PULSE: Star Wars Night

Star Wars Nights are a sports marketing phenomenon. We take the Pulse from dozens of teams with examples, insights and inspiration to make your fans feel the Power of the Force!

Star Wars nights have become a popular sports theme night across various sports leagues, including basketball, hockey, and baseball. Star Wars has a massive fan following and has become a cultural phenomenon transcending age, gender, and background, making it an excellent choice for teams to attract a diverse range of fans.

A good theme night creates an unforgettable experience for fans, increasing engagement and attendance and a great theme night immerses fans in the experience.

The Michigan Whitecaps were at the forefront in 2006, starting with 3 dozen costumed characters from the local chapter of the 501st Legion.  The attendance popped, often 60% above their average.  It wasn’t long before teams across the galaxy were following suit.

What started as a Minor League oddity has now become a staple for nearly every sports team. “Hundreds including NBA, NHL and NFL,” said Lucasfilm. “We’ve worked with every team in MLB.” (WTOP)

Met’s Pitcher RA Dickey, professional baseball player and hard-core Star Wars fan said this theme night “… really connects with people on a very human level.”

Star Wars Nights create an immersive experience by incorporating Star Wars-themed music, graphics, and videos into the game presentation. Adding Star Wars characters,  themed merchandise, trivia and interactive activities can help connect and entertain fans creating a memorable experience for movie buffs and baseball fans alike.

This month as we venture into the galaxy far, far away and gather the Force from teams across the sports. We discover how these teams are creating memorable Star Wars Nights for their fans. We look at the methods and timing, invaluable tips, tricks, and wisdom shared by teams across all sports.

May the Force be with you.


We look at the following related topics and questions about Star Wars Nights

We spoke to more than two dozen teams about their Star Wars Night, asking questions about their unique applications and ideas to make the night interesting and entertaining. Plus we tapped into dozens of Star Wars posts on our site with more information and examples.

Thank you to all the teams who completed our poll and helped grow this content.

When is your event?

Most commonly (73% of our respondents) teams fit Star Wars Night into their promo calendar where it fits bests.  While May the Fourth is often seen as great date, it can also get lost with other Star Wars events and cause challenges with booking characters. About 15% of our surveys noted their promo night is the game closest to May the Fourth.

More than half of the teams place this theme night on weekends only.  About 20% responding noted they choose the date around Movie releases or anniversaries.

Some teams like the Portland Sea Dogs have established a tradition of their own for this theme night, as they typically schedule Star Wars Night for their first Saturday home game in August. And “May the Fourth” has become a target for many teams, even as the date may be more difficult to book characters due to the popularity of the date in Star War culture.

B6870 Star Wars night

Ticket Offers

72% of the teams in our survey offered no ticket discounts for this theme night. Most found offering added discounts unnecessary since the draw of the theme is strong.

A handful of teams had some BOGO or special offers to help sales for their Star Wars Nights.

The Ontario Reign have had success offering ticket discounts to the 501st Legion families and friends who attend, and the Tucson Roadrunners invite the 501st to attend with tickets to the game.

Teams like the Toledo Walleye create special tickets offers bundling game tickets and unique experiences like character meet-and-greets.


Our survey asked if teams offered a Giveaway for the theme night.  Nearly three quarters of the teams did not offer a giveaway to the game.

For those who had, light sabres and bobbleheads were among the most common.

Sharks Use Force To Stop Cobras-60

The Cincinnati Cyclones create a ticket package that includes a lightsaber giveaway for fans.

Related stories:

  • A Short Time Ago In a Galaxy Far, Far Away – The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks, announced Tuesday that the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS officially recognized the organization as the Title Holder for the largest lightsaber battle in history.
  • Imperial Marching In Bismarck – Larks continue big promotional nights all summer long in Bismarck with Star Wars Night giveaway.
  • The Last Poster – The Roadrunners use the force to attract fans (and a custom Star Wars poster)
  • Wichita Thunder Star Wars Bobblehead – The Force is Strong with this Bobblehead in Wichita.
  • Star Wars Week: Naturals Shine the Light – The Naturals offer a Star Wars-themed Silk Touch Throw.
  • On the Dark Side – The Brooklyn Cyclones raise the stakes and their FANS will get custom Dark Side Jerseys on Star Wars Night.
  • Joe Solo in Minny – First-of-its-kind bobblehead doll featuring Joe “Solo” Mauer sitting in the Millennium Falcon gunner bay.

Cincinnati Reds Star Wars Graphic Tee Shirt

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