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Worst MLB Promotional Items for 2012



By Mike Silva ~ March 22nd, 2012. Filed under: MLB News.

How many of you really care about the giveaways at a ballgame? Most of the time I find a kid that I can hand mine off and relieve me of having to carry the stupid thing around all game. The hats are cheesy, bags too feminine and the toys, well… I am 35-years old I really don’t need a lunch box, doll or bat. The calendars would be nice if they actually included players that were still on the team. Who wants to bet that somehow John MaineMelky CabreraScott Proctor or Oliver Perez shows up on a 2012 Mets or Yankees calendar?

Give the marketing people who are employed by each of the 30 big league clubs credit, as they are charged with having to create new and better promotions for the people that actually care. Not an easy task since there are only so many bats, balls, gloves and hat promotions you can create.

Sometimes the creative juices get really “outside the box” and become borderline silly. The Outside Corner makes a list of the worst MLB promotional item for each team in 2012.

You can take a look over at their site, but here is what they picked for the locals, along with their commentary:

New York Mets - Texting gloves.  OMG these gloves are so lame LOL.  Still can’t believe I paid to see the Mets WTF!!!

New York Yankees - Keep America Beautiful Night.  Just pretend you didn’t step over a drugged out bum lying in a urine-filled gutter on your way into the stadium.

Perhaps a little harsh in the commentary, but the texting gloves do look silly (see below)

Courtesy of Mets Police

As for the Yankees, what is “Keep American Beautiful Night?” The first 18,000 fans receive a tomato seed packet. Do the Yankees honestly think I would plant, grow and eat something that was sitting around the Stadium for who knows how long? The amount of these packets that get thrown away actually is probably achieving the opposite by created more trash in a city that has more than its share. Maybe a card with some sound advice on how someone could clean up their act would suffice.

Is that the dumbest promotion? No, that is reserved for the Boston Red Sox, who decided they are too good to have any promotions. Kind of boring, no?

Although the Mariners “Smoakamotive Train Night” is a close second. Do I really want to get excited about Justin Smoak and his .234 batting average? Do I need a train to commemorate it?

Do you have any dumb promos from prior years? Fun stories? Am I totally being harsh here?

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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12 Responses to Worst MLB Promotional Items for 2012

  1. Nik

    I’ll give you a best one ever… Baseball Bunch Day circa 1982(ish). All us kids get on our Baseball Bunch tee shirts and we dance around the bases of Shea to the theme song.

    The worst promotions for me are the booble head dolls… what is the point of it?… is it art?… is it a toy?… is it a weapon of some sort? You carry it around and stare at it with contempt the entire game, finally reaching home where you’re kind of too guilty to throw it out and it gets stored somewhere out of site. I actually try not to go those days so i don’t acquire any more cheap, useless swag…

  2. Eagle

    Any promotion not aimed at kids strikes me as a little absurd. Kids love that stuff. My daughter would love those texting gloves – and she lives in Ireland.

    That brings me to the dumbest promotion at a game I attended. Last year I was in Baltimore with the family & we went to the Orioles. They were giving away silly floppy hats. They were sort of military greens in color and had an orange Orioles’ “O’s” in orange on the front. Who’d want such a thing, but all the kids did. Yet the hats were sponsored by Miller Lite and were NOT supposed to be given to anyone under 21. As it turned out, they gave them to teens, but not kids who were clearly young.

    My 16-yr-old daughter got one and she wore it, but 10-yr-old son didn’t get one and he really wanted one. Of course I gave my hat to my son, who wore it the rest of our vacation in America. He still wears it occasionally.

    However, I saw a father with three sons enter before us and he got only one hat. I felt bad for him and figured he was probably cursing the Orioles & Miller Lite, both turning him and probably his kids off baseball. No promotion could be dumber.

  3. AV

    Not a dumb promotion but a clever one.  I remember a Sunday afternoon game in April 1984 that was dubbed “Strawberry Sunday”.  Darryl Strawberry was given his Rookie of the Year award in a pre-game ceremony and every fan attending the game received a small Strawberry Sundae in one of those plastic Mets batting helmet ice cream cups. It may have been a cheesy promotion but I was only 11 years old at the time so what did I know?

  4. tnt

    im sure the yankee fans are planting things already so might as well make it something legal this time.

  5. Stu B

    I still have and use my Brita filter pitcher from Brita Relief Pitcher Night at Shea in 1997. I’m fairly sure it was 7/4/97, which was Todd Pratt’s Met debut. He hit a homer off Al Leiter as Rick Reed beat the Marlins, 6-2.

    I also recall attending Nostalgia Night at Shea on 6/22/85, at which fans had a choice between a Brooklyn Dodgers or NY Giants hat. I chose a Dodgers hat, which was cheesy quality but the promotion was clever. Willie Mays and other old players were introduced before the game. The Mets lost to the Expos, 5-4 in 10, but Rusty Staub hit his 292nd and last homer off Jeff Reardon.

    One of the Mets best promotions ever was Camera Day, which I attended on 8/28/71, and it turned out to be a doubleheader sweep over the Dodgers. My brother and I arrived too late for the fun, in which people were allowed on the field to take photos of and with the players and coaches. I still remember having those tickets with the section, row, and seat info being handwritten. We bought them at Manufacturers Hanover Trust bank, and the teller had to call the Mets ticket department on the phone to get the information.

  6. Will in Central NJ

    I don’t have a problem with the ‘texting’ gloves. They’d be perfect for yardwork, or changing a flat tire. Lotsa uses!

    As for a memorable giveaway day, this Met fan fondly recalls May 31st, 1998, Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. It was Yankees Cap Day. Back then, I’d take my Yankee fan brother-in-law, my sister, and my wife and all our then-very young kids to a game each in the Bronx and at Shea. The memory of this day still brings back a chuckle.

    The starters are Pedro Martinez, just acquired the previous winter from Montreal; the Yanks have young stud Andy Pettitte on the hill. Everything points to a classic pitcher’s duel that sunny Memorial Day afternoon, and the many Dominican fans in the stands are pumped, hooting and hollering either for Pedro or for the Yanks.

    But, as fate would have it, the BoSox pound the Yanks, scoring eleven (11) runs in the top of the 3rd inning alone, infuriating many NYY fans, lots of whom were just arriving or had been on a concession line. Fights broke out in the Upper Tier, and eventually, scores of navy blue Yankee caps with the interlocking white “NY” came sailing down from above, and landing with thuds on now-empty seats all around. Thousands of muttering Yankee fans had stomped toward the exits and the 4 train.

    I collected about 20 caps in a shopping bag, and handed them out to Yankee fan coworkers the next day at the office. I took delight in telling them the story of how their fellow fair-weather fans abandoned their team and allowed Red Sox fans to parade around the old ballyard unmolested from the 4th inning onward. Final score BOS 13, NYY 7 on a colorful and interesting day.

  7. Stu B

    Speaking of the Yankees, I also remember attending Cap Day as an eighth-grader with a buddy who was a Yankees fan – at Shea in April 1974.

  8. Chuck Johnson

    As someone who spent a few years working in the Eastern League Promotions/Marketing office, I can tell you “texting gloves” are a stroke of genius compared to some of the nonsense I’ve seen.

    http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110921&content_id=25003636&fext=.jsp&vkey=promo_preview

    Those are a small sample of the good ones.

  9. UncleMario

    Any chance of a Justin Beiber Demolition night?

  10. Stu B

    My best friend is from Chicago, and he attended Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in 1979.

  11. Eagle

    Chuck,

    I didn’t get to the game, but family did when the Tri City Valley Cats – Troy, NY – gave away Joe Bruno Bobblehead dolls. Joe Bruno. Look him up if you don’t know, but don’t look under baseball, but rather look up under state politics.

  12. Benny

    Mike:

    Speaking of promotions I was looking at the Mets website to see if I could pick up tickets for Tom Seaver Bobblehead day on Sunday April 22. I do not know if you have talked about this but there is a new ticketing scheme the Mets have introduced called Dynamic pricing. Basically what it says is that the ticket prices can change anytime depending on a certain number of conditions (Weather,Demand,Opponent,other factors). So I looked for the cheapest ticket that day and it was for $20 a seat. So for three tickets I would have to pay a base price of $60 + $9 convenience fee and finally a $6 processing fee. I decided that was to much so I wanted to inquire about the dynamic pricing scheme

    Big Mistake. I called the 718-507-TIXX number and asked to speak with a ticket agent about the dynamic pricing program. The first question was that if there are still plenty of tickets available on the day of the the game say three hours ahead of time will the price go down since they have not yet sold? The person told me that it all depends on who could be pitching so if Lincecum is pitching then the price will go up but if Barry Zito is pitching then the pricing will stay the same.

    Mike I know you tell us that we need to support our team when they are down but pardon my language if this is how they want to treat their customers then I will support them from home and not purchase a ticket nor any merchandise!

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