Back in December I wrote an article called “Free Stuff.” Pretty much it was giving the Marlins some ideas for promotions, ticket discounts, and things to give away to the fans so they will come back. With one day left before Marlins’ opening day, let us compare what I wrote back in December and what the Marlins are doing this season.
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
The first part of my “Free Stuff” article was mainly my attempt at humor with a Bobble Mouth Mr. Loria Figure; a poster with a man in a Marlins’ uniform and a blank spot for his head saying “insert face here;” and fabric that the “Doodle Bear” is made out of turned into a shirt and given out with washable markers. Safe to say none of these ideas were used for any of the Marlins promotions. Yet.
But on the more serious aspect, my article centered many of the promotions around the 20th anniversary of the Marlins and the 10 year anniversary of the 2003 World Series. These items included a 2003 World Champions flag/pennant, mini replicas of the 2003 World Series Trophy, a Charlie Hough Miami Marlins t-shirt or Bobble Head, a Livan Hernandez “I Love You Miami” poster, an Ivan Rodriguez Miami Marlins Catcher glove, and something with Mr. Marlins himself, Jeff Conine, in Miami Marlins gear. The closest thing the Marlins are doing to remember those anniversary is on June 30th, giving away a Juan Pierre 20th Anniversary Franchise Bobblehead (which has a catch to it, but I’ll get to that later) and on August 4th giving away Mike Lowell 10th Anniversary World Series Bobblehead. These are pretty cool, but I would have like to see more. So what are the Marlins giving away to their fans? Let’s take a look.
April 8: Magnetic Schedule. Yes, I have 4 on my refrigerator from closing day last year; but couldn’t they come up with something better?
April 28: Miami Marlins and University of Miami Kids T-shirt. I have no kids, so looks like this isn’t for me.
May 18: Miami Marlins Drawstring Bag Presented by MLB Network. Already have my ticket. Can never have too many bags that say Marlins on them.
June 2: Giancarlo Stanton Arm Sleeve. Only for the first 5,000 kids. Sad adult Marlins fan here.
June 16: Marlins Dads Fedora Hat. Not a father. I wonder if my Abuelo or father want to go to a game?
June 30: Juan Pierre 20th Anniversary Franchise Bobblehead. They are for only the first 5,000 kids. First, what kid will remember 20 years ago? Second, I love Juan but he was nowhere near the 1993 team.
July 14: Miami Marlins Kids Wall Cling. How long does it take to make a kid?
July 28: Miami Marlins 2013 All-Star Poster. Yay! I finally get something else!
August 4: Mike Lowell 10th Anniversary World Series Bobblehead. You know I’m going to be the first one at the park for that.
August 8: Miami Marlins Kids Sling Bag. Ok it’s for back to school, but adults go to college too…
August 25: Miami Marlins Kids Baseball Shirt. Okay, anybody let me adopt their kid for baseball season?
September 8: Miami Marlins Kids Headphones. “What’s the matter with kids these days?”
September 29 2014: Magnetic Schedule. Okay, my refrigerator does need a new magnet.
So what does this teach us? If you want free stuff bring a kid. Out of the 13 items being giving away you need a child to get 8 of them. That is over half! Now I understand you want to make a fan for life, but don’t alienate the fans you currently have. I do have to admit some of those items are really cool. Also it’s the beginning of the season, more can be added later.
Let’s us move on to ticket promotions. In December my article said that for select nights you should get free parking at Marlins Park, have a Miami Resident night were you get $10 or $20 off your tickets, and give in-park discounts to Miami residents. What did the Marlins do? They are giving away free tickets! That is awesome! So if you bought a ticket to opening day you get another ticket in April or May free. I love free tickets. It doesn’t stop there. If you went to the WBC you get to go either to April 9, 10, 15, 16, or 17 for free as well. Still not done. Military personnel get free tickets on all Mondays, seniors get free tickets on Thursdays, and if you eat at Subway you can receive vouchers to attend select Marlins home games. I’ll say it again, I love free tickets. I also have a feeling that there will be more offers as the season moves on.
Finally there are at park promotions. I really didn’t touch much on this in my last article but the Marlins are offering a few things which I think are great. They are bringing back the all you can eat Monday and Saturday on select seats. Bark in the Park is also back. During all Friday night home games fans can enjoy 4 Vista Box tickets, 4 personal Sir Pizzas and 4 Pepsi soft drinks. Kids eat free on Wednesdays (I think I’m just going to adopt my 1 year old god daughter this baseball season). You can enjoy $8 Home Run Porch tickets or $18 Home Plate tickets for any Wednesday home game in 2013 with the purchase of 8 gallons or more of gas from any South Florida Chevron station. The Miami Herald is offering half price ticket Tuesdays, and finally by purchasing the Pepsi 4 for $54 on Family Sundays you can receive 4 tickets, 4 hotdogs and 4 Pepsi soft drinks. Also announced this week make sure to check out Groupon because they will have deals for Marlins home games too. I like getting a deal.
I like the promotions the Marlins have this year. I would have liked to have some of things I wrote about in December, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. Though I will gladly trade in the free stuff any day to get free tickets to games. Win or lose, free stuff or not, the best part about going to a Marlins game is the game itself. The way things are looking this promo season looks like I might be bringing a young one who has never seen a baseball game before. Teaching the next generation about the Marlins is always a win-win. Enjoy this baseball season