The latest and therefore greatest era in Southern League history kicked off last night, as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos played the first game of their incipient existence. And while you’d think the team hasn’t been around long enough to have any enemies, you’d be wrong.
Pensacola is the proverbial hop, skip, and a jump away from Mobile, home of the BayBears, and proximity breeds contempt. This contempt has now manifested itself in the form of the “Bay to Bay Series.”
Sez the press release:
The Mobile BayBears and Pensacola Blue Wahoos are proud to announce their rivalry in the inaugural “Bay to Bay Series.” Fans can expect several rivalry themed events at both ballparks this year, including BayBears fans versus Blue Wahoos fans in-game contests, promotions and series leader boards.
The Bay-to-Bay Series is the very first joint-sponsored, event-based rivalry program in Minor League Baseball. Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile and Maritime Park in Pensacola are just one hour apart from each other.
The uber-snazzy logo seen above was designed by Brandiose, who were responsible for both teams’ logos in the first place. I do wonder, however, if Mobile fans are upset that Pensacola is the “home” team while the BayBears are clearly “second”ary.
You may remember a recent post in which I heaped praise upon the Charleston RiverDogs for their latest “Be Your Own Fan” initiative, featuring marketing initiatives geared to nine unique groups of fans. The Fort Myers Miracle, who are part of the same ownership group, have now done the same.
The eight categories of Miracle fans are as follows: the prospect, the fanatic, the family, the foodie, the brewskie, the retiree, the opportunist and the event seeker.Here’s how it looks, in action:
And now that it’s a new season, I imagine that you may need something new to read (that reasoning doesn’t really make sense, but just bear with me).
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ broadcasting/blogging dean Chris Mehring has posted his club’s 2012 intro songs. These posts are always a fascinating glimpse of the zeitgeist, and illustrate the diverse backgrounds of Minor League players. (I do find it hard to believe that Seth Miller chose “What Is Love” on his own volition, however. And, for what it’s worth, I find “Narcissistic Cannibal” to be a far better song title than actual song.)
Meanwhile, from Kentucky, we have the what I believe to be the first blog from a Minor League host mother perspective. Check it out, while I sit here and wish that there was a similar program for underachieving bloggers.
I’ll close with — what else? — dessert. These “Mini Apple Pie Bites” are available for consumption at Toledo Mud Hens games this season.
Baseball sold separately.
Opening Day countdowns are a recurring feature of many teams’ Facebook and Twitter feeds, and for good reason. It’s a quick and easy way to keep baseball’s imminence in the collective consciousness.
One team that you can really count on when it comes to counting down are the Delmarva Shorebirds, who are in the homestretch of an ambitious and creative “30 Days of Opening Day” promotion.
Sez the press release:
Starting on March 14, which is 30 days removed from the home opener, the Shorebirds will have a new event, appearance or contest planned each day leading up to April 12.
This includes mascot tour stops, local TV appearances, a Fan Fest, a “Player’s Send-off Party” and recurring weekly promotions such as “Donut Monday,” “Talk to Me Tuesdays,” and “Weenie Wednesdays. ” It is my opinion that “Donut Mondays” should be adapted by every MiLB team. Each Monday morning, the team posts the following message on Facebook:
Post a picture of your office or place of business on our wall and your office could win a delivery of donuts from us tomorrow morning! The post with the most ‘likes’ by 5pm today wins!
It’s a hole lot of fun! (Hope your eyes didn’t glaze over at that last sentence. I dough my best).
Another innovative endeavor comes courtesy of those very same RiverDogs who were featured in Monday’s post. Late last week, the team announced the latest component of their “Be Your Own Fan” marketing campaign.
Another press release, another excerpt. This is how we roll:
Fans will have the opportunity….to register for “Be Your Own Fan” campaign. Upon registering, fans will receive a free colored coded bracelet, plus emails, offers and incentives that cater to their interests and to the reason they come to the ballpark.
There are nine unique fan groups from which to choose:
- The Networker: Comes to the ballpark to meet and connect with people and utilize the facility’s atmosphere to create business relationships;
- The Foodie: Someone who loves the various food offerings at The Joe;
- The Family: Comes to games because they know that a RiverDogs game can always be counted on to provide an evening of quality, wholesome family entertainment;
- The Socializer: Comes to The Joe to because they know that it is THE place to be seen;
- Promo-Sapian: Always into the wacky between innings promotions and awesome giveaways;
- The Traveler: Visits the ballpark for a taste of true Charleston hospitality;
- The Pyro: Loves the many postgame fireworks shows at The Joe;
- The River Pup: The younger fans at the park that have a blast as members Charlie’s Kids Club;
- The Super Fan: Knows the RiverDogs’ roster by heart and wears that heart on his/her sleeve.
The Goldklang Group’s “Be Your Own Fan” campaign has been running for a few years now and, while a good slogan, I often found it to be a bit vague in execution. The above initiative is a real step forward, then, as it clearly details all the ways in which the RiverDogs (and, by extension, Minor League Baseball) can appeal to diverse groups of people.
Minor League Baseball’s appeal can extend to aspiring foul line guardians of advanced age, and the Mobile BayBears are reaching out to exactly this demographic with their “Golden Glovers” program.
Taking a cue from the San Francisco Giants’ long-running “Ball Dudes” promotion, the BayBears are offering the following opportunity to those over the age of 60:
[E]ach BayBears home game, two “Golden Glovers” will report to the field and sign a one-day contract with the BayBears. Responsibilities will be to suit up in uniform and protest the foul lines. BayBears manager Turner Ward will provide key strategies in stopping foul balls down the lines and making sure the “Golden Glover” provide the foul balls to the kids in the stands.
So there you have it, folks. Another blog post, another array of creative and adaptable ideas from the world of MiLB. Thanks for your support; I’ll be here all week.