25 Extremely Bizarre or Ill-Advised Promotions in Sports History

Andrew RobesonAnalyst IIJanuary 13, 2011

25 Extremely Bizarre Or Ill Advised Promotions in Sports History

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    Teams will do anything to make some money.

    So when times are tough, they turn to promotions. Sometimes these promotions are as simple as a bobblehead or a pennant. 

    Other times things tend to get a bit crazy. 

    But if it gets people in the stands, you better believe someone will try it. Especially minor league baseball teams, they have most of the really good ones.

    Well here it goes. Here are 25 bizarre sports promotions. 

Nobody Night

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    Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

    The Charleston Riverdogs, a Class-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, wanted to set a record no one could break.

    So they decided on "Nobody Night." A night where they would padlock their gates and not let a single fan in until the game was official, setting a record for the lowest attendance ever at 0. 

    Fans were instead directed to a party tent with discounted beer and food. Yeah, I'd take the cheap food over a Class-A baseball game. 

EA Sports Promoting Their FIFA Soccer Game in Japan

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    EA Sports hired a retired sumo wrestler, a 14-year-old British girl who was a YouTube sensation in Japan and a cross-dresser to promote their new soccer game.

    Uh, what the heck? Did it work?

Awful Night

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    The Altoona Curve, the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, hosted "Awful Night."

    The promotion's aim was to give the customer a bad experience.

    The first 1,000 fans got a picture of the general manager's gall bladder. One fan was awarded the general manager's actual gall bladder.

    I guess that could work?

Toilet Seat Night

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    The Hudson Valley Renegades decided on a promotion that gave away a toilet seat to their first 3,000 fans. 

    The promotion was a follow-up to a plunger given away the previous year by the same team. The seats were designed to double as stadium seats for the game.

Speed Dating Night

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    Speed dating at a baseball game?

    The New Britain Rock Cats thought it was a good idea. I don't mind a chick who is interested in baseball.

Terrell Owens Unappreciation Night

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    In 2006 a semi-professional baseball team called the Atlantic City Surf got an idea.

    Building off fan's frustration with, at the time, Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens they decided to have an "unappreciation night" for him.

    Offered as part of this promotion was two free tickets in exchange for Owens memorabilia, 81-cent hot dogs in honor of Owens' number and whoopee cushions with his face on them.

    No information on whether it was a success, but Owens did leave Philly.

Scientology Night

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    Leave it up to these minor league baseball teams.

    This idea belonged to the Fort Myers Miracle.

10-Cent Beer Night

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    This sounds like an event I was wish I was at.

    OK, so this isn't really a "bizarre" promotion, but it was certainly idiotic.

    Fans of the Cleveland Indians were encouraged to drink as many 10-cent 8-ounce beers as possible (obviously before drunk driving was taken seriously).

    Well fans complied with the idea and the result was a bunch of drunken baseball fans. 

    To summarize what happened that night, high tensions led to a riot. 

    At the point that many felt the Texas Rangers players and coaches lives may actually be at risk the Indians were forced to forfeit.

Political Correctness Night

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    Oh politics. 

    This particular promotion belonged to the minor league baseball team the Spinners of Lowell, Mass. The idea was to refer to "basemen" as "people". A second basemen became a second base person, etc.

    They also would not attribute an error to a certain player on the scoreboard. Kind of funny.

Zebra Pants and a Monkey

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    In 2008 the minor league baseball team the St. Paul Saints played a game in zebra pants while a monkey performed the daily tasks around the ballpark, like taking ticket stubs.

    I REALLY wish I had been at this game. Seriously. 

Whiplash The Cowboy Monkey

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    Warren Little/Getty Images

    More monkeys!

    This time the Jacksonville Suns enlisted the help of a monkey to get fans.

    Here, it's easier to understand if you just click here

Noah Bobblehead Night

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    Yes, the biblical Noah. Not another one.

    Compliments of the minor league baseball team, the Hickory Crawdads.

Mike Tyson Ear Night

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Plastic ears were given out. If you don't know why, why are you reading a sports article?

    The minor league baseball team the Fort Myers Miracle make multiple appearances on this list. They must have some good public relations people. 

Britney Spears Baby Safety Night

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    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Remember when Britney Spears forgot to put her baby in a baby seat?

    Well the minor league baseball team, the Newark Bears, jumped on the hot story at the time by giving free tickets to anyone who brought a baby or dressed as a baby. 

    I hope no one stole a baby to get in the game for free. It's just the Newark Bears. 

Used Car Night

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    The minor league baseball team, the San Antonio Missions, gave away 12 used cars.

    I would have liked to have been there for this one. 

Jose Canseco Juice Box Night

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    Getty Images/Getty Images

    OK I love this one.

    As Jose Canseco wound down his baseball career in the minors, the Fullerton Flyers gave away boxes of juice to its fans when he came to town.

    Get it!? Because he juiced? I thought it was funny...

Kevin Federline Night

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    I just want to know why.

    Why Fresno Grizzlies? Why?

Free Baseball Night

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    This one isn't so much bizarre as it is stupid.

    In 1995, the Los Angeles Dodgers decided a good promotion would be to give out baseballs.

    Not a bad idea...if you have half a brain. 

    Following the ejections of Raul Mondesi and Tommy Lasorda, fans began to throw their baseballs onto the field.

    Who could have predicted that?

    The incidents prompted a new rule by the MLB that said baseball giveaways could only take place as fans left the stadium. Good idea.

College Course Giveaway Night

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    More minor league baseball.

    Fans at a Southwest Michigan Devil Rays game got to enter a raffle for a three-credit course at a local community college.

    Knowledge! Yay! 

G-String Night

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    Out of habit for this slideshow, I put this into Google images.

    Use your imagination.

    This is another idea of the Charleston River Dogs where they gave away g-strings to select fans. Must be fun to live in Charleston. 

Vasectomy Night

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    This was the least offensive, and funniest picture that fit for this slide.

    Yet another Charleston River Dogs stunt, but the public outcry got this one canceled before it ever happened.

The Guardian Project

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    I still don't quite understand the whole concept of The Guardian Project.

    But apparently the idea is to give each NHL team a superhero.

    Is this what the NHL has come to?

Funeral Night

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    The Hagerstown Suns gave away a funeral valued at over $6,500.

    If you bet they were a minor league baseball team, you were right.

Twilight Night

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    The Jacksonville Suns are at it again.

    They gave tickets away to fans who donated blood and gave away fangs to the first 3,000 people to the stadium.

Disco Demolition Night

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    On July 12, 1979, the White Sox felt that the Disco era was coming to an end, so they encouraged fans to bring their old disco records to their game against the Detroit Tigers.

    The average attendance for the White Sox on a night game that year was about 6,000 people. The White Sox expected double that for their promotion.

    90,000 people showed up to the 52,000 person stadium.

    Since a double-header was scheduled for the game, the disco records were set to be blown up after the first game.

    However, before that even happened discos constantly entered the field of play due to their newfound usage as frisbees.

    The records were eventually destroyed in an explosion after the first game, but the field caught fire, and fans rushed the playing grounds.

    Eventually Chicago riot police had to clear the field, but it was so damaged that the White Sox were forced to forfeit the second game.