Of Hot Dogs and Sausages, Two Good Promos

Brewers Find A Way To Honor The Old Standard…Mascot:  The race around the bases and the stadium with mascots now regular fare…best celebrated with Presidents in Washington and sausages in Milwaukee. However the brewers have taken a new combo spin…the anniversary celebration and the mascot race…to recently draw more attention to the brand.

The club recently honored the 20th anniversary of their racing sausages with an all-day celebration combined with sponsors and a look back at the creators and all those who have enjoyed and indulged along the way.   The sausage race in Milwaukee has gained fame, and been often imitated, because of some if its quirks over the years…costumes being stolen, mascots tackled by players and giveaway after giveaway to keep fans engaged and the contest fresh.

So having an anniversary, sponsored by Klements, tied to a morning breakfast party with sausage sandwiches and tee-shirt giveaways and then honoring the original racers and inventors of the race at a game was a nice addition to the traditional race around the field. It gave fans a chance to engage away from the ballpark on Milwaukee’s waterfront, and helped raise the interest in casual fans not just to the Brewers but to its longtime food partners and its mascots. No downside, lots of fun innovation.

It also raises the question of honoring mascots and their place in sport. Is there an opportunity to bring back all who have ever been the Phillie Fanatic?  How about the Phoenix Suns Gorilla? What about Mr. Met? Finding a way to honor how these icons came around and all who have toiled inside their suits might lead to a new sponsor able promotion, and some great ancillary coverage away from the sports page. The brewers are known for coming up with ways to engage regardless of performance on the field, and then tying that engagement point back to the game. Mascot retrospective nights may be fun, cost efficient and smart promos for teams big and small, and worth a look into how the Brew Crew pulled of their solid 20th anniversary celebration.

Ball Park Franks Takes A Challenge: July 4th is meticulously “owned” by Nathans Hot Dogs, with their carefully orchestrated Coney Island Hot Dog airing contest ruling the day in that space. However other brands, lately Ball Park Franks, have tried to make a challenge into the annual Independence Day ritual.

Their great viral video entitled “grilled on the flames of liberty and named after our national pastime,” played on all the less serious ways that hot dogs can be enjoyed around July 4, both quirky and unique. It doesn’t have all the panache of Nathan’s iconic program, but it was a great way to infiltrate the day with humor and tie to all the traditions around the holiday, including baseball. Smart and cost effective promo for another hot dog brand worthy of notice.