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BASEBALL PLANS PRE- CHRISTMAS "FAN APPRECIATION WEEKS"
Published October 14, 1994
Acknowledging the affect the work stoppage has had on merchandise sales, MLB Properties is planning several retail initiatives with the aim of "thanking fans for their loyalty," while also "spurring consumer interest." Among those is a promotion dubbed "Fan Appreciation Weeks," in which fans will be given the chance to receive a free gift with a minimum purchase of MLB licensed merchandise, including Minor League and Negro League merchandise. The minimum dollar amount will be determined by each club, but Melinda Klaber, Retail Merchandising Manager for MLB Properties, estimates it will probably be around $25. The "gift-with-purchase" will be a significant number Limited Edition "Fotoballs" featuring the 125th Anniversary logo, with some signed by Brooks Robinson. Klaber says the gift-purchase promotion is still in its preliminary stages, with certain aspects, including advertising messages, to be developed. But the kick-off is set for Friday, November 25, and will last two weeks. That Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving -- is traditionally the highest grossing retail sales day of the year. Klaber expects all 28 teams to take part. At an estimated potential gross of $50,000 per club, "Fan Appreciation Weeks" could bring in $1.4 million. The ad campaign to be launched in conjunction with the promotion -- presently projected to be print ads in each club's local newspaper paid for by MLB Properties -- will likely focus more on the "fan appreciation" idea than any direct reference to the strike. But MLB Public Relations Manager Jim Small sums up the motivation: "Baseball is still alive and kicking. The game will go on." MLB Properties is also suggesting the clubs embark on other retail initiatives, such as ticket give-aways, and sweepstakes with prizes such as throw-out-the-first pitch, or be a batboy/batgirl-for-a-day (THE DAILY).