This could be a terrific ongoing promotion for Major League Baseball Teams! This idea is a win for players, team, sponsors and most of all the baseball fans.
Imagine you are at Busch Stadium watching the Cardinals play and you are sitting in the bleachers. The Cards are down by two runs and there are runners on first and second. The Reds have the home team down to their last out. Matt Holiday is up at the plate with the count 2-2 and the fans are going crazy! The Red pitcher is Aroldis Chapman the flame throwing lanky closer. Holiday has fouled off four pitches and then all of a sudden Chapman throws a pitch down and in the middle of the plate. Holiday takes a mighty swing and the ball is hit deep to left field and it is coming in your direction. You calmly set your adult beverage in the cup holder so not to spill it, and then you put your baseball glove on and get prepared to catch this walk off home run! The ball is coming directly to you and you confidently reach up to catch the ball “using two hands” and the ball glances off your glove and goes directly to a Reds fan three rows back! The fans are going insane and you are happy but disappointed at not catching the baseball.
An attendant comes down to the Reds fan and asks her if she wants to have the baseball authenticated and of course she says yes even though she is not happy!
As you are leaving the stadium your buddies are giving you some verbal abuse for missing the ball hit right to your glove! They are laughing and poking fun and you half halfheartedly go along with the torment.
The game winning hit is broadcast on the local and nationwide sport stations for all viewers to see you missing the ball and your long face. The TV screen will show you over and over with the look on you face and your friends laughing hysterically at your failure!
Now we are going to get serious and discuss what can happen next with the home run baseball. The attendant will lead the fan to the authentication area on this level of the stadium. This is where the fan will meet the team employee that is trained to authenticate the baseball. The procedure will normally be done very fast because the game is usually still in progress.
The authentication will have a circular label that will go on the baseball. The label will have a serial number, Cardinals logo, date and the hitter’s name. The fan will also receive a certificate with the date, hitter, pitcher, count, inning, and the score at the time of the homer. There will also be a photo taken with the fan holding the ball and certificate. The fan will also inform the authenticator where he is from.
The team could also invite the fan and his party down to a designated area after the game to have the player autograph the ball in person. There could also be pictures taken. This would be some terrific publicity for the home team.
A sponsor can be involved and give the baseball recipient a gift certificate for their restaurant or another business. The restaurant could find a place to put the picture of the fan in their place of business, maybe close to the register.
When a home run is hit during the game it can be announced in between innings who the lucky fan was and where they are from. The field announcer can lead off with the sponsor’s name and then come in with the fan information. This will also be done on the TV and radio broadcast.
The team can charge the sponsor for advertising per home run. I would put on the big screen once a week all the winners and where they are from. The announcers would also do the same on the air.
There can be a drawing once a month for a fan to win two free baseball tickets to a future game! The drawing will be coming from the fans that are in the home run baseball promotion.
There can be a contest in November to see who will win a trip to spring training. This will take all of your home run winners to be involved. They will do a two minute or less video about why they should win the trip to spring training. The fans of the team can go online and vote for their favorite video. This is a good project to have a travel agency involved to handle the details.
This is a terrific promotion that could be put in place for a long time!
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