Results tagged ‘ Tulsa Drillers ’
To begin today’s post, I’d like to share one of the greatest mascot photos of all time:
That sky-diving bull is Hornsby of the Tulsa Drillers. Jumping out of an airplane (why not?) was one of his last acts before undergoing a thorough overhaul. As part of an effort overseen by Mascot Doctor (and original Phillie Phanatic) Dave Raymond, the Drillers hired a full-time performer and and re-did the costume.
Meet Hornsby 2.0:
I think a good way to publicize the new Hornsby would be to make a video of him in a sushi restaurant eating soup, accompanied by the sounds of 2 Live Crew. The video would be called “Miso Hornsby.”
Never mind, sorry, strike that from the record. It’s just that if you can’t please everyone you’ve got to please yourself. And speaking of guardin’ parties, the 550-pound Ryan Howard Garden Gnome recently presided over the Reading Phillies humdinger of an Opening Night celebration.
A $10 million offseason renovation project always results in an extra-festive atmosphere!
But for many teams, the pomp and pageantry of Opening Day soon succumbs to cold, hard, reality. Emphasis on the cold. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are snowed out today, and yesterday evening West Michigan Whitecaps played a ballgame despite this being the scene earlier in the day:
But in the team’s own words: “If there’s snow on the field, play ball!”
Such frosty weather can be hazardous to mascots as well, as the Lake County Captains latest “Christmas Story”-themed giveaway dramatically illustrates. On July 23, one year after the “Skipper Leg Lamp“, the team is distributing this:
Yes, Skipper’s nose magnetically attaches itself to the foul pole.
That’s all for me today, but before I go let me note that there is a NEW PROMOTION PREVIEW column and that FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED! I want to be the Big Meech of Minor League Baseball writers, but instead feel like Hoover because all of my writing occurs in a vacuum.
I’m sure this has nothing to do with belabored, obscure, and obsessive compulsive wordplay.
I recently dedicated a post to the topic of using Minor League Baseball as a tool to teach sports marketing. This was inspired by the fact that high school teachers and college marketing professors regularly link to my blog, using the content therein to explain how the industry operates and why.
But my blog operates strictly in the digital realm. Offering a more hands-on experience are the Kane County Cougars, who last season began to offer a series of high school sports business seminars. Cougars director of public relations Shawn Touney writes:
[W]e provide a presentation at the ballpark and tangibly show them our operation and answer any questions they might have about how we market our product, career opportunities, and nearly everything in between. And obviously, it drives some revenue our way and taps into a demographic that goes unnoticed in many Minor League parks.
I never would have guessed the response we would get…What began as setting aside a single seminar session time for an April noon game became a series of three dates, with 2 seminars scheduled for each of those 3 dates, to accommodate the schools who were interested in attending. When it was said and done, we had just under 1,000 students representing nearly 30 high schools throughout Chicagoland. Marketing classes, business classes, entrepreneurship classes, accounting classes – it ran the gamut. I couldn’t believe how many teachers were appreciative that something such as this was offered, which tells me that a lot of teams (big league clubs included) have not considered this.
This year, we’re offering something similar for each of our 7 noon games in April/May, with a staff-led seminar and ballgame to follow at noon. We will surpass last year’s numbers in terms of total attendance, number of participating schools, and revenue generated. The geography of the schools amazes me – we have schools coming from a 75-minute driving radius for this. We will also be hosting some fall sports business seminars in late August/early September for fall semester classes, and actually have set aside a few college nights for sport management clubs and majors who are interested in learning more.
After the presentation, the students are given supplementary materials that guide them toward viewing the ballgame from a business perspective. A sample problem:
You are a new business owner who is looking to make a splash in the Chicagoland area, bringing new customers and revenue to your business. You’re at the game this afternoon, and observing how many different opportunities there are to market your product to an audience. Here are two examples you notice:
List any other marketing opportunities for your business that you see or hear during the game.
And in 2011, the program will expand even further. Writes Touney:
Reading your blog helped spawn an idea to make the event even more interactive, by having the schools, upon returning into the classroom, create a video presentation where they essentially come up with a between-innings promotion and explain not just how they’d market the promotion, but how they’d execute it as well. I don’t think we give high schoolers enough credit; their knowledge of popular trends, fads, insight on social media are just a few examples that come to mind.
Touney’s final point is one I agree with wholeheartedly — in addition to exposing the students to new concepts, the teams staging such seminars could benefit from the creative and culturally-relevant ideas offered by the students.
So how is else is doing/might do something of this nature? Let’s hear it!
