True Hollywood Story: Rookie Sensation Puig Sets Dodgers Merch Sales Record, Films TV Ad
The Dodgers said that they sold more merchandise featuring rookie RF Yasiel Puig from Thursday to Sunday last week "than they had ever sold of any player over a four-day period -- more than even" former MLBers Manny Ramirez, Fernando Valenzuela or Hideo Nomo, according to Hernandez & Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. The team sold "approximately 3,000 units of Puig-related merchandise in that four-day window, including 1,600 T-shirts ($28), 400 'Viva Puig' T-shirts ($28) and 600 jerseys." The Dodgers "have already filmed a television commercial" featuring Puig and Dodgers 1B Adrian Gonzalez. But Dodgers Exec VP & CMO Lon Rosen said that the team "hasn't made any plans to make a Puig bobblehead doll or create a marketing campaign centered around him." Rosen: "We're not going to throw everything at him at once because that puts a lot of pressure on him" (L.A. TIMES, 6/11). Former Dodgers PR Dir Steve Brener said of a comparison between Puig and Valenzuela or Nomo, "The phones ringing off the hook in the offices, everybody wanting a piece of them, the excitement in the stadium, the media requests. The similarities are all there." Brener said Puig T-shirts and jerseys are "both flying off the racks." In L.A., Vincent Bonsignore writes, "All that's left now is Puigmania to have the extended life of Fernandomania or Nomomania" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 6/11). Puig said, "I'm very happy because the fans are wearing my T-shirt and saying my name." The AP's Beth Harris noted the Dodgers "rushed T-shirts and jerseys with his No. 66 into production." Puig's "splashy debut and the ensuing excitement it's created have drawn comparisons" to when the Dodgers acquired Ramirez in '08 (AP, 6/10).