Best Contest or On-field Promotion:
What promotion or contest is the most entertaining. For example, a “Chuck-a-puck” contest. This is a repeatable on-field or video promotion held in-game. Consider entertainment value, creativity, local connections, sponsorship possibilities, cost, and repeat-ability.
Winner: Beat the Freeze (Atlanta Braves)
Track Star Nidel Talton’s masked Super Hero act continues to streak past the competition. Not only on the warning track at Turner Field, but in the Best of 2019 Awards on Gameops.com. One panelist proclaimed this contest was “an instant classic, and remains so.”
Another panelist noted a local connection in Atlanta who always talks about the promotion. “Anytime you have fans EXCITED about an in-game promotion, you have a winner.”
And Atlanta does have a winner.
Nipping at the heels this year were the Gwinnett Stripers “Beat the Fridge” and a Kids race for the Hartford Yard Goats. Live racing remains a head-turning production across sports, fueled by the huge success by the Atlanta Braves and the speedy Talton.
- Best of 2021 – Beat the Freeze (Atlanta Braves)
- Best of 2020 – Virtual Shirt Toss (Pittsburgh Pirates)
- Best of 2019 – Beat the Freeze (Atlanta Braves)
- Best of 2018 – Beat the Freeze (Atlanta Braves)
- Best of 2017 – Beat the Freeze (Atlanta Braves)
- Best of 2016 – Money Hungry Hippos (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Best of 2015 – Chick-fil-a Fowl Shot (Washington Wizards)
- Best of 2014 – Eat, Drink and Play (Gwinnett Braves)
- Best of 2013 – Pittsburgh Pirates The Great Pittsburgh Pierogie Race N’at
- Best of 2012 – Washington Nationals President’s Race
- Best of 2011– Sue Bird Racing
- Best of 2010 – Kiss Cam (MN Twins)
- Best of 2009– Sausage Race (Milwaukee Brewers )/Presidents Race (Washington Nationals)
- Best of 2008– Chuck-a-Puck(Fort Wayne Komets)
- Best of 2007 – Presidents Race (Washington Nationals)
- Best of 2006 – Inflat-a-Bull Races (Chicago Bulls)
- Best of 2005 – Florida Lottery Beach Ball Promotion (Orlando Magic)
- Best of 2004 – Human Sling Shot Hockey Puck
- Best of 2003 – Sausage Race (Milwaukee Brewers)
- Best of 2002 – Parachute Prize Drop
Listen to the Best of 2019 Audio Round Table discussing all the categories and winners with out panel of Jon Cudo, Amanda Greco, Pat Walker and Benjamin Hill. – December 2019 Party in the Back Podcast
Also on Gameops.com
See The Store at Gameops.com where we have many turn-key sponsor-friendly promotions and game entertainment resources available, like Build-a-Burger, Parachute Drops, Chuck-a-Puck and the World’s Largest Cornhole Game.
A mascot whose work was creative and enthusiastic, serving as a valuable tool for their team and in their community. Consider ability to engage and entertain fans, create fresh innovative content, and create a multidimensional character who is effective in-game, in-community, online, and through social media. All sports team characters and college mascots are eligible.
Winner: Gritty (Philadelphia Flyers)
In just over one short year Gritty has gone from a potential disaster at launch to a mascot media darling. His social posts get massive national exposure and he’s (somehow) found a place under the staircase of Americana. His googley eyes and orange furry are everywhere, proving the skeptics wrong and the lovers of truly outside-the-box thinking right.
Panelists raved about Gritty calling him (and the team) “fearless” and another summarized by asking “Can you even remember life before Gritty?”. Many comments noted Gritty’s mass success on social media that is untouched by other mascots.
Hundreds of animated gifs, custom hockey pads and even a prosthetic leg for a young fan. This furball is everywhere in a way we have never seen. (Perhaps thankfully)
He even does gender reveals.
I am NOT the father. pic.twitter.com/NeCClVgIOI
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) November 23, 2019
Gritty proved to be too much for the furry competition in 2019.
- Gritty on Twitter
- Gritty Turns One – Water Cooler
- When Gritty Isn’t Scaring Kids – Water Cooler
- Gritty is Everywhere – Buffalo Edition – Water Cooler
- Gritty is Spreading – Water Cooler
- Meet and Gritt – Water Cooler
Also in discussion this year were Slugger (Portland Sea Dogs), The Coyote and three time defending champ Orlando Magic Mascot Stuff.
- Best of 2021 – Gritty (Philadelphia Flyers)
- Best of 2020 – Sluggerrr (KC Royals) and Spurs Coyote
- Best of 2019 – Gritty – Philadelphia Flyers
- Best of 2018 – Stuff – Orlando Magic
- Best of 2017 – Stuff – Orlando Magic
- Best of 2016 – Stuff- Orlando Magic
- Best of 2015 – Orbit – Houston Astros
- Best of 2014 – Orbit – Houston Astros
- Best of 2013 – Benny the Bull (Chicago Bulls)
- Best of 2012 – Benny the Bull (Chicago Bulls)
- Best of 2011 – Rocky (Denver Nuggets)
- Best of 2010 – Thunder (Lake Elsinore Storm)
- Best of 2009 – Thunder (Lake Elsinore Storm)
- Best of 2008 – Timber Jim (Portland Timbers)
- Best of 2007 – Parker (Fresno Grizzlies)
- Best of 2006 — Raptor (Toronto Raptors)
- Best of 2005 – The Coyote (San Antonio Spurs)
- Best of 2004 – The Gorilla (Phoenix Suns)
- Best of 2003 – Squatch (Seattle Sonics)/Clutch (Houston Rockets)
- Best of 2002 – Rocky (Denver Nuggets)
- Best of 2001 – Rocky (Denver Nuggets)