The Seattle Mariners have had some interesting promotions this year. Four different Bark at the Park nights. They had a wine stopper night. There was a blanket hoodie night, a fanny pack night, and Ben Gamel Cap night, long hair included. There is a flannel night, and a Mike Zunino lunch bag night. They had pajama night, and a father’s day BBQ glove. Sure, these are interesting and definitely not normal giveaways. Unfortunately, that seems to be the focus for the Mariners. Instead of promoting the team and the fact they were on pace to break the longest playoff drought in sports. They instead push odd giveaways trying to get people into the park to seemingly not watch baseball. Simply put, the Seattle Mariners put winning second.
Seattle Mariners Put Winning Second
Getting the Youth Involved
Not enough is done to push the team as the reason for coming to the park. In the 90’s, the Mariners used to give away player trading cards. This was a great way to get young fans into the stadium, and interested in the players as they tried to collect them all. You wanted to get to the games, watch the players on the cards you had, and collect the rest. There’s no push to get youth in anymore. A lunch bag for a player with a batting average of .191 isn’t something you want. Flannel shirts or pajama pants? You can get these online for cheaper, and of a better quality.
Another staple of the early 90’s for the Mariners was the parent/kid ticket combo. The reason I personally cared so much about the team as a kid was the amount of games I got to see. There were ticket packages available for one child and parent. You were able to go see five games for less than $50. Now, you can hardly get into a game with another person for under $50. Yes, it has been 20 years since then. However, there just isn’t a push to get the youth into the stadium.
Tickets First, Players Second
The rare good thing the Mariners do is push King’s Court. This was a great way to get people in the seats when Felix Hernandez was good. He looks to be past his prime now, and it’s tough to rationalize paying the extra to see a guy go four innings. Other than Felix, there is little emphasis on getting the faces of the team out there. It wasn’t that long ago that the Mariners had a set of bobble heads throughout the year. You could try and collect them all and hook them together to have a nice set. A Zunino lunch pail would’ve been nice if he wasn’t one of the worst offensive catchers in baseball. People don’t want souvenirs of players who are below the Mendoza line.
They should be pushing the players more. If James Paxton is going to start, have a Maple grove section. The Kyle Seager bobble head is a great idea, calling him Han Seago and pairing it with Star Wars. They need to do it with more players. Have a Marco Polo Gonzalez bobble head night. A mean Jean the hitting machine Segura action figure night, with a bat that swings. You are at a game where Edwin Diaz gets a save. The next game you’re at, you can redeem your ticket for a small bag of candy at the field. Nelson Cruz, the man called boomstick, should be a mini-bat night. These aren’t difficult ideas to get kids in the stadium and make the players better known. I came up with these in one afternoon, the Mariners should be able to do more in an off-season.
The Last Word
If people were actually going to the games, maybe this wouldn’t be a commonplace complaint in the Northwest. Instead, the team is 19th in percentage of seats sold at 61.0%. For a team that looked like they might make the playoffs, you think people would go. Instead of inserting new promotions, they stick with ones that have no relation to baseball. If you ever wonder why baseball is third, and soon to be fourth after the hockey team is there, now you know why. Simply put, the Seattle Mariners put winning second.
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