went to nine Tiger road games. Three were in Cleveland, three were in Minnesota and three were in Pittsburgh. At those nine games either all of us, or my children got slippers, bobble heads, statues, bats, hats, jerseys, or ice cream bowls. (Thank you Pittsburgh for the ice cream bowls. These are not cheap ceramic deals that easily chip. These are sturdy ceramic bowls that have held up to nine months of daily cereal eating!)
This was a higher rate of swag than I had experienced in Detroit so it made me wonder how many promotions a typical team has in a year. I define a promotion as an event where 5000 or more fans leave with a gift. Fireworks are nice. They are not promotions. Concerts are great. They are not promotions. Ethnic days are fun. They are not promotions. Autograph days and on-field photo days are my favorite non-promotion days.
To find promotions go to any MLB team’s website. Hover over schedule. One choice will be for either “Promotions & Events” or “Promotional Schedule.” I went through the AL team sites promotional calendar this way. I counted the number of currently advertised promotions using the care this topic deserves. (You’ll notice this lets me do this again in a week, or so for the NL teams if I need another easy-to-learn item to post.)
Boston None Listed
New York None Listed
Tampa Bay 31
Kansas City 22
Los Angeles 26
About 1 in 5 American League games has what I would call a promotion so I picked well last year. Also, although some of Detroit’s promotions can be pretty cheap (luggage tags last year than featured Delta’s logo more than Detroit’s logo) the Tigers are actually a high promotion team in the AL.
Here are some notable promotions I noticed. On May 30 Tampa Bay has Carlos Pena Toothbrush holder day. This is definitely a can-miss. Never a city to avoid a stereotype on August 14 Chicago has beer-vendor bobbleheads. Los Angeles is giving away garden gnomes on May 25. I honestly cannot decide if this is brilliant or the silliest item in the league. Detroit is giving away coffee cozies on May 29. I don’t think that will drive a lot of people to Comerica. And I think a Wazoo Warmer is a blanket with Cleveland’s racist mascot. They are giving it away on September 11. Reread the last two sentences. As of today the toothbrush holder, coffee cozy and garden gnomes can be seen online.
If your team is ever in Cleveland for the last weekend series I highly recommend you go. In 2008 their fan appreciation weekend was a give away of all the items left over from earlier in the year. 15 tickets yielded 15 items plus some art kits they gave the kids as we exited the stadium!
What I am mostly hoping is that my youngest daughter does not see that on June 6 KC has a Build-A-Bear Polar Bear day on the same day the Tigers are in town. That’s a heck of a drive for a bear! And I could be talked into it.