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Volume 21 No. 2
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Romney edges Obama in bobblehead race

For the third straight presidential election, minor league baseball franchise owner the Goldklang Group played host to Bobblection, a stadium giveaway that let fans “vote” for a candidate by choosing between a Mitt Romney and a Barack Obama bobblehead figure.

Romney and Obama bobbles duked it out in nine markets.
Over seven days in August, fans entering one of the nine participating minor league ballparks (see chart) selected a bobblehead, and the candidate whose lot of 500 figurines was distributed first was declared the winner.

Romney won in six of the nine markets.

The poll, which started in 2004, correctly predicted the past two presidential winners. Obama swept the six-team field in 2008.

Florham Park, N.J.-based Goldklang Group, which owns four minor league teams, trademarked the Bobblection moniker in 2008. Match-Up Promotions, a Longwood, Fla.-based company that has worked with more than a dozen major league clubs, designed, manufactured and handled the delivery for this summer’s giveaway. The company also set up and ran a site created specifically for fans to monitor how each candidate was doing over the course of the promotion.

The Goldklang Group made the promotion available to all 53 franchises that compete in the four leagues that include a Goldklang team — high Class A Florida State League, low Class A South Atlantic, short-season New York-Penn, and the independent American Association.

The Goldklang Group launched the promotion with Bush and Kerry in 2004.
Noel Blaha, who as director of promotions for the Goldklang-owned Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs served as liaison between all nine clubs and Match-Up, said that each bobblehead cost about $3 and that this year’s order of more than 12,000 was more than triple that of the 2008 campaign. Clubs were allowed to sell sponsorship for logos on the bases of the figures, though Blaha didn’t know of any such deals being signed.

Polls were closest in two battleground state markets — Fort Myers, Fla., and Asheville, N.C. — and Hudson Valley, N.Y.
Charleston, Hudson Valley and Fort Myers picked the winning candidate in the previous two Bobblections, although at least one of those clubs will see its winning streak come to an end: Charleston this year went back to red, Fort Myers was barely blue, and in Hudson Valley, Romney won by the equivalent of a hanging chad.

In Minnesota, which has voted Democrat in every presidential election dating back to 1976, St. Paul Saints’ fans picked Obama in 2012 and 2008 and chose John Kerry in 2004.

Bobblection 2012

Percentages of all bobbleheads distributed when winner was declared.

Team Romney Obama
Asheville (N.C.) Tourists 50.5% 49.5%
Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs* 52.0% 48.0%
Fargo-Moorhead (N.D.) RedHawks 47.0% 53.0%
Fort Myers (Fla.) Miracle* 49.8% 50.2%
Hickory (N.C.) Crawdads 57.0% 43.0%
Hudson Valley (N.Y.) Renegades* 50.35% 49.65%
Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws 52.0% 48.0%
Lincoln (Neb.) Saltdogs 51.5% 48.5%
St. Paul (Minn.) Saints* 38.0% 62.0%

* Goldklang-owned franchise Source: Goldkang Group