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The Charleston RiverDogs unveiled today on Twitter an All-Time Promotional Night Bracket in which fans will vote for their all-time favorite promotion. Voting for each round will begin Tuesday and continue daily at 11 a.m. ET on the RiverDogs’ Twitter page (www.twitter.com/chasriverdogs), where fans will choose from 32 of the RiverDogs’ zaniest promotional events.
The bracket challenge, which is being released and presented in conjunction with The Post and Courier – which has covered nearly every one of the promotional nights – features two 16-team halves: one with “recent” promotions from the past six years, and one with “classics” dating as far back as the inception of the RiverDogs in 1994. Many of the promotional themes are the brainchildren of longtime RiverDogs president Mike Veeck and other members of the RiverDogs staff. Many of those staff members, including Veeck, longtime general manager Dave Echols, promotions director Nate Kurant, and at least three past promotions directors, will share their recollection of the events through a series of content shared on RiverDogs social media.
“We wish Nate and the team were spending this time adding to the list of all-time best promotions,” said RiverDogs president and general manager Dave Echols. “However, since we cannot do that, we thought it would be fun to use this time to celebrate some of the best from the past.”
The seeded bracket is topped by nationally acclaimed promotions like Nobody Night, Go Back to Ohio Night, and Silent Night, and also features recent headliners like Silly String Night and Helen McGuckin Night, a finalist for Minor League Baseball’s 2019 Promotion of the Year.
“The obviousness of Nobody Night, Silent Night and an All-Star Game home run contest held on the deck of the Yorktown. The subtle beauty of National Laundry Day. A nation coming together every four years along the Ashley River for Bobblections. Alas, my only disappointment is that this is not a 64-promotion bracket,” said Gene Sapakoff, the longtime columnist at The Post and Courier.
To vote, fans should look to the RiverDogs’ Twitter page every morning Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. ET.
Silly String Night: 4,025 cans of Silly String made The Joe a mess of fun for every fan at the ballpark. Selected as one of the best promos in MiLB in 2017. Received local, regional and national coverage.
Color Powder Night: The most colorful promotion in RiverDogs history took place in 2018. Thousands of bags of colored powder decorated the ballpark and its fans, as the RiverDogs were once again recognized for one of the best promos in MiLB in 2018.
Helicopter Ball Drop: Thousands of colorful bouncy balls dropped on the field from a helicopter is a spectacle unlike any other. Plus, fans have the chance to win cash and prizes. It’s a modern classic.
Legalize Marinara: On 4/20/17, a Thirsty Thursday crowd enjoyed a savory experience at The Joe. Pasta puns and oregano giveaways were high comedy for fans of this saucy promo.
Helen McGuckin Night: One bad online review turned into an entire theme night that was a finalist for best promo of 2019. A 5-star experience for Helen got plenty of attention, including a 10-minute segment on MLB Network Radio.
Eclipse 2017: On August 21, the RiverDogs hosted NASA’s international broadcast of the Total Eclipse, as well as thousands of fans for a unique experience of science and baseball. It was a day unlike any other with the RiverDogs.
Jamaican Bobsled Night: Celebrating the 25th anniversary of _Cool Runnings_, the RiverDogs hosted actor Doug E. Doug (Sanka), as well as ESPN’s Sportscenter Snapchat team, for a night that brought out fans old and new for the coolest night of the year.
Dumbest Night of the Year: In homage to _Dumb and Dumber, _the RiverDogs wore special uniforms of the “Shaggin’ Wagon” van from the movie and had the van as a photo op out front. Plenty of references from the film had fans happy to be a part of the dumbness.
Bill Murray T-shirt Giveaway: What’s better than one Bill Murray face on a t-shirt? 4 Billy Murray faces on a T-shirt. Unsurprisingly, a giveaway of a t-shirt with the likeness of the RiverDogs’ Director of Fun goes down as one of the most popular promotional giveaways at The Joe.
Bobble Boobs Breast Cancer Awareness: The RiverDogs partnered with MUSC Health to promote breast cancer awareness and research. Instead of doing a giveaway of a traditional bobblehead, this night featured a custom-made figurine to bring attention to breast cancer.
