With each passing day, players are reporting to Spring Training camps and returning to their day-to-day routine of baseball. Unlike their fans, who have watched every twist and turn in the hot stove season, a return to the hustle and bustle of a changing schedule and fast-paced lifestyle is a difficult adjustment to make after taking a few months off.
But while a new season is around the corner for fans and the stars they admire, it can’t come soon enough for front offices across America. Teams of all sizes are shaking off cobwebs and revamping their social media campaigns, building a presence in their hometowns, and generally getting their name back in the headlines.
It is on that note that Cincinnati Reds affiliates in Louisville, Pensacola, and Dayton are promoting their teams and bailing out husbands with baseball-themed Valentine’s Day gifts. Why buy chocolates and flowers when you can get his-and-hers tickets?
The longtime Triple-A partner dispatched their mascot to deliver “Buddy-Grams” to a handful of lucky fans. For a mere $100, Louisville’s package could give you a dozen roses, a Bats logo hat, and a pair of Field Reserved tickets good for practically any home game. Delivery was free if your special someone was sending it from within thirty miles of the stadium.
Meanwhile, the Blue Wahoos upped the ante while taking clues from other teams. Offering two gift baskets, you could get a gift card to the team store, a plush doll of aquatic mascot Kazoo, chocolates, and balloons for a cool $100 including a special delivery (valid within twenty miles of the bayfront park) from Kazoo himself. For premium purchases, the team doubles the gift card balance ($40) and throws in a gameday cap.
Not every team had a tangible gift, but almost every team marked the occasion on social media. The Bats shared some, eh, poetry with their followers:
Roses are red, violets are blue… umm… beers are just a buck on #Bats Opening Night seven weeks from today at Louisville Slugger Field.
— Louisville Bats (@LouisvilleBats) February 14, 2013
At least the Wahoos rhymed:
Roses are red, Wahoos are Blue, Happy Valentine’s Day, from our team to YOU! Happy Valentine’s Day, Blue Wahoos Fans! WAHOOOOXOXOXO!!! — PensacolaBlueWahoos (@BlueWahoosBBall) February 14, 2013
The Blaze covered the holiday with a “half-truth” for significant others with a sporting mind: “I love you more than baseball.”
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, Blaze fans!Make sure to say somethin’ nice to your Valentine, like this half-truth, maybe? twitter.com/BakoBlaze/stat…
— Bakersfield Blaze (@BakoBlaze) February 14, 2013
But the Dayton Dragons take the cake with a cute e-card to boot:
Happy Valentine’s Day Dragons fans! RT this Valentine to your favorite baseball fan twitter.com/DragonsBasebal…
— Dayton Dragons (@DragonsBaseball) February 14, 2013
What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Admittedly, very little. But I give credit where it’s due, so kudos to the Reds affiliates for giving back to the fans. Fortunately, great cities support the Cincinnati organization with a tremendous history in Billings, a devoted fanbase in Dayton, new stadiums in Bakersfield and Pensacola, and peripheral support from Louisville. Top it off with a partnership with baseball’s most storied franchise, and it’s not hard to see why these teams form a perfect match.