So the Marlins are in a very interesting situation this year. It’s a familiar situation, but an interesting one none the less. After trading away half your team, how do they get their fans to come back to the games? After reading “Veck as in Wreck” recently, I think I might have the answer – promotions and free stuff. Americans love deals, free stuff, and baseball. So maybe if the Marlins add all three of these together this upcoming season, they can get some of their fans back. Here are some of my ideas of what the Marlins can offer their fans for this next season.
Let’s start with some free stuff. The Marlins need to show that they have a sense of humor, so these free gifts to the fans are more of a “Hey look, we can make fun of ourselves too.” Everyone loves Bobble Heads, but what if the Marlins came out with a Bobble Mouth Figure instead? I got it! A Bobble Mouth Mr. Loria Figure, with the front saying “How do you know when Mr. Loria is lying?” The fans will then see his mouth bobble. This will show that Mr. Loria knows what we are saying about him and that he can take a joke. Another issue, how many times have you gone to a game and its player poster night but that player was sent down or traded, and now you get no free stuff? Not with my next idea. A poster with a man in a Marlins’ uniform but his head is a blank spot that says “insert face here.” This way no matter who gets traded you can keep your poster up and just change out the face. Finally, are you sick and tired of getting a free shirt of a player who is no longer on the team? Well how about the Marlins use the fabric that the “Doodle Bear” is made out of, turn it into a shirt, and give out with the shirt washable markers. This way the fans can put anybody’s name and number on the shirt and if they are no longer on the team then they can just wash it and bam, write a new player’s name and number on the shirt. Now, these are just jokes and I don’t think they are going to happen, so let’s move on to some things that are quite possible.
2013 marks the 20 year anniversary of the franchise and the 10 year anniversary of the 2003 World Series. The Marlins need to capitalize on these two. Back in 2007, the Marlins gave away some 10 year anniversary items of the 1997 World Series that I thought were amazing and are currently on display in my office. The first is a 1997 World Champions flag/pennant that takes up a good portion of one of my walls. The Marlins also gave away mini replicas of the 1997 World Series Trophy. How about the Marlins do those things again, but this time for 2003. I would love to have another one of my walls covered with a 2003 Championship flag/pennant, and my display case could use two World Series Trophies. Now for the 20 year anniversary—let’s have some throw back items for some of the great Marlins of the past, but with the new Miami logo and gear. I would love to have a Charlie Hough Miami Marlins t-shirt or Bobble Head, a Livan Hernandez “I Love You Miami” poster with the “Miami” as the new Marlins logo, or a Pudge Miami Marlins Catcher glove. They could even do something with Mr. Marlins himself, Jeff Conine, in Miami Marlins gear. These ideas would get any old school Marlins’ fan to come back to the game.
Now let’s talk about the promotions. These ideas are going to be a little radical to the great business men in the Miami front office, but hear me out first. The people of Miami paid a great deal of money to get that stadium built, so it’s time to return the favor to the city of Miami. If you can prove that you live in Miami, on select nights you get free parking at Marlins Park. Or instead, if that is too much money lost, you can have a Miami Resident night were you get $10 or $20 off your tickets (depending on the seats). Why $10 or $20? To commemorate the 10 and 20 year anniversaries. Finally, give in-park discounts to Miami residents. Everything from merchandise to food is discounted if you can prove that you live in the Miami area. Now who wouldn’t you go to these games?
April 2, 2012; Miami FL, USA; Bobble head museum are displayed during spring training game between the New York Yankees and Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Now let’s get serious, are any of these ideas going to really bring 32,000 people to Marlins Park? Most likely not. A lot of fans are going to be fair weather fans and are not going come and see the fish until they start winning. The main reason for this article is to help the Marlins realize that there are still die hard Marlins fan out there that are going to come see the games, and that they should be rewarded for their loyalties. I live in Orlando and if the Marlins do any of the 10 or 20 year anniversary promotions I will be there in a heartbeat. I really want that flag/pennant and trophy. It’s time that the Marlins realize that with no fans there is no team, and the loyalist really do deserve something fun and thoughtful from a team that we have support for 20 years no matter what they do.