The IronPigs captured Ballpark Digest's "Promotion of the Year" award for a wide variety of successful concepts and ideas this season, including the North American debut of urinal video games within all men's restrooms at Coca-Cola Park, a funeral giveaway package valued at nearly $10,000 for the winner and a foam finger giveaway on Prostate Cancer Awareness night. Ballpark Digest is the leading guide to baseball and ballparks on the Internet.
"As we reviewed submissions for best promotions in professional baseball, it was clear off that the bat that the IronPigs front office had a great season with a strong slate of promotions," said Kevin Reichard, publisher of Ballpark Digest. "Rather than choosing between the three promotions submitted for awards, we decided to collectively cite all three."
Added IronPigs General Manager, Kurt Landes: "We knew the Urinal Games would make a huge splash but we are equally thrilled that the other promotions received recognition as well. It's wonderful to be recognized for the creativity of our front office staff and all of their hard work and efforts. We are grateful to Ballpark Digest for bestowing this honor on our club and we look forward to raising the bar in 2014."
Ballpark Digest bestowed the honor on the IronPigs based on the following promotions:
- The debut of North America's first-ever urinal gaming system at Coca-Cola Park. The brand new revolutionary "Urinal Gaming System" allows fans to interact with the world's only truly hands-free urinal game controller. The p-controlled video game systems are featured within all men's restrooms at Coca-Cola Park. Upon completion (an average of over 55 seconds according to published research) users receive their score and a code to enter. They can then view their position on the leader board or check the website to see how they stack up with the rest of that night's competition. High scores will be displayed in real-time across various videoboard displays within Coca-Cola Park.
- A funeral giveaway valued at nearly $10,000, the most expensive giveaway in IronPigs history. Steve Paul, a 64-year-old from nearby Freemansburg, Pa., was chosen as the winner of the free funeral package. Paul submitted a 200-word essay detailing his recent diagnosis with ALS -- along with the emotional and financial toll it has taken on him and his family -- and was chosen from more than 50 submissions to take home the grand prize funeral package. Paul was honored on-field during the game game and after his heartwarming essay was read aloud he received a lengthy standing ovation from the sell-out crowd at Coca-Cola Park.
- A foam finger giveaway on Prostate Cancer Awareness Night. In an effort to raise both funds and awareness for the disease, IronPigs players and coaches also wore commemorative sky blue caps during Tuesday's game with proceeds from an in-game raffle benefitting The Prostate Cancer Awareness Fund of the Lehigh Valley.
These wildly successful promotions have also led to recognition in numerous national publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Sports Illustrated.
The IronPigs have developed and maintained the strongest promotional schedule and ballpark experience in Minor League Baseball by:
- Assuring fans of a promotion, giveaway, fireworks show or entertainment act at every home game.
- Continually developing new in-game entertainment experiences and varying in-between inning skits to make sure they differ with each and every game.
- Complimenting theme nights with a fully integrated and expansive ballpark experience inclusive of scoreboard graphic implementation, menu choices, staff participation, team jerseys, mascot apparel and more.
Coca-Cola Park itself was named Ballpark Digest's "Ballpark of the Year" during the IronPigs' debut season in 2008 and has since drawn rave reviews for its unique intimacy, family-friendly atmosphere and architectural design.
Each year Ballpark Digest honors noteworthy accomplishments in the baseball world, whether it be Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, independent baseball, summer-collegiate baseball or college baseball. Readers are asked to submit nominations for awards in specific categories; Ballpark Digest editors then go though the submissions (numbering some 300 pages of documentation last year). The awards cover both individual accomplishments as well as team accomplishments. This is the fourth season for the Ballpark Digest Awards. A complete listing of Ballpark Digest Awards can be found at www.ballparkdigest.com/awards.
The 2013 IronPigs baseball season is presented by Capital BlueCross.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.