Best Game Promotion:
What game night promotion was most effective and creative. An example would be President’s Night Game where a team builds an game day promotion around a theme like “Presidents”, perhaps handing out US flags, and having namesakes like “George Washington, Richard Nixon, and George Bush” dropping the puck for a game held on President’s Day. Consider creativity, entertainment value, media exposure, drawing power, and execution of the operations.
Winner: Silent Night – Taylor University
Every year the Friday before final exams, Taylor University hosts the Silent Night Men’s Basketball game. In it, students remain quiet until the 10th point is scored and then erupt in cheering. In the late moments of the game, “Silent Night” is sung.
The exact date and origins of the tradition isn’t totally clear, but what is clear is the students and fans of the Taylor Trojans experience a truly amazing and memorable event each year. Panelist Pat Walker suggested Silent Night will go down in game ops lore due to its growing legacy and unclear beginnings.
Honorable Mention: Taco Truck Throwdown 2 and Dubuque Backwards Night
Fresno’s Taco Truck Throwdown is promotion that speaks eloquently to the local fans, where Taco Trucks are a significant part of the culture. As for former Fresno VP Scott Carter and Gameops.com Panelist noted, promotions are most effective when are unique to your market and speaks directly to you fans.
The second year of the Throwndown was a marked improvement over year one with more trucks, better logistics and additional awareness of the concept.
Dubuque’s Backwards Night was a tremendous example of a team going all-out with a concept. The Fighting Saints took an otherwise lifeless pre-season game and turned it on it’s head with a night that started with 3 Stars of the Game and ended with a puck-drop. Their execution touched on all aspects of the game and earned them an Honorable Mention from this year’s panel.
- Best of 2011 – Boston Bruins Military Appreciation Night
- Best of 2010 – Salute to Bubblewrap (Lowell Spinners)
- Best of 2009 – LeBron’s Powder Toss Night (Cleveland Cavaliers) and What Could Have Been Night (Bowling Green Hot Rods)
- Best of 2008 – World’s Largest Pillow Fight (Kane County Cougars) and Fan Bailout Plans (St. Louis Blues)
- Best of 2007 – Bob L. Head Bobblehead Giveaway (Portland Beavers)/150 years of Toilet Paper (Pensacola Pelicans)
- Best of 2006 – Brazilian Carnival (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Best of 2005 – Michael Jackson Tribute (Lake Elsinore Storm)
- Best of 2004 – Mullet Night (Manchester Monarchs)
- Best of 2003 – Awful Night (Altoona Curve)
- Best of 2002 – Hawks Playoff Guarantee (Atlanta Hawks)
- Best of 2001 – Red, White & Blue Out 9/11 Tribute (Texas A & M)
Listen to the Best of 2012 Audio Round Table discussing all the categories and winners with out panel of Cudo, Walker, Carter and Hill.