Meet the MacPhail Nominees: Fort Myers Miracle

 

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The Larry MacPhail Promotional Trophy is awarded annually to the Minor League team that did the most outstanding promotional work during the recently concluded season.

This year, 11 teams (representing 11 leagues) have been nominated for the trophy, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 3 at the Baseball Winter Meetings Awards Luncheon. Over the next several weeks, this fine blog will run interviews with representatives from each of the 11 nominated teams, in an effort to shine some light on their promotional strategies and philosophies.

Today, we speak with the indefatigable Andrew Seymour, the Assistant General Manager of the Fort Myers Miracle of the Florida State League.

Has your team ever been nominated for the MacPhail Award? If so, ever won it?

Yes. Nominated in 1992, and 1998 through 2002…won the MacPhail in 1992!

In 25 words or less, what is your team’s promotional strategy?

Fun is Good.

Play on a topical event. Create a fun atmosphere.
Captivating, timely press release opens the door.
The rest of the way we deliver with detail and a smile!

Put bodies in seats. Stay current. Stay topical. Do it again.
Fun is Good!

What were some of your biggest promotional successes from this past season? Anything that just didn’t work?

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Biggest success was our "Waffle About Like Billy Donovan Night"MiLB.com’s #1 Promo of the Year, as voted on by fans.

"Ear-resistable FUN with Mike Tyson Ear Night" — 10 years after the famous Tyson-Holyfield chomp. Plastic ear to all entrants; ear-decorating table on site; on-site facial tattoo artist and crispy elephant ears to sink your teeth into. Specials included: Ear and a Beer $3; Ear Tossing contest…PA aired an earful of Tyson’s most famous quotes.

"The World According to Sir Charles" – All things great, comical, and FUN related to Charles Barkley. From racing senior citizens, to dummy tossing and famous quotes — a lite look at HOW NOT to be a ROLE MODEL.

"Don’t Be A Bengal — Be a Good Citizen Night" — All those entering our gates received a gentle slap on the wrist. Those in GOLD SHOES or in Bengal gear were fined on-site. Those with BUNGLES paper bags over their heads were entered into a drawing for tickets to Dec. 30th’s game between Bengals and the Miami Dolphins at Dolphins Stadium. Ocho-Cinco was the call of the day. Local Chad Johnson threw out the first pitch. Takin’ a bite out of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, we used the nite to promote good citizen and sportsmanship.

What failed to take off:

"Scientology Night" – Where fans paid $5 to get in and $50,000 to get out…The event failed to catch flight…probably because a number of the evening’s attendees were there because they were mostly interested in seeing the Miracle game AND the post-game "Dave Matthews Tribute Band" concert.

What is your favorite sports promotion of all time?

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Duct Tape Night in Tampa Bay — Devil Rays’ promo inspired by Mike Veeck.
Charleston RiverDogs’ "Vasectomy Night" — on Father’s Day. A urologist was a sponsor.

Now it’s time to start planning for 2008. Any tricks up your sleeve for next season?

Ahhhhhh….we’re holding our cards close…we do have tricks on tap! When we draw the curtain back — get ready for some FUN!

3 Comments

I’d like to know more about this Larry MacPhail character who is honored by this trophy.

My all-time favorite was “Have A Ball at the Ballpark Night.” Or maybe it was Huggy Bear appearance night. Wait, was that the same promo?

I should probably do a whole post on MacPhail, but in brief he was a pioneering executive with the Reds, Dodgers, and Yankees who had a hand in the first night games, the first televised games, commercial air travel, and a lot more.

While with the Dodgers, he had a relationship with Leo Durocher that foreshadowed Billy Martin-George Steinbrenner. Here’s a great quote from Durocher, about MacPhail:

“There is a thin line between genius and insanity, and in Larry’s case it was sometimes so thin you could see him drifting back and forth.”

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