Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hey, Royals: Promote This!

Posted By on Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 7:17 PM

By CHRIS RASMUSSEN

Some thoughts as Bryan Busby continues his fine work providing analysis of the NBA Finals:

billy_butler_jersey.jpg

I attended Wednesday night’s Royals game. Here's the most interesting thing I noticed: all those jerseys worn in the stands, featuring the names of players no longer on Kansas City's active roster.

It became a very depressing version of License Plate Bingo: George Brett, Billy Butler, Angel Berroa, Jeremy Affeldt, Emil Brown, Mike Sweeney, Carlos Beltran. The Royals gave away all of these jerseys during previous promotions…

…and eventually most of the players named on the jerseys.

Hey, if the player doesn’t have to play on the team, why not just aim high and give away replica Royals jerseys with Alex Rodriguez’s name on the back?

It would be funny, if it didn’t indicate something important: Royals management implicitly understands that their own product isn't enough to bring fans to Kauffman Stadium.

Special promotions this month alone include Buck Nights, Fireworks Nights and various trinket giveaways. During games, Sluggerrr throws hot dogs to anyone willing to beg for food and overcaffeinated pitchman Tim Moore gives away stuff every inning. And let’s not forget the Royals’ new scoreboard – which as long you ignore the score it displays, totally rocks.

sluggerrr_sq.jpg

The only promotion absent this year is Krispy Kreme’s, in which fans got free donuts if the Royals collected thirteen hits.

I'm fully in favor of receiving free stuff in any context (send presents my way c/o The Pitch). But eventually the product needs to matter enough to draw fans on its own.

Otherwise, there's a sporting enterprise well known for its constant promotions: minor league baseball. The T-Bones tickets are cheaper and occasionally they give away money.

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