Apologies that today’s post has been wonkier than Willie’s chocolate factory. To make up for it, here’s an artist’s rendering of the Reading Phillies’ highly-anticipated Carlos Ruiz “Chooching Owl” giveaway. Remember, this thing is actually going to say “Chooch.”
Oh, so it’s more you want, is it? Well, here’s footage of Charlie Sheen spoutin’ his bull to a Bull. Hornsby, the soon-to-be-revamped mascot of the Tulsa Drillers, really shows his range here.
As usual, I implore anyone to get in touch for any reason.
Tomorrow’s post will be the last of 2010, and dedicated to holiday content. But that’s in the future. What’s in the present is the year’s final blog bouillabaisse — time to throw it all in a pot and stir it up real good!
To begin, I’d like to highlight an intriguing job opportunity: The Tulsa Drillers are currently searching for a full-time Mascot Coordinator and Performer. Do you have what it takes to be the next Hornsby?
The Drillers are currently in the process of revamping Hornsby, and have hired “mascot doctor” Dave Raymond (the original Phillie Phanatic) to assist with the process. And while the club is listing the mascot coordinator position as an internship, they are also making it clear that the potential for full-time salaried employment exists for 2012.
It’s good to see mascots get this kind of respect. Having a talented and dedicated performer in the furry suit can help a team’s marketing efforts immeasurably and lead to far greater visibility within the community.
And speaking of talented performers, check out the latest dispatch from Slugger of the Tennessee Smokies:
But with all due respect to Slugger, others out there are displaying a little more ambition in their offseason endeavors. The Tri-City ValleyCats recently announced their “4 in 24 Project,” in which they’ll renovate four local youth fields in the span of just 24 hours (!!!)
The renovations will take place in early April of 2011, with work scheduled around the clock. In order to bring the selected fields to game ready conditions, each one will have new sod placed in their infield while also seeing their pitchers mound and homeplate areas re-built.
I’ll be keeping my eye on this one like a crossbow hunter keeps his eye on a deer. And — what a coincidence! — that leads me to my next topic: Hawkins Gebbers is the latest player to be featured in the “Offseason With the AquaSox” series. If you’ve never seen a Minor League player exhibit his crossbow skills before…well, that’s about to change:
If you thought I was done recapping the 2010 season, then you thought sensibly.
You also thought wrong.
In reviewing the year that was, I came to the realization that my favorite videos of the season had the following three things in common: They featured players, they were short (under two minutes) and they were funny.
No team was better at combining the following three criteria than the Peoria Chiefs, who put out videos featuring boy bands, models, and karaoke superstars. But my personal favorite paid homage to the sweet sounds of Motown.
The Tulsa Drillers were able to provide great insight into the culture of the bullpen, whose denizens are free to focus on matters follicles.
In Everett, meanwhile, the players were more concerned with that which resided above the upper lip.
And since we’re talking about players, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the masterwork of Reading Phillies sluggers Tagg Bozied and Matt Rizzotti.
The Charlotte Stone Crabs also used players to great effect throughout the season, as part of their “This Is Stone Crabs Baseball” ad series. This one, starring Isaias Velazquez, was my favorite.
Velazquez has good reason to be upset, and as this video amply illustrates it is not wise to mess with Minor League Baseball players. Behold, the “aqua-palypse” that took place in Gwinnett County.
Of course, a good Minor League video doesn’t necessarily need to feature the players at all. Lakewood BlueClaws intern “D-Bo” made a name for himself this season with a series of videos designed to highlight upcoming promotions. Here’s a sample, with sight gags a-plenty:
Amazingly, I’ve gotten this far without posting a parody video. Let’s rectify that immediately, by checking out the Binghamton Mets unique take on “Twilight”.
But nothing inspires parody more than early ’90s West Coast gangsta rap, as evidenced by these two works of art.
The above video was produced by the Peoria Chiefs, bringing this post full circle. But before closing this one out, I have just one more thing to announce:
Boy oh boy is it ever.
This past Wednesday, the inaugural “Heath Evans Charity Softball Game” was held at Zephyrs Field in New Orleans (home of the New Orleans Zephyrs, natch).
The event featured Evans and a whole slew of his New Orleans Saints teammates, but it was Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees who stole the show. The multi-talented QB hit home runs from both sides of the plate during the home run derby portion of the evening, and then bashed another one during the game itself.
