What If...the Tribe knew how to promote its product?

I don't know about you, but I've had it up to my now-need-reading-glasses eyeballs with the Indians' "What If" radio promotions. Some of you may recall that a couple of months back I questioned the wisdom of running virtually identical radio spots in consecutive seasons, and conversations with other observers seem to validate those fears. Although the front office seems to be happy – publicly, anyway – with the déjà vu promotional strategy, the fact remains the Indians rank last in all of MLB in attendance.

The thing I probably question the most is the decision to honor players from the past with Bobblehead giveaways. I mean, I can understand going back to the "good old days" if the current product stinks – and yes, I'll get to that shortly – but if the team, as the Indians claim, is a contender, why on earth revisit the "bad old days"?

So, with another installment in the long line of public service suggestions I've made to the Indians over the years, I offer the following to the Indians marketing department to do with as they see fit:

1. Chuck the whole Bobblehead promotion. Seriously, it's been going on for so long now that the novelty aspect is fading. Besides, for years, the "fans" this promotion has attracted are primarily collectors who are only going to put the things up on eBay in search of a quick buck. Plus, the quality – big surprise here – isn't what it once was.

As an alternative, how about having a "Bobblehands" promotion? Whenever an Indian commits multiple errors in a game, the lucky(?) fans in attendance get a little figurine, except with this fella, the head is stationary but the hands are a-shakin' like those of a candy lover visiting the dentist for the first time.

Better still, along the same lines, a "Bobblelegs" awarded to anyone who runs the bases like one of the Keystone Kops. Just think: Against the Pirates recently, with his dazzling 3-error display in the field and his subsequent lethargic effort which resulted in his "jogging" a sure double into an out, Asdrubal Cabrera would have single-handedly gotten each fan not one, but TWO "Bobble guys!" I probably shouldn't be so rough on the Indian's shortstop, though. I mean, if you round our annual salaries up to the closest billion, we each make about the same.

Lastly, you could also have a "Bobblebat" promotion, awarded to anybody who strikes out three or more times in a game. Tell me now...Where's Matt LaPorta when you really need him? 

2. Weather Education Day, a staple for school kids through May, could be continued the rest of the summer, but effective June 1, it becomes "Whether" Education Day. Students are asked to choose whether or not their favorite Indians player will still be with the team at the end of the year, or if the Indians will trade him after falling out of contention.

3. Lastly, why don't we go into a partnership with the Horseshoe Casino (by the way, I was just there recently and donated $40 to the Nick Gilbert College Fund) and have fans who hold tickets guess what bargain-basement right-hand bat the Indians will sign for the division's "stretch run." Whoever guesses correctly will get a quality prize, such as thirty minutes of free parking at the Horseshoe.

Given the quality of player the Indians will obtain for the amount of money they're willing to spend, they could call it Dollar Dog Night. Oops, that name's already been used. Okay, how about Puppypalooza? Rats! Been there, done that. Okay...How about "The Second Coming of Johnny Damon?" 

Whatever they name it, since they would be partnering with the Horseshoe Casino, one thing would be certain:

It would be a gamble.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits.

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Volume 4, Issue 13, Posted 10:02 AM, 06.26.2012