Earlier today I wrote a post about how one determined Canadian fan gave the Fresno Grizzlies poutine in exchange for Fresno Tacos paraphernalia. This paraphernalia was the result of 2015’s “Taco Truck Throwdown” promo, in which the Grizzlies (Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros) suited up as, yes, the “Tacos.”
Well, there’s more where that came from. This afternoon — #TacoTuesday for those keeping track at home — the Grizzlies announced that they would be suiting up as the Tacos during each and every Tuesday home game. These jerseys are described as having a “twist of lime.”
We’re wearing these babies for Tuesday home games. # — $2 Tacos, $2 Churros & $2 Sodas, 2-for-1 tickets, and team will play as Fresno Tacos. New Tacos hats, jerseys and march will be available Opening Day. Rotation of local taco trucks at every Tuesday home game!
Grizzlies Tacos will have these custom foam “Tacos” hats available in the team store. (A Tacos mascot, Tito, will be unveiled at a later date).
Fresno taco culture has always been strong, and it keeps getting stronger. Click HERE to read (and see photos) of my visit to some of the city’s top taco trucks.
Receiving email from readers is one of my favorite things about this job. These missives, sent from all over the globe (well, at least some parts of the globe) provide insight on what motivates the readership, help me determine what topics to focus on and, crucially, boost my fragile ego.
But, best of all, the unsolicited messages that land in my inbox occasionally provide me with inadvertent guest blog posts. This, from Canadian reader Damian Ford, covers all the bases.
And, yes, tacos play a key role. From this point on, until the italicized text reappears, all words in this post are Damian’s.
First off, great job on everything you do for Minor League Baseball. I greatly look forward to all your articles and appearances on the MiLB podcasts. I work for an entertainment group in charge of three sports teams here in Canada, and your articles are a wealth of information as I look for ideas to bring to my organization to increase the entertainment value to our fans at our games. I’m a huge Minor League nerd and appreciate all the exposure you bring to each and every team.
Speaking of promo ideas and teams being awesome, the Fresno Grizzlies and I have a good story for you.
Back in August, as I’m sure you remember, the Grizzlies did their Taco Truck Throwdown night (in which they changed their name to the Fresno Tacos). I loved the idea! (I neglected to mention that I am also a MiLB hat collector, but I think that’s pretty much a given since I said I was a MiLB nerd). I loved the hats and went online to try and buy one. However, I live in Canada. Like many Minor League teams, the Grizzlies don’t sell/ship to Canada. I thought to myself, “There has got to be another way to get a Taco hat!” So, I took to Twitter, basically harassing the Grizzlies with challenges that I could perform in exchange for a Tacos hat.
The next day I went to the grocery store and picked up two potatoes, authentic St. Alberts Cheese Curds, and a packet of Swiss Chalet poutine gravy, put it in a box and sent it off to them. I then typed out very specific instruction on how to properly construct and prepare the poutine for consumption.
Some time passed and I did not receive my hat. I tweeted at the Grizzlies and wrote a letter to general manager Mr. Derek Franks. Finally, I received a direct message from the team apologizing for the oversight. They said that the poutine was delicious (I saw online what restaurants are trying to pass as poutine in California and it’s unrecognizable to me). They then asked me not only my hat size, but my jersey size! They ended up sending me a Tacos hat, Tacos jersey and a Grizzlies promotional item.
The Grizzlies more than held up their end of the deal, showing me why they are one of the top-run organizations in professional baseball. As a thank you, I tweeted out a photo of me in my Tacos gear eating a taco above Ottawa’s Rideau Canal.
And that’s all from Damian.
You’ve gotta love a story with a happy ending. Or, at least I think it’s a happy ending. Somebody should probably check in with the Grizzlies front office….
Nah, the Grizzlies are good. In fact, director of marketing Sam Hansen writes that Damian’s poutine package “inspired us to work on our own ‘Growlifornia Poutine Remix’ with queso Oaxaca and Fresno Chili-spiced gravy. Expect to see this make its debut at Chukchansi Park soon.”
Minor League Baseball: Bridging the cultural divide, one Tweetstorm at a time.
As you are most likely aware, the polls for the 2011 MiLB.com “Promotion of the Year” are currently open (and will be for another nine days — it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon).
Because an informed electorate is the bulwark of democracy, I made sure to provide links to as many of the nominees as possible. But one promo that I didn’t link to was Fresno’s “Taco Truck Throwdown” a situation that I will now rectify by featuring it right here and now.
In a post on the “Yardwork” team blog, the Grizzlies described the promotion as follows:
After an extensive search of the Valley, seven local trucks from Fresno, Fowler, Madera and Sanger were invited to Chukchansi Park to take place in the competition, which took place on the final Thirsty Thursday of the season. The buzz surrounding the event picked up as it got closer, generating stories throughout the Fresno media. The local ABC, NBC and FOX affiliates, as well as local radio and a whole smattering of local blogs previewed the event. With the news out on the Throwdown, a stunning crowd of 10,287 swarmed the concourse from the moment gates opened to the general public at 6:05, all the way until 20 minutes after the game had ended.
The Grizzlies offered two taco ticket packages:
- Deluxe Taco Package: $18 — includes four tacos, a ticket to the game and a Taco Truck Throwdown T-shirt.
- Super Taco Experience: $23 — includes eight tacos, a ticket to the game and a Taco Truck Throwdown T-shirt.
Those who purchased one of the above packages were able to choose from the following vendors:
At the end of the Throwdown, winners were named in both the “Judge’s” and “People’s Choice” category.
From what I can gather from reading about this online, the only problem with the promotion was that it was too successful. The lines were long, and those wishing to sample all of the vendors found themselves in an oft-futile race against time. Some logistical improvements could be made, no doubt, but overall this seems to be a no-brainer to return in 2012.
It also seems to be a no-brainer for other teams to adapt this concept to their market. As the Grizzlies demonstrated, such a promotion can generate copious media coverage and resultant increased attendance. But who knows? I also thought that the Frederick Keys’ 2010 “Volt Night” food extravaganza would be adapted by other markets, but thus far none have done so.
Guess my blognostication skills need some work.
Regardless, let me again reiterate that there is plenty of time to vote for the MiLB.com Promotion of the Year. If you work for a team that is nominated, why not mount a promotional campaign? It can make all the difference in the world.
Finally, I concluded yesterday’s post with what I thought might be the best corn maze in all of Minor League Baseball. But one of my informants has since gotten in touch, arguing that THIS is better.
You be the judge.