One of the brightest promotion guys out there doesn’t work in radio, but certainly "gets" how to generate buzz. Son of legendary baseball owner and showman, Bill Veeck, Mike is the brains behind some of the wildest promotions that take place between innings of major and minor league games. Remember the "Disco Demolition?" That was Mike’s doing, recognizing the power of WLUP jock Steve Dahl.
More than 20 years later, Veeck is still plying his trade for teams around the country. Recently, he was "interviewed" by the Chicago Tribune where they revisited the old and new Comiskey Parks (now known as U.S. Cellular Field – oy!). While the White Sox are solidly in first place, attendance is average at best – sort of like a station with strong ratings but mediocre sales. Where has that happened?
- At the old home plate site, erect a souvenir kiosk that reflects the original ballpark.
- For the trains that pass the ballpark, wrap some with the Sox logo.
- Give fans "the unexpected" (sound familiar?) – move the Minnie Minoso statue around the park or add a live "pitcher" and "catcher" around Minnie – a couple of guys painted silver to resemble two new statues.
- On a large concrete slab, write graffiti in chalk, add a mural, project logos or visuals on it.
- Let fans sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" with Harry Caray (who first sung that song at Sox games, NOT Cubs games).
- Start a kids advisory board to find out what younger people want (where have we heard that idea before?).
- Hire "ushertainers" who do everything from sing opera or do magic tricks.
Veeck rambled on, but that’s pretty good output for very little time spent. The same thing applies to our stations. Simple brainstorms with a core of creative people in the station can yield fabulous results. The idea is volume. Not all the concepts work, but if you can generate a home run or two from a simple, free in-house brainstorm, that’s time well spent.
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