I have written close to 600 posts on this here blog (579 to be exact) and one of my favorites, and according to my blog stats it is one of the most popular, is my post on how I would save Playboy magazine.
I had fun with that post because I like coming up with ways to save things people like..or once liked. So in the spirit of my Playboy post I am back with another way to save something, and this time it is the Toronto Blue Jays.
Now before I go any further I MUST say that the company I work for is affiliated with the Blue Jays so MORE THAN EVER I have to stress that these ideas are my own and do not reflect those of my employers...and while I do not work for the Jays I think they should hire me to implement these ideas cause they are all gold.....GOLD I tell you.
The reason I think the Jays need saving is simple. People don't care and no one goes to the games. This is sad to me cause I have been a fan for a long time and have many great memories at the ballpark....so much so that I can prove that I was the inspiration for the original Blue Jays mascot (BJ Birdie...but that is a story for another post) and seeing the stadium 2/3 empty is disappointing.
Ok...enough lead up...the way I would save the Jays is simple...I would treat them like a Minor League Baseball team. Now to be clear this is not a comment on their performance but rather a promotions philosophy.
In the minors teams are a little hungrier to get people in the park and some teams take amazing steps to make the environment fun. My favorite minor league stunt is "Nobody Night" in Charleston, SC where for one night no one was let in to the park (even though they had tickets) so the official attendance would be zero and instead of letting folk in they set up the parking lot as a huge event party where people could watch the game and have a good time...and no one was upset because they were apart of something cool.
If the Jays took HUGE strides to make every night a surprise people would come no matter how the team was playing or who the visiting team was. The opportunities are endless but here is a starter list of cool stuff to do.
- Replace the two worst sections in the bleachers (that no one sits in now anyway) with Hot Tubs and sell those sections at a premium.
- Sign Jenny Finch (Olympic Woman Softball Pitcher) because she would attract a crowd and can actually pitch...maybe.
- During Pride Week offer same sex marriages in the out field.
- During the Toronto International Film Fest show movies on the Scoreboard with the sound on a local radio station and if the promotion is a hit you keep doing it and call it Drive In Movie Nights.
- Mascot Nights where anyone can get in free if they are dressed in a real furry costume.
- Allow a few fans per game to do their own play by play broadcast from a in house frequency and people in the stands get the choice to pick their favorite.
- Turn the outfield bleachers into a soup kitchen a few games a month.
- Make a few games a year an event that you cant even buy a ticket to and instead they have to do cool things to get them.
- Every person who is sworn in as a new Canadian Citizen gets honored one game a year and the swearing in ceremony can be during the game.
- Mass Weddings in the outfield.
- Wacky Wonder Woman Wednesdays (People dressed as Wonder Woman get in free)
- ...and finally Dating in the Dark (Speed dating in the stands)
Also and this part is obvious. If that jays really want some attention they should not only take some of these ideas but also think of the PR possibilities in hiring me to execute them. It would be exactly like the time the Twins had that 14 year old manager in the movie Little Big League or when the Cubs signed that kid to pitch for them in the movie Rookie of the Year except I am not a kid, this isn't a movie and I always guarantee a happy ending.
Jays, Call me, you have my number :)