SBD/Issue 38/The Back of the Book

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  • Caps, Bobbleheads Top List Of MLB Team Giveaways/Promotions

    Caps and bobbleheads topped the list of items most frequently given to fans by MLB clubs for the second straight season, according to a SportsBusiness Daily/Journal analysis of teams' promotional efforts. According to the promotional schedules for all 30 MLB clubs this past regular season, teams combined for 719 giveaway dates, up 16% over '09 and up 25% compared with '08. Along with free T-shirts, which ranked No. 3 on the list, caps and bobbleheads have been the most popular giveaways since SportsBusiness Daily/Journal first started tracking MLB teams' game-day promotions and handouts in '02. But while the items at the top of the rankings have gone unchanged, the timing of and reason for the giveaways has shifted for many MLB clubs. According to team executives, it was about a decade ago when MLB clubs began to move away from items such as bottle openers and pencils as giveaways to what they call "high perceived value" gifts, such as bobbleheads. "Promotions are as much a part of baseball as hot dogs and Cracker Jacks," said Twins VP/Marketing Patrick Klinger. "We could have cut back this year, knowing we were going to draw well in the new ballpark [Target Field], but it has become an important part of our team's culture." This past season, 66 of the 80 bobblehead nights across MLB (or 82.5%) were held on weekends, double the percentage of just five seasons ago. "Do you want to pack the house and have that fan experience, that buzz, of a sellout?" said Bensussen Deutsch & Associates CEO and co-Founder Jay Deutsch, whose company produced more than 1 million MLB-licensed bobbleheads that were given away at ballparks this season. Deutsch: "You may already have 40,000 coming out on a Saturday night game and get a 'lift' of five or six thousand. And that whole connection gets extended long after they've left the game."

    MOST-FREQUENT '10 MLB REGULAR-SEASON
    GIVEAWAYS AND PROMOTIONS
    RANK
    CATEGORY
    # TEAMS
    DATES
    1
    Caps
    27
    87
    2
    Bobbleheads
    25
    80
    3
    T-Shirts
    22
    72
    4
    Posters
    12
    47
    5
    Magnetic schedules
    28
    39
    6
    Toys
    16
    37
    7
    Backpacks/bags
    20
    34
    8
    Jerseys
    17
    30
    9
    Retail coupons
    8
    28
    10
    Cups/mugs
    14
    23
    11
    Photos
    12
    20
    12t
    Lunch boxes/school supplies
    13
    18
    12t
    Figurines
    11
    18
    14
    Calendars
    12
    16
    15
    Blankets
    12
    14
    16
    Rally items
    6
    12
    17t
    Helmets/gloves
    10
    11
    17t
    Banners/pennants
    8
    11
    17t
    Bats/balls
    8
    11

    Print | Tags: The Back of the Book
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