Meet the MacPhail Nominees: State College Spikes
Throughout the past week, this fine blog has run interviews with
representatives from the nominated teams, in an effort to shine some
light on their promotional strategies and philosophies.
Due to a health setback suffered here at the Ben’s Biz Blog headquarters, today’s post is a few days behind schedule. But, as you shall soon see, it was well worth the wait (unlike “Chinese Democracy“).
Today’s featured team is the State College Spikes of the New York-Penn League. Answers are courtesy of Spikes promotions and community relations coordinator Jennifer Orlando.
Prior to the season, had your team ever been nominated for a
MacPhail Award? If so, ever won it?
JO: No, our team has never been nominated! However, in 2004, our
sister team the
Altoona Curve won the MacPhail Award.
How would you define your team’s promotional philosophy?
JO: Our philosophy is to always keep our promotions new and
fresh for our fans. We want to be sure that for our season ticket holders,
every night seems different to them. We also want to be sure that we treat
every night like Opening Night so that the entertainment looks top notch to a
fan that has never come to a game before.
What were some of your biggest promotional successes from
JO: Last season, our “Night of 100 Promotions” got a lot of
attention on MiLB.com. Another big promotional success for us was our “We Win,
You Win” promotion. We had a lot of fun and got a lot of attention for this one
because our team did not have the greatest record* in 2008. The deal was, if the
Spikes won, everyone got a voucher for a free ticket to any of the next three
games. If they lost, our GM and Director of Ticket Sales would have to walk the
bases for as many hours as the margin of defeat in that game. Lucky for them,
the Spikes won that night! The fans really caught onto this promotion and had a
lot of fun pulling for their team! Two of our most entertaining nights
for the fans were our “Salute to Duct Tape” and “Salute to the Mustache”.
We also had a series of “Going Green” nights. These were a huge success
and we are definitely going to continue these next year.
Any misfires, mishaps, or ideas that just didn’t work?
We tried having a “Singles Night” this year which
didn’t work out as well as we’d hoped. We had a date auction with some of our
most eligible front office staff members, and the auction raised money for the
American Heart Association. It ended up being a little awkward, but in the end,
still raised some money for AHA, which was our goal. It wasn’t a complete
disaster, but wasn’t one of our finest either.
What are your favorite sports promotions of all time?
JO: I think mascot races are one of the best promotions that can
be done. They engage
the fans to the fullest extent, which is the point of any
promotion! This year, we had an eyeball race, where 3 inflatable eyeballs raced
around each game. The fans would cheer for their favorite eyeball and we were
sure to keep fans aware of the standings. It was quite a “sight” to watch this
race and it was great to see the fans really get into it.
In a perfect world, what sort of promotions would you like
to stage in 2009 and beyond?
JO: Well, without giving away too many secrets, we do have some
great ideas planned for 2009! We are definitely going to continue our vow to
going green and try to continue that theme several times during the season.
We are hosting the 2009 NYPL All-Star game on August 18, so that will
lead us to many new and exciting things also!