Minor League baseball games aren’t like their MLB counterparts. Fans know the best players won’t be around long, and the players who do hang around might not be as athletically gifted as the ones who move on up to the big time.
In that way, it’s a lot like college hoops.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are combating ennui at the RAC in much the same way MiLB general managers do – by staging wacky stunts during timeouts. Where’d they get such an idea? From their Director of Marketing Geoff Brown, who they happen to have hired away from the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Class A affliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Brown is mostly concerned about getting fans out to the football games this season, and to that end he’s introducing familiar baseball concepts like bobblehead dolls, tote bag giveaways and family ticket/food packages. Can fireworks after the game be far away? Or maybe “Kids Run From Scrimmage” after every game. Could make for a huge recruiting windfall.
Joking aside, Brown tried out his first zany idea at Rutgers basketball games last year. NJ.com writer Keith Sargent described the debut of the “Dancing Usher” in a recent article.
“We didn’t want any announcements beforehand,” Brown recalled, “but right before a timeout we were lucky enough to get one of the kids from the student riot squad, then put him in a yellow (usher) shirt and he went and replaced (the real) usher (near the court). I was all kinds of nervous doing one of these,” he said, illustrating how he shielded his eyes while sitting in his office last week at the RAC. “Luckily the kid was really into it and it went great. The crowd absolutely responded to it.”
If all else fails, we can only hope Bill Murray shows up.