Somewhat inexplicably, no professional-grade video seems to exist of Brees’ batting barrage. But a few amateur cinematographers documented it to the best of their abilities, as seen here:
From the right:
And during the game:
Moving on from baffling under-documentation to copious over-documentation, the Modesto Nuts recently released a video that details just how maddening (and interminable) rain delays can be. Absurdity levels are off the charts on this one:
And speaking of absurdity, the Lakewood BlueClaws have been releasing videos that are jam-packed with groan-inducing puns and shameless sight gags (meaning that inclusion on this blog is guaranteed). Meet “D-Bo”, who provides a joke-filled tour through the ins and outs of the team’s upcoming homestand:
Finally, the Tulsa Drillers are one of many teams to stage a local variation of “American Idol”. This recently released video illustrates a dramatic disparity among the talent levels of the various contestants:
It might be hard to say goodbye to yesterday, but it sure is easy to say goodbye to today.
Until we meet again, I remain:
A common water cooler topic amongst baseball fans with access to water
coolers and the inclination to use them is this:
“If you were a
professional baseball player, what would your walk-up music be?”
Tulsa Drillers recently put that question to members of their own front
office, resulting in a quick and funny YouTube video:
A good friend of mine, whose name rhymes with “Chess Varese”, will explain things from here:
Now through the end of March, we’re giving you the chance to win
$1,000 by correctly guessing which Smokies will be starting on Opening
Night…April 14. You will only need
to guess which nine players will be starting in the field (and which
position in the field you think they will be starting at); you do not
have to also guess where these nine players will be batting…Now we know that our 2010 24-man roster won’t be announced until early
April. So a little research may be involved on your end to come up with
the nine Smokies players you think will be starting on Opening Night.
This contest works for three reasons:
1. It involves the promise of cold, hard cash.
2. The promise of such cash will spur fans to familiarize themselves with this year’s crop of players.
3. This desire to learn about the players will serve as an incentive for fans to check out the team’s web, Facebook, and Twitter pages for more information about what’s been going on in Spring Training.
It’s a chain reaction of positive publicity that once again proves that money is the be all and end all.
– I apologize. Here it is this late in the post and I haven’t written anything about food. Let me rectify this grave oversight by mentioning that the Toledo Mud Hens unveiled their new 2010 food items yesterday. This highlight of this array of culinary delights is the Fifth Third Fanatic Freeze, consisting of 15 scoops of ice cream and an array of toppings.
This massive concoction will be served at a concession stand with the peculiar name of Casey’s Creamery/Taco Hut. In my humble opinion, this establishment needs to start serving THIS immediately.
You don’t even need to click on the above link to know what it will be. It’s Taco In A Helmet. I always link to Taco In A Helmet. It’s just what I do. And — look! — here it is yet again:
There is no escape from Taco In A Helmet.
To start things off, I would like to post this picture of the skateboard deck that the Bowling Green Hot Rods will be giving away on May 31. I meant to post this yesterday, but ran into inexplicable technical difficulties that ended up ballooning into an anxiety-ridden existential crisis that left me questioning the concrete reality of everything I take for granted on a day-to-day basis. So here goes nothing:
Now that that’s out of the way, I suppose I should mention that today is St. Patrick’s Day and then dutifully provide some suitably Irish content. Consider it done.
I am aware of two teams that have released St. Patty’s apparel: The Orem Owlz and Savannah Sand Gnats (feel free to send me indignant emails that point out other clubs I have omitted, as my goal of total omniscience has not yet been attained).
A Gnatty St. Patty:
Update: Here’s another one, courtesy of the South Bend Silver Hawks. As you may recall, the Silver Hawks play an annual exhibition game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
And since I’m on the much-beloved topic of “apparel”, now is as good a time as any to point out that the Tulsa Drillers unveiled their new uniforms earlier this week. Not too drastic a change, but it should be noted that a “rich, royal blue” will now be the primary color:
I’ve got a pair of apparel items for you, as it “terns” out. The Great Lake Loons unveiled a new alternate logo, which will be worn on Sundays. In my mind, this looks like a futuristic hover car, with the driver represented as the two circles within the Loons’ red eye.
Birds reign supreme in other markets as well, such as Missoula:
It is worth noting that the Osprey front office works out of this house during the offseason:
To continue on with both the “video” and “bird” theme, the Memphis RedBirds have released a pair of videos that highlight their constant state of baseball readiness.
With all due respect to Three Dog Night’s take on “One”, I would like to suggest that in the future teams opt for the Harry Nilsson version (Incidentally, if any club stages a “Nilsson Night” at the ballpark then I will travel to cover it on my own dime).
But back to the ‘Birds, who have more up their sleeve when it comes to delusional backstops:
That’ll do it for me today. I hope everyone enjoys their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, even if said celebration is simply drinking Mickey’s while watching Leprechaun in the Hood.
(And if that is indeed what you are doing, then I hope you are getting as much out of college as I did).