Hit a sales grand slam by teaming up with minor league baseball clubs.
The flavor-rich scent of hot dogs, the finely cut green grass of the outfield, the crack of bat to ball on a warm, slow afternoon – few things say summer quite like baseball.
Of course, the game is more than just America’s pastime; it’s big business. And for promotional product distributors, that means sales opportunities, especially with minor league teams.
Indeed, clubs below the big leagues are found throughout the country, often in smaller cities. To help attract fans, these teams perform a wide array of in-game promotions and marketing campaigns in their communities. Savvy distributors like Jeff Grippando and his group of sales aces at City Paper Company (asi/162267) aim to capitalize on this, providing solutions that power the teams’ promotional initiatives.
To get in on the action, Grippando starts by connecting with the ball clubs’ marketing departments. “We go in and have conversations with them about their marketing calendar,” he says. “We zero-in on the events, the budget. We talk about what they did last year, and we show them new ideas that we believe will work well for them given what they’re trying to achieve.”
In this way, City Paper Company has consistently generated business with Minor League teams. Last year, for instance, the distributorship provided 3,000 T-shirts for a ball club to hand out at a charitable event it was sponsoring in support of a food bank. The screen-printed tees featured the branding of the team, a local brewery and other sponsors. “It came out great, and the client was very happy,” says Grippando, VP/GM of promotional marketing operations at City Paper.
While baseball is synonymous with summer, don’t wait around until the hot months to call on potential clients. Make contact early, says Grippando, and cultivate the relationship throughout the year. Do that, and you’re sure to knock a few sales right out of the park.
240 – The number of minor league baseball teams.
42.4 million – Total attendance at minor league baseball games in 2014.
Mike Tyson Ear Night
Minor League baseball teams are renowned for their wacky promotions. The Fort Myers Miracles devised one of the nuttiest ever when they held “Mike Tyson Ear Night” – a reference to the legendary boxer infamously biting the ear of rival Evander Holyfield during a bout. To hammer home the quirky theme, the Miracles gave plastic ears to fans that attended the game. Clearly, the Miracles care about their supporters, for they didn’t just lend them an ear – they gave them one. Check out more zany promotions here.