Boiled Peanuts: An alternate food-branded identity hit the field in 2018 celebrated a Lowcountry favorite. The new logo/brand were a hit locally and nationally. Hats sold out before first pitch on Boiled Peanuts night.
Post-game Diamond Dash & Wedding: The RiverDogs put a spin on a classic promo by following the diamond dash with an immediate wedding. Two couples battled through the night before the final event, culminating with a beautiful ceremony at home plate.
285,000-mile Used Car Giveaway: To celebrate breaking the 285,000 attendance record, the Dogs raffled off a 1998 Honda Civic with 285,000 miles on it. The car was won by a Citadel cadet without a car and ran for at least a few more miles.
Cinco de “Mayo”: While everyone else celebrated May 5, 2017 the traditional way, the RiverDogs spread their creativity to condiments. A sink full of mayonnaise (a sink-o of mayo... get it?) was the centerpiece for a night that was so bad it was good.
Holy City Sundays: The RiverDogs unveiled this new classic following the Mother Emanuel tragedy. The spirit of the alternate moniker celebrates the inclusive and communal nature of Charleston. A fan-favorite, the Holy City is honored throughout every season.
Prostate Awareness: Again using its platform to promote awareness and education about health issues in our community, the RiverDogs celebrating prostate cancer awareness by having general manager Dave Echols receive a prostate exam from a proctologist live while singing the 7th Inning Stretch to a full ballpark!
Nobody Night: RiverDogs set an all-time low attendance record, keeping fans out until the game was official. Considered one of the best promos of all-time in MiLB.
Silent Night: Librarians monitored the fans to make sure no one got too loud. A quiet night at The Joe.
Go Back to Ohio: Southern hospitality was out the window for this one. The RiverDogs noticed that there were a lot of Ohio plates clogging up traffic, so a night to tell them where they could all go was born.
Yorktown Home Run Derby: When the RiverDogs hosted the All-Star Game, a standard home run derby just wouldn’t cut it. Still considered one of the best promos in MiLB history, it was honored with the Best Overall Promotion of the Year by MiLB.
Tonya Harding Bat Giveaway: The only way to make a mini-bat giveaway better is by having Tonya Harding appear for the game. A night that got plenty of cheers and jeers, it’s an all-time classic.
Vasectomy Night: Had the makings of another classic RiverDogs promotion before it was snipped. Sometimes the best promos end up being the ones you never get the chance to do.
Colbert’s First “Pint”: Charleston’s own, Stephen Colbert, came to the ballpark and threw out the first pint of his Ameri-cone Dream, as well as leading the crowd in the 7th inning stretch.
Larry Doby Weekend: In honor of the Veeck family signing Larry Doby, the RiverDogs proudly host Larry Doby Weekend each season to honor the memory of the first African-American player in the American League. The weekend also serves to celebrate the Cannon Street All-Stars baseball team.
Funeral Giveaway: Fans were dying to be a part of a crazy night where you could win a funeral. Other teams give away t-shirts; the RiverDogs give away a funeral.
Bobblection: Every four years, the RiverDogs let fans vote for their favorite Presidential candidate via the Bobblection. Of note, the winner in Charleston has always gone on to be the President.
Laundry Night: Washing machines and dryers lined the concourse on this night. Fans could bring their dirty laundry and get it taken care of all while enjoying a baseball game. We’ve never seen another night quite like this.
Pope Soap on a Rope: It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Kindness Beats Blindness: The RiverDogs held an annual auction to raise funds to fight Retinitis Pigmentosa, which affected the life of Rebecca Veeck. More than $500,000 has been donated.
Cardboard Box Night: Something so simple and functional is so versatile, and the RiverDogs hosted an entire night to honor it. Another simple idea done well by the ’Dogs.
Charleston Rainbows: This RiverDogs’ promo honors looks back and forward simultaneously. An homage to the Charleston baseball team from the 80s and early 90s, it also became one of the first Pride-themed games in MiLB.
Condiment Wars: A showdown between ketchup and mustard took place at The Joe in 2007. Fans selected to receiver either a ketchup or mustard shirt, and games took place through the game to determine a winner.