Astros See Huge Success With Replica World Series Ring Giveaways
The Astros after this weekend will have distributed more than 250,000 World Series replica rings to fans, a "promotional feat without precedent" in MLB, and teams are "likely to take lessons from the Astros' marketing staff on how to ride the wave of a genuine grass-roots phenomenon," according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Astros Senior VP/Marketing & Communications Anita Sehgal said, "We knew the fans would love this. But did we expect they would be so excited that we could do this so many times and sell out every time and have people show up every time? We did not expect that." Sehgal said that the team "initially planned for a single giveaway during the first homestand in April, with only the first 10,000 fans" receiving the replicas. However, fans "lined up hours in advance to claim the rings, and several dozen were sold afterward on eBay by recipients for several hundred dollars." Sehgal said the Astros "decided immediately to do a second giveaway." Barron notes after the second giveaway on June 20, the third distribution "came July 11, the fourth on Aug. 27 and a fifth giveaway last Monday, leading into the final distribution on Sunday's fan appreciation day." Rings were also distributed on "three occasions in Corpus Christi, twice in Fresno, Calif., and once each at other Astros minor league outposts." The four weekday giveaway games were "all sellouts." The replica rings were produced by St. Louis-based Success Promotions, and Sehgal said that the Astros "placed five orders for what became the largest ring order in Success Promotions' history, outstripping a two-night order of 100,000 rings" from the MLB Cardinals (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/21).