Paige Nienaber’s Midweek Idea Dump: 9 Innings, 15 Promotions


(By Paige Nienaber) Ah… the smell of the Astroturf, the crack of the corked bat, the taste of the popcorn that was made three days ago and stored in large bins, reheated and sold by angry vendors: baseball season is in full effect, as the kids like to say.

Despite being a Twins fan, I do love baseball.

Baseball is great in terms of being a promotional venue for us because it’s (usually) outdoor and it’s a family-friendly sport. Just about everyone can afford to go to a ballgame. With that said, how’re you set for the season? 

Ball Boy/Girl For A Day – A great prize if you can pull it off. Sometimes, you just have to ask.

Ball Girl Wrap-Up – In some markets, they’re kind of mini-celebs. They wouldn’t be down there doing it if they didn’t just have skillz but also a love of the game. See if you can get a weekly check-in of the weekend that was and her observations on the team and how they’re doing. 

Our DJs Are Cards – One of the stations has a AAA franchise in town that wanted the proverbial and very non-specific “something.” I haven’t seen a station do baseball cards for the airstaff in about a decade. The cards could be coupon’ed or barcoded for ticket discounts to games. And here’s how to make them

Celebrity Softball – The teams are usually cool with doing something after the game. What if you staged a softball game between your station and a visiting band and their entourage? Back-in-the-day, both the Eagles and Journey were always up for a game. Do it for a charity, ie: if the station wins, the band donates $1,000 to a station-chosen charity and vice versa. The last really decent one I saw was done by WiLD in Tampa and raised (quickly) $50,000 for a kid who needed to relocate to Chicago with one of his parents for cancer treatment. Snoop even flew in for it. You just… need to ask.

Bad Lip Reading – This could be a weekly morning show feature after a weekend of ballgames. 

Father Mows Best – What would be the coolest honor you could have given my dad? To be able to mow the field at the old Met Stadium before a Twins game. Fathers Day is around the corner.

Working For Peanuts – One of the cooler Christmas promotions I’ve ever seen was at KSFM in Sacramento when Davey, Chris and Juan all took part-time holiday jobs and donated their paychecks and tips to a holiday charity. What if each jock sold peanuts in a different section of the stadium and all the money they raise goes to some vibing kids charity?

Banner Tow – At a Giants game in San Francisco, Mancow once hired a banner tow over Candlestick Park that read “Mancow says ‘Look Under Your Seat For $10,000!'” Everyone immediately stood up and looked under their seats. A few minutes later a second plane appeared pulling a banner that read, “Mancow says ‘Gotcha!’”

Dinner, A Game & A Movie – This once again is a post-game event. There are so many great baseball movies. What if you did a movie, on some massive screen in centerfield, following the game? Invite everyone out to grab a spot on the turf and watch the film. This has been done as The Cat Film Festival by myTalk 107.1 in the Twin Cities.

Hey, Ump! Get Glasses! – What if you made up eyecharts and handed them out before the game. If the ump makes a questionable call, everyone holds up their eyechart. The hook is that the thing needs to spell out some station slogan in large, and then smaller and smaller letters.

Bench Warmer Of The Year – Every team has one. Turn him into a folk hero. When I worked at Kiss 102, Steve Sheffler was that guy on the Hornets. He got maybe a minute of playing time every three games. So we created The Steve Sheffler Fan Club and sent a pair of winners to sit in the stations seats at every home game with a sign. By mid-season, when Steve did play, the whole arena erupted.

For The Youth Athletes – Beasley in Philly did a drive to collect used athletic equipment so that low-income kids can play in their local leagues.

Community Clinics If you can finagle a player for an hour, to go down into the community and host a clinic for inner city kids is always always exceptionally cool.

Having A Player Feature – KS95 had a Viking on their morning show every Monday and he was actually very funny and could punch and jab with them. If you could find someone on the team with a hook, that would be great. They love movies and do reviews. They do comedy. They like to dance. Then there’s a legitimate reason to have them on.

Every Fan Counts People love those cheap handheld fans. I was at an outdoor Fray show in Memphis and the street team was mobbed by people asking for them. It is alleged that in the 1991 World Series, an employee at the Metrodome monkeyed with the blowers that keep the roof inflated, and turned the left field ones UP when the Braves were batting, and the ones behind the plate UP when the Twins were batting. Channel 5 sent a reporter out to test to see if it helped or hindered the flight of a ball… and it did. What if you plastered all the seats in left field with free fans. When the other team hits a long ball, flap ‘em like crazy to keep it in the park.

Paige Nienaber insults/consults more than 100 radio stations on Fun ‘N Games (Marketing & Promotions). Find him at CPR Promotions. Read Paige’s Radio Ink archives here.


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