Smash Office Equipment With the Baysox
As you've no doubt heard, the Bowie Baysox are having "Office Space Night" tonight. As the press release says, the team is "offering all area cubicle dwellers a chance to get out of the office and relieve your 'Case of the Mondays'."
What this means is there will be clips from the movie shown throughout the evening, and there will be a "Flair Contest" featuring pins and buttons and all that, and some employees will be wearing short-sleeved button-down shirts and suspenders and ties. But primarily what this means is that, for $1, you'll be able to take an enthusiastic whack at used office equipment with a wooden baseball bat. (The money goes to the families of Virginia Tech victims; they will receive money from lots of sources, but this has to be one of the weirdest.)
The genius behind this night, and, make no mistake, this is sheer genius, is named Clark Baker. He's the team's director of ticket operations, but in minor league baseball everyone's sort of a part of the promotions staff, which is how his idea came to fruition. Clark's a fan of the movie, having seen it 12-15 times and using selected quotes every day; "Yeah, about that," he offered to me over the phone. Anyhow, last August he started talking about this idea, and then it was brought up in the fall brainstorming meeting, and then the marketing people found a spot in the calendar.
"You can do the same things year after year," Clark told me, "but you're only as good as your last wacky promotion."
And clever Baysox staffers kept adding new ideas to the promotion. For example, just last Friday they decided to have a Post-It note between-inning stickoff, in which pairs of contestants will attempt to cover each other with the maximum amounts of Post-It notes.
But the key component has always been the office technology smash-off. At last count, there are about 15 available pieces of office equipment, from fax machines to hard drives to scanners to type writers. The equipment will be laid out outside the park on a blue tarp. Some of it is antiquated junk from the Baysox offices, and some of it was donated. Clark and some others actually went outside to test the concept recently. He smashed a keyboard and hard drive, with mixed results.
"You know, it's tough," he explained. "The best time to do it is when you're actually mad at the technology. When the fax isn't working, that's when you want to do it. it's kind of tough to do when you're not mad at technology. Sadly it's not as effective when you're not truly in the moment, you know what I mean? But it still works."
Anyhow, the technology will be available for martyrdom before the game, but team officials will likely staff the fax graveyard in the early innings too, "figuring that people might want to come out and smash some stuff," Director of Communications Ryan Roberts told me.
I asked Ryan to compare this to other promotions during his tenure, and he of course mentioned the Baysox's attempted world record simultaneous whoopee cushion release--"like a big PFFTT..." he recalled--and also the upcoming attempt to set a world record for simultaneous yo-yoing. The yo yo's, you'll be happy to know, have already been ordered.
Naturally I asked Clark if he had any other promotional ideas, and he mentioned that he's always wanted the Baysox to hold an '80s Metal Hair Band Night, in which patrons would be encouraged to wear rock 'n roll shirts, and mullet wigs would be handed out at the gates, and '80s metal cover bands would serenade the crowd.
"Getting others to get on the same wave length, that's not the easiest thing," he said. "But it's not really my job to carry out promotions."
Well, maybe it should be.
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