Fresno Grizzlies secure Ballpark Digest Promotion of the Year Award for consecutive season with "Bac
Tandem promotion with Lehigh Valley IronPigs wins 2017 honors from widely-read industry publication
FRESNO, Calif. - "Bacon vs. Tacos," a joint promotion run from March to May by the Fresno Grizzlies (Pacific Coast League) and Lehigh Valley IronPigs (International League), has been named 2017 "Promotion of the Year" by Ballpark Digest (BallparkDigest.com). The promotion was ground-breaking on several fronts, including being primarily in the preseason, and a collaborative effort between clubs in opposite leagues that do not meet on the field.
While the two organizations teamed up by launching BaconVsTacos.com, where fans could vote for their favorite, the promotion actually grew by organic means when the clubs began sniping at one another on social media during the 2016 season, over their food-related alter-egos. From this side of the aisle, the Fresno Tacos saw the clear jealousy of "Bacon USA" when it came to the ongoing food trend in Minor League Baseball. Hence, this Triple-A "food feud" was born.
With each team launching the "Fighting Taco" and "Fighting Bacon" New Era 59/50 caps, there was also a merchandise element to the promotion. Rarely has a promotion drawn so much attention before games or home dates begin, and during spring training. The Bacon vs. Tacos vote lasted from mid-March until the first week of May.
"My favorite thing about it is, it truly did start with the back-and-forth between the two staffs years ago," Fresno Grizzlies EVP/General Manager Derek Franks said to Ballpark Digest. "It started as real Twitter beefs over promotions. We didn't orchestrate that stuff early on. We had some organic Twitter fights that had people paying attention to the two clubs. Then fast-forward to this year and it culminates with a promotion like this. It makes it really cool to think back."
The food feud was covered extensively by national media, including a recurring segment detailing the promotion on SportsCenter in April. The event was also tweeted about extensively by ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell, and covered online/tweeted about as well by MLB.com's pop culture offshoot, Cut 4: -you-are-team-bacon-or-taco
The Fighting Taco cap (images attached) also proved to be widely popular, helping the Fresno Grizzlies/Fresno Tacos to a record in merchandise sales for the third consecutive season.
Despite the sour result in the final vote, Fresno is still eager to point out a whole meal of food (tacos) are better and more fun than just one ingredient (bacon).
The Fresno Grizzlies alter-ego, the Fresno Tacos, were first unveiled on the field during the organization's annual Taco Truck Throwdown event in 2015. Beginning in 2016, the Fresno Tacos now take the field for every Taco Tuesday home game as well, the template for and beginning of an exploding trend of alternate, regional food-themed identities for multiple teams throughout the industry.
For more on the 2017 Ballpark Digest Promotion of the Year Honor, please visit: acos/
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Pacific Coast League Stories from November 23, 2017
- Fresno Grizzlies secure Ballpark Digest Promotion of the Year Award for consecutive season with "Bac - Fresno Grizzlies
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