In the course of any given week as I prepare for my Independent Baseball Insider column, I get an opportunity to see many innovative ways teams are hustling to promote their product. As a "baseball guy", I am naturally drawn to stories about player signings. But I know it is not all about the players; not by a long shot in the minor leagues.
I wrote two weeks ago about the statue that was about to be unveiled honoring Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson at Sovereign Bank Stadium in York, PA. In the process of developing that story, I learned that another feature during the Revolution's Fan Fest was that lawn signs were being given out. There were 1,000 of them, I believe.
The signs had the Atlantic League team's logo, but probably more importantly they had the slogan "Rev It Up". Get it, Rev It Up for the York Revolution? Pretty clever. Think about the marketing strength of those signs as they are stuck in lawns around town and become constant reminders that the Revolution will soon be playing.
Other teams can certainly replicate what York is doing. If you are willing to have a sign in your yard, it beats the heck out of promoting a politician. Right?
I'm also impressed with the success the Camden Riversharks had with their annual reading contest. A lot of Independent teams have reading contests in which students read so many books, usually in addition to their school work. This is a major aid to the schools and to Moms and Dads in getting children to read. Camden added a design element whereby students would make home-designed bookmarks. Well, more than 200 schools participated with more than 60,000 entries.
Those are mighty impressive numbers.