Jan 28, 2007

Help wanted: Mascot performer

Via GameOps.com:
The New Orleans Hornets of the NBA are looking for a creative and talented mascot performer for a full time position. The performer’s responsibility will include performing as all three Hornets characters as well as creative input for video and live skit production.

Jan 27, 2007

What's the strangest thing you've seen thrown onto the ice?

Hats, octopi, rats, teddy bears ... what's the strangest thing you've seen thrown onto the ice at a hockey game?

Blogger / Toronto Sun writer Sunaya Sapurji says:
"For me -- and I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff -- it would have to be a baby shark (real, but already dead) and an, ummm... how to say this delicately... a sex toy. Both, oddly enough, thrown onto the ice in Erie, Pa., during the OHL championship series.

The shark was pretty darn big, even for a baby, and I remember former Otter Brandon Cullen picking it up by the gills and swinging it around. Highly disturbing. If I recall correctly, the shark had been part of a display for some show that had taken place in the arena a day earlier.

The second bizarre item thrown on the ice was, I’m assuming, an homage former Otter star Cory Pecker. The funniest thing about that moment was watching the officials fight amongst themselves, since no one wanted to touch said item.
In those days it was not uncommon to see people walking around town wearing their "Pecker Power" T-shirts with pride."

What's the strangest thing you've seen thrown on the ice? Post a comment below.

Jan 19, 2007

Awesome Detroit Pistons intro