January Promotions and Giveaways Set the Bar for 2017

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Georgetown University held their second annual Denim Night on January 25th. Photo courtesy of Chris Grosse.

Georgetown University held their second annual Denim Night on January 25th. Photo courtesy of Chris Grosse.

Welcome to the Promo Spotlight! Each month I will look at some of the best promotions that have taken place around the sports world and share them with you. Promotions play an important part in enhancing the fan experience and can sometimes be the deciding factor in someone going to a game or not. From ticket specials to giveaways, promotions are a great way to engage fans and give them a little “something extra.”

2016 was a great year of promotions and giveaways, and 2017 is off to a hot start. Below are January’s best that have set the bar for the rest of the year.

Andre Iguodala VR Bobblehead: Warriors (1/10)

It’s no secret Virtual Reality has taken the world by storm. So much so, the Golden State Warriors made it part of their Andre Iguodala bobblehead. It’s a great way to tie pop culture to sports, especially since the industry is starting to explore more technology use.

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In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Warriors’ VP of Digital and Marketing, Kenny Lauer said, “…the bobblehead was a nice tip of the hat to have fun with VR, to align technology with our players and to just have our message that technology is a very important part of how we create experiences.”

Toledo Mud Hen’s Brewfest (1/14)

Beer fests are a staple in the summer, so I love that the Mud Hens decided to host one in the winter. It’s a great non-baseball way to bring people to the ballpark during the off-season. It also gives people the chance to try seasonal beers they might not otherwise get to try and could attract non-baseball fans to the ballpark, which could in turn help bring them out during the season.

I also love that they created a Snapchat filter for the event. It’s a great way to market the event on one of the most popular social media platforms, and gives attendees a fun way to spice up their Snapchat stories.

San Jose Sharks: Joe Thornton Chia (1/21)

Chia pets make a great throwback giveaway. Bringing back the popular item from the 80’s and 90’s to create a current player is a fun, interactive way for fans to get involved with the team. The Washington Nationals started the trend with Jason Werth (2015) and Bryce Harper (2016) Chias to pay tribute to the prominent hair characteristics of their players, and it’s fun to see other teams do the same.

This Joe Thornton Chia from the Sharks is the perfect way to honor the great beard and head of hair their player has. They even created this vintage-y commercial to promote it.

Georgetown University: Jortstown: (1/25)

In a play off the school’s motto, “We are Georgetown”, the Georgetown Marketing Department delivered on this one-of-a-kind theme night. It’s the second year Georgetown has held a tribute to the popular clothing fabric, and fans were encouraged to wear as much denim as possible. The fans decked out in the most denim received denim vests bedazzled with the Georgetown “G” or “Hoyas” on the back. I’m sure Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears are bummed they couldn’t attend.

“We are always trying to come up with themes that the students can get into and enhance their experience, and the denim theme allowed students to dress up for the game while still wearing Georgetown colors (blue and gray). The name ‘We Are Jortstown’ was actually suggested by a student and just fit so perfectly (like your favorite pair of Jorts),” said Chris Grosse, director of marketing.

New Orleans Pelicans: King Cake Baby Bobblehead (1/29)

Mardi Gras is right around the corner, which means king cake will soon be in every Louisiana household. For years, the New Orleans Pelicans have celebrated this special time by bringing in their seasonal mascot, King Cake Baby. Despite comments about how “terrifying” the mascot looks, the Pelicans embrace King Cake Baby when celebrating New Orleans’ most popular holiday. This bobblehead is the perfect way to bring Louisiana’s unique culture and tradition to a sporting event. And besides, who doesn’t love cake?