Nats Fall Short… at Awesome Giveaways

I don’t spend too much time here complaining. Constructive criticism, sure, but if I’m doing commentary that can be perceived as negative, it’s usually based on my ideas to make the team better. But once a year, I feel it is necessary to do some real complaining, and that’s about the promotional giveaways. The Nats are once again finishing at the bottom of the league in awesomeness of giveaways. Perusing their schedule, the best day may very well be this coming Friday (May 9), when they are giving away a cooler bag (useful in place like the back of the golf cart). Other than that, there just isn’t that much that would get you excited. Sure they have some bobbleheads (they’re overdone, but they can be fun), and I’ve never been a fan of the cheap versions of the hats that you get at a giveaway. T-shirts are alright, but they usually aren’t something to wear anywhere but the gym. The one curious promotional item, which has no associated picture, occurs on August 13th – a “beer and pitcher cup set.” I’m skeptical, but open to something good here.

Other than that, I’m at a loss to see something that fans would be proud to hold on to. Just the cooler bag. Meanwhile, the rest of the league remains light years ahead of the Nats. Let’s just take a look at some of the highlights:

My favorites are t-shirt giveaways that are actual jerseys, not some shirt you wouldn’t even wear back to the stadium. The O’s have a replica Brooks Robinson Jersey (July 17). The Twins have a REAL (fake) Denard Span jersey (May 30).

The Reds join in on the action (May 15) by giving away a mesh Chuck Harmon jersey, he was their first African American player, and the Dodgers are allowing Manny to be a hero to children (May 31):

The DBacks have an inexplicable Garden Gnome (May 22) and instead of t-shirts that say “brought to you by Chevy Chase Bank” or whatever, they give away t-shirt jerseys:

How about the Tigers Beverage Pitcher (June 11)? Every beer pong table from Ann Arbor to Rochester Hills that’s serviced by a keg should have one of these:

It seem a little cheap but the Rays had a very creative Flying Carl Crawford (May 2) and will feature a Carlos Pena Toothbrush Holder (May 30):

The Indians are giving away slippers. Slippers! (May 9) They feature Slider Head, who apparantly has supplanted Chief Wahoo as their mascot:

The Mets offer Jose Reyes drawstring bag night (July 10), which will probably look something like this except with Reyes and the number 7 on the back:

Even better for the kids is the Astros Chest Protector Backpack (August 15), and a similar one offered by the Pirates (August 22):

Then there’s the A’s BBQ set, which I can only guess says “Oakland” or “Athletics” at the bottom:

The Reds thought it would be wise to give away skateboards (May 30), as did the Giants (May 30th as well!), trucks and wheels not included:

Everyone also seems to be giving away the snuggies, the promotion du jour, which I am not a big fan of. But I’ll be damned if Tim Lincecum isn’t really really into his:

As for those last two, I’d be fine with the Nats skipping. But even though some of these are on the weird side, they all beat the lame t-shirts and same ol’ bobbleheads. The Nats staff better take some notes, and get on fixing this. They may not be in last place, and may be in the middle of the NL pack in hitting and pitching, but they are clearly trailing quite a few teams in giveaways.

3 Responses to Nats Fall Short… at Awesome Giveaways

  1. Sean Smith says:

    I agree. The other big problem with the Nats and giveaways is that you can’t run out of giveaways for the first 10k fans and then have stadium workers either wearing t-shirt tuesday items or walking around the ball parks with merchandise.

  2. Jim Shoemaker says:

    Nice article! Some of those giveaways are so creative. The chest protector backpack is amazing.

  3. Dana Gunnison says:

    Thanks for the thoughts. Personally I’d like to see the Lerners hold down ticket prices as opposed to expensive give-aways. The free stuff usually doesn’t last very long anyways. Get the promo staff to sell innings in the game, and run a damn commercial for the company that’s sponsoring that inning. Price tickets for the game accordingly (calculate how much the team expects to make with x amount of seats costing y amount of money times the number of games. Then, figure your budget and sell the innings to make up the difference. But, please no loud, agitating between innings ads, something like the recent candy bar ads with Betty White and Aretha Franklin would go over great. Baseball has seemingly succumbed to the notion it should entertain it’s patrons similar to NBA with it’s high volume in-game marketing. Baseball’s attraction, to those of us who don’t view it as a live action t.v. game, rests on it’s unhurried no 24 second or 40 second NFL game clock pace. If you get bored, get a prescription for Ritalin, or keep score.

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