The wait is over, folks. The next round of Golden Bobblehead nominees is upon us as Minor League Baseball releases its candidates for the best promotion for the month of July. The winner receives an automatic entry into the coveted Golden Bobblehead competition at the Minor League Baseball Promo Seminar this September in Des Moines.
As has been the case all season, there is no shortage of great candidates, but there can only be one winner. In fact, if you have not been following along and tracking the Golden Bobblehead nominees (shame on you!) catch up on all of the brilliant and creative promotions at minor league ballparks this season by clicking here.
This month’s nominees were selected from a plethora of entries and embrace the fun, fan-friendly and community-minded spirit of the sport. Each month, teams can either nominate promotions or events of their own or other teams for the award. The winner qualifies as a finalist for the Golden Bobblehead competition at Promo Seminar held in Des Moines, where they will present their promotion before their peers, who will then vote on winners in the following categories:
- Best Theme Night
- Best In-Game Promotion
- Best Non-Gameday Event
- Best Community Promotion or Event
- Best Digital Campaign or Activation
Now, on to the nominees:
Boise Hawks, Saved by the Belt
Resurrecting cast members from once-popular TV sitcoms has become a regular promotion for many teams, and stars of the show “Saved by the Bell” have often been connected to 90s Nights at minor league ballparks. The Boise Hawks put a unique, and charitable twist, on this idea with their Saved by the Belt promotion.
Raising awareness for seat belt safety as a partnership with the Idaho Department of Transportation, the team wore custom seat belt jerseys. The game featured an appearance by Dennis Haskins, who played the role of Mr. Belding on the show. The promotion brought the team and the seat belt safety campaign significant attention, with a 13 percent increase in attendance from a similar date last season.
Connecticut Tigers, New England Night
Crack open a Sam, say your blessings for Tom Brady and crank up the J. Geils Band as the Connecticut Tigers celebrated New England Night by transforming into the Connecticut Lobster Rolls, which of course featured some pretty cool jerseys. As part of a partnership with Sam Adams, the team embraced their New England roots with a variety of marketing initiatives and creative promotions, including:
- Creating a separate website, golobsterrolls.com to further promote the event.
- Rolling out a Lobster Roll food truck on the concourse.
- Having a Mystic Aquarium display on hand at the ballpark.
- A variety of New England-themed on-field promotions, like practice your Boston accent, Tom Brady trivia, Name that famous New Englander and Name that New England band.
The promotion worked, with the team doubling its largest Saturday night crowd of the season.
Daytona Tortugas, Big Shellbowski Night
Not only does The Dude still abide, but Daytona fans lined up for Shellbowski bobbleheads as the Tortugas celebrated the 20th anniversary of “The Big Lebowski.” Daytona welcomed one of the largest crowds in team history and the Tortugas celebrated all things Lebowski, including White Russians at the concession stand (the team sold over 500 of those), look-alike contests, lawn bowling and bowling ball cleaning competitions (The Jesus did not win).
Daytona received a spike in attendance and social media traffic for the promotion and was featured on ESPN as its minor league promotion of the week.
Erie SeaWolves, SnowWolves
If you can’t laugh at your own misery, than really what can you laugh at? The SeaWolves and the greater Erie community came together to celebrate one of the snowiest winters on record in the fine city on the shores of Lake Erie.
The city recorded nearly 200 inches of snow over the winter, including and a record two- day snowfall of 60.5 inches between Dec. 25 and 26. As a way to recognize the local Snowmageddon, the SeaWolves rebranded themselves as the SnowWolves for their Christmas in July promotion on July 27.
The team donned special SeaWolves jerseys for the promotion, installed a giant ruler at the front gate to allow fans to measure up to the 17 feet of snow the city received last winter and gave away a snowblower as part of a partnership with the snowblowing company Ariens.
Frisco RoughRiders, Dude Perfect Night at the Ballpark
The Frisco RoughRiders welcomed an entirely different kind of Dude to Dr Pepper Ballpark on July 20, as they played host to the trick-shot stars of YouTube called Dude Perfect. The event set a record for the earliest sellout in franchise history and the first 1,000 fans won a meet-and-greet with the stars.
The Dudes threw out the first pitch and participated in a variety of between-inning promotions, including Late Night Snack Launch, basketball trick shots from the Choctaw Lazy River, Dude Perfect Relay Race and Dude Perfect T-shirt Toss. The Riders also were special Dude Perfect-themed jerseys that were auctioned off after the game to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.