ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- This year's Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar concluded Thursday night with a Ballpark Outing to Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats. As part of the final event, MiLB presented its annual Golden Bobblehead (GBH) Awards for the best promotions in Minor League Baseball in a variety of categories.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders took home the Golden Bobblehead for Best Non-Game Day Event and the Best Overall Promotion for their NBC's "The Office" Wrap Party promotion. Five GBH Awards were presented during the final event of the 2013 Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar.
The NBC's "The Office" Wrap Party promotion took place on May 4 at PNC Park. After a full day of events throughout Scranton, the cast members bid their farewell to RailRiders fans at that night's game. The majority of cast members attended the event, including Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute), John Krasinski (Jim Halpert), Pam Beesley (Jenna Fischer) and Steve Carell (Michael Scott). The night consisted of blooper reels, question-and-answer segments with cast members, video clips of the show's "Biggest Flan," a sneak peek of the series finale and a fireworks show. Clips of the promotion were featured during "The Office" series recap special, aired before the series finale, on NBC.
The Lowell Spinners won the Best Theme Night category for their Military Hero Baseball Card Set giveaway. The Spinners created a set with 32 local military heroes, spanning conflicts from World War II to the present. The Spinners received more than 200 nominations from friends and family to help build the set, which featured a photo of the serviceman or servicewoman in their military uniform. The card set members and their families, including those of two local military heroes who perished in battle, attended the Aug. 4 game. They signed autographs and were honored in an on-field ceremony.
The Best Charity Promotion or Event GBH went to the Quad Cities River Bandits for their Autism Awareness Photo Jersey Auction. In the months leading up to the Aug. 9 event, people could buy a small square inside a player's uniform numbers for $25. The square would either feature a photograph of their choice or one chosen by the Quad Cities Autism Center. All 109 squares available were sold. Each person who sponsored a square received a puzzle piece with his or her name on it which was displayed in the club's team store. Fans had the opportunity to bid on a jersey in a silent auction during the game. Proceeds from the square sales and the auction went to the Quad Cities Autism Center.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs and their interactive urinal gaming systems won the Best In-Game Promotion category. The video game systems were featured in all men's restrooms in the ballpark this season. Upon completion, users received their scores and a code to enter on the leaderboard so that they can see where they ranked among the rest of that night's competition. High scores were displayed in real time across various video board displays within the stadium. The game also carried a message to men about prostate cancer awareness and was sponsored by a local hospital.
The Golden Bobblehead Awards winners are chosen by MiLB Promotional Seminar attendees at each year's Promotional Seminar. Finalists are selected in each category from the list of clubs that have been nominated during the regular season. After presentations by the nominated teams, attendees vote for their favorite in each category, as well as an overall winner.
Here is a recap of the week's events:
The seminar began on Tuesday morning with an MiLB Charities community service project. More than 40 attendees volunteered and worked in Shawnee Park, part of the Olmsted Conservatory Park System, in a multitude of tasks, including pulling weeds, trash pickup and overall park cleanup, painting and landscaping. MiLB Charities also made a donation to the park system while in Louisville.
Other highlights of the seminar included Around the Horn, Group Therapy and Power Sessions segments, a silent auction, job fair and a sold-out trade show.
Next year's MiLB Promotional Seminar will be held from Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Oklahoma City, Okla. More information about the 2014 Promo Seminar will be available in the coming months on MiLB.com. Follow @PromoSeminar on Twitter and like it on Facebook at facebook.com/milbpromoseminar.