Major Attraction: Inside Minor League Promotions
P-Nats and Jumbo Shrimp top Saturday excitement
Hot on the heels of Harrison Ford scoffing at the idea of any other man suiting up as the iconic Indiana Jones, the Potomac Nationals are giving the world a look at an alternate possibility. The first 1,000 fans to walk through the gates of Pfitzner Statium Saturday will receive an Indiana Strasburg bobblehead, which pays tribute to the 35th Anniversary of the release of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as well as Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg.
The Strasburg bobblehead is one of six in a series this season. Others include Adam Eaton as Mighty Mouse, Carter Kieboom rocking a Proton Pack to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Ghostbusters, Juan Soto "Road to the Show" Childish Bambino, John Kinsella to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Field of Dreams and Victor Robles #1 Nats Prospect.
In recent years, the P-Nats have stood at or near the top of the bobblehead game in all of Minor League Baseball, even being recognized each of the last two seasons with the Carolina League Marketing & Promotional Excellence Award. The most notable was the Bryce Harper Gobblehead in 2017 that saw the MLB All Star as half-baseball player and half-turkey.
Mike Weisman, the team's Director of Local Corporate Parternships, Broadcasting and Media Relations took some time out of the busy homestand to discuss the process of bringing Indiana Strasburg to life.
"We can basically use any player that been with us either coming up through the system or down with a rehab assignment and when we decided we were going to do an Indiana Jones bobblehead, we looked at what players would be available and what might fit other promotions we're doing," said Weisman. "We have a Robles bobblehead and we have a Soto bobblehead and they're sort of the two biggest prospects to come up through here, so that stripped the list down a little. We knew Strasburg had pitched here a couple times down in rehab. We mocked up what it might look like with him as Indiana Jones on a bobblehead and thought it looked pretty good and kind of similar to the character in the movie, so that's how we ended up at that."
Strasburg has pitched a total of four games with Potomac throughout his career. Other players such as Harper and Treat Turner, among others that have appeared in their wobbly fashion in recent years have received the giveaways warmly.
"We'll get players that come down for rehab that tell us they love the bobblehead we did of them the year or two years before," added Weisman. "We've got great feedback on it from multiple players, whether it be Turner or Harper or Jayson Werth. It's been very good for us."
The players will also be wearing Temple of Doom themed jerseys that will be auctioned off.
Going back even more than 35 years to identify an Anniversary can be just as fun as the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are showing their fans on Saturday with Ramen Appreciation Night.
"We decided we could kind of make fun of Anniversary celebrations by celebrating the 4,000th Anniversary of the humble noodle and obviously playing off of our team name of the Jumbo Shrimp, we thought it'd be fun to do," said Director of Special Events and Promotions David Ratz.
As part of the celebration, the team is selling shrimp ramen at concessions stands along with other fun happenings.
"We've created large, oversized props to play games with, ramen noodle eating contests and there may or may not be some ramen costumes," said Ratz.
The biggest part of the night however is at the gates, where the team is giving away pillows shaped as packages of Jumbo Shrimp flavored Ramen Noodles to the first 2,000 fans. The idea came from one of the team's successful brainstorming meetings.
"We just kind of messed around in Photoshop with the shrimp ramen noodle image on a pillow and putting our logos on it and just seeing that image and that shape you think 'Oh, that could be a good pillow,' and it just snowballed from there," said Ratz, who is in his third season in baseball.
Pillows are nothing new to the Jumbo Shrimp. In 2017, the team gave away shrimp-shaped neck pillows, which won the June 2017 Minor League Baseball Promotion of the Month. Don't sleep on this promotion getting similar recognition.
About Tom Ando:
Tom works in Food & Beverage in the Sports Hospitality business. He enjoys the whacky and fan friendly ideas that Minor League Baseball is known for. In 2018, as Director of Food & Beverage for the Erie SeaWolves, Tom created the Cotton Candy Hot Dog that went viral and became the only known Minor League Baseball food item to ever be talked about in Tonight Show opening monologue.
Images from this story
Potomac Nationals' Indiana Strasburg bobblehead
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp Ramen Noodle pillow
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