Meet the MacPhail Nominees: Peoria Chiefs
Throughout the week, this fine blog will run interviews with
representatives from the nominated teams, in an effort to shine some
light on their promotional strategies and philosophies.
Yesterday’s featured club was Eastern League nominee the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Today, we move into America’s heartland in order to highlight the Peoria Chiefs. All answers are courtesy of Chiefs broadcast and media manager Nathan Baliva. All questions are courtesy of me.
Prior to the season, had your team ever been nominated for a
MacPhail Award? If so, ever won it?
NB: We were the Midwest League recipients after the 2005 season, but to the
best of my knowledge we have never won the MILB award.
How would you define your team’s promotional philosophy?
NB: “Your Home for Summer Memories!” is our organizational slogan, as
we try to give
our fans something to remember each and every time they enter
O’Brien Field. Each year we try to expand and build upon the traditions we have
established in the past while also starting new ones that our fans will
What were some of your biggest promotional successes from
NB: We played a regular season game at Wrigley Field in Chicago
in front of a MWL record crowd of 32,103 fans while also garnering national
attention. Our free hot dogs and peanuts nights on Wednesday increased our
average attendance on Wednesday nights more than 1300 from last season. We also
brought in local and national celebrities such as Hall of
Famer Bruce Sutter, Illinois
basketball coach Bruce Weber, Bradley soccer coach Jim DeRose, Jason Earles
from Hannah Montana, Illinois State
basketball coach Tim Jankovich and former Illinois
basketball player and ordained minister Roger Powell. We also drew over 6,000
fans on average for our 12 fireworks shows, which each featured a Pitch-In for
Charity. Our Jimmy Buffett Night was a sell-out yet again this season with a
post-game concert by Coco Loco and the Chiefs players/coaches all wore Hawaiian
jerseys that were auctioned for charity after the game.
Any misfires, mishaps, or ideas that just didn’t work?
NB: We had a Classic Car Cruise scheduled that was a first time
event for us that failed to take off the way we anticipated. The logistics were
tough and hopefully will we have them corrected for the next try.
What are your favorite sports promotions of all time?
NB: The White Sox Disco Demolition comes to mind. The St. Paul
Saints with a Bud
Selig tie giveaway after the MLB All-Star game tied in 2003.
And Jay Buhner look alike night in Seattle
where fans could shave their heads.
In a perfect world, what sort of promotions would you like
to stage in 2009 and beyond?
NB: We have a few tricks up our sleeves for 2009 and in a
perfect world they would lead to 70 sellouts for us here in Central