A minor hockey team in Arizona thought it would be a good idea to stage a stunt to encourage ticket sales. They put their top admin officials into a scissor lift and hoisted them into the air, saying they would only come down when 300 season tickets were sold.
Well, you can imagine what happened next. The Central Hockey League’s Arizona Sundogs sent their GM, Captain and PR chief into the lift on a Sunday. They had a pulley to raise food and lower their waste. They had an umbrella to block the desert sun. What they didn’t have was enough people to buy season subscriptions. They ended staying up there for days, with really cold nights, wind, and maybe even some rain.
I couldn’t find any reference to the end of the promo stunt, but I did find lots of news reports that the staff of the Phoenix Coyote’s farm team spent at least five days 30 feet in the air on the lift. And that they didn’t reach their goal, although one report said they sold nearly 250 tickets. Then again, if their goal was media relations, maybe it wasn’t the worst plan ever. They did get a lot of media attention, at least by the fourth or fifth day.
While the team didn’t hit their number they did get the exposure they were looking for, with Fox Sports and Deadspin, grabbing the story…Viral as many have learned doesn’t equate into dollars right away usually, but it put their brand forward and may lead to more creativity and a bigger payoff down the line. Maybe they won’t get full season subs, but the creativity led to casual exposure and maybe an additional sponsor or two, as well as individual game sales as well. Bottom line, while some may deem the promo a failure, it was in reality a great success on many levels…great example of spinning a negative into a plus.