Siptomatic of a Larger Issue

When it comes to political gaffes, Marco Rubio’s nationally televised cotton-mouthed lunge for a water bottle ranks as a pretty minor one.

And now, of course, it has become Minor. This past Thursday, the Fort Myers Miracle announced that they will be staging a “Marco Rubio Water Bottle Giveaway” at a to-be-determined point during the 2013 season.

Marco Rubio


The details:

Fans entering Hammond Stadium will receive a water bottle while being encouraged to gather in the shady parts of the ballpark to stay cool when the heat is on and prevent perspiration. The Miracle will help recreate Rubio’s thirst-quenching moment on national television by setting up a booth where fans can put on a sports jacket, stand in front of a set and down some high-quality H2O.

Those picking up tickets at the will call window should be prepared for unlicked ticket envelopes because our parched Capital Bank ticket office employees will be saving saliva. Fans will need to salvage water water wisely with special deals on high-sodium concession items such as chips, popcorn and peanuts.

In an effort to keep the field saturated, the Hammond Stadium groundscrew will participate in a mid-game rain dance because even the Earth needs a drink on a hot day. Fans can expect to make a big splash with a stadium-wide game of Marco Polo.

Of course, the Miracle will extend an invitation to Senator Rubio to throw out the first pitch, provided he uses the rosin bag beforehand and is thoroughly hydrated.

Funny stuff — I especially like the unlicked ticket envelopes — and par for the course for the satirical savants within the Miracle front office.

But this brings up the old debate: to what end? Much like myself at the junior prom, this promo is conspicuously lacking a date. But even if it is scheduled in April it will most likely seem outdated and irrelevant by the time that it actually occurs.  Barring a visit from Rubio himself, the number of fans who purchase tickets as a direct result of the Miracle’s pop culture riffing will be negligible. It’s possible that the team won’t have much of an incentive to execute the promo at all due to a lack of interest from the fans.

But maybe that’s not the point? Simply by announcing the promo (and taking the time to brainstorm some clever components thereof), the Miracle have ample elicited media coverage/Twitter mentions/blog pontifications and perhaps the cumulative effect of this is a greater brand awareness that does in fact lead to more ticket sales. Or is that wishful thinking? What it the best way to quantify such endeavors, to determine if they are worth doing?

Or, hell, maybe I’m thinking too much (per usual). Maybe the best reason for the Miracle (or any team) to do promotions such as these is simply because they can. Unless you’re on the writing staff of a late night talk show, Minor League Baseball is perhaps the only industry where antics such as the above can legitimately be called part of one’s work day. And THAT might be what makes it worth doing, in and of itself.

Talking to myself, unless you want to talk to me:

One comment

  1. Jordan

    I think the Miracle have the right idea. Agreed, it’s not quantifiable how many ticket sales will come as a result of it, but it CAN’T hurt. Probably this and similar endeavors add a few hundred (or a couple thousand?) additional sales over the course of the year, whether the buyer can point to the reason or not.

    And if it’s fun to write in the first place, why the heck not?

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