Back in 2001, a marketing agent created loads of hype for the Baltimore Ravens when they faced off against the New York Giants during the Super Bowl in Tampa. The hype was created by placing tons of Ravens advertising support all along the route from the airport to the stadium, to the effect that then-president of the Ravens David Modell said that “it really made the players feel like they were at home, that this was a home game.” While this was the Raven’s first time at the Super Bowl, they certainly didn’t act like it, destroying the Giants in the process.
While it’s certainly true that in the minor leagues (and high school or grade school), there’s no event with quite the away game/home crowd draw like the Super Bowl, promotional directors and general managers still have plenty of advice to give.
Keep it fun and affordable
Paul Taglieri, general manager of the St. Lucie Mets, says that “We’ll do basically anything as long as it’s not stepping over the line that we draw for ourselves. We just try to stay with fun, family, affordable-type atmosphere. That’s where our promotions are centered.”
In that vein, one of the promotions the St. Lucie Mets undertake is 70s night, complete with 70 cent dogs and drinks, and fans are encouraged to wear clothing mimicking the look of the 70s. You could make your theme night stand out a Tie Dye or 80s Water Bottle Label. Perhaps offer drink refills for 80 cents for fans with a theme night stadium cup.
Oklahoma Sooners encourage their baseball fans on “Cheer like a Champion” night, handing out special spirit apparel to the first 50 fans in the door, encouraging team support. You could recreate that with personalized #1 Spirit hand mitts.
Make it a holiday
It’s St. Patrick’s Day! Get the crowd going with these green hand clapper necklaces and inflatable bam bams.Use green drink cups for refreshments and don’t forget to offer special treats for those wearing green (or your team colors), like fun lighted spirit poms or lucky candy bars.
How old is your mascot?
Finally, the St. Louis Cardinal’s celebrate Fredbird’s birthday – why not celebrate your mascot’s birthday? It’s a terrific crowd draw for a theme as well as providing great incentive to get pumped up during halftime. Make a week out of it like the Cardinals. Students can walk in under a reusable archway and compete to become the mascot’s helper, as he probably needs it in his old age. Finally, the night of the big game (and the big birthday bash!), create a banner for your mascot to run through as your fans herald the mascot (and your team) with fun stadium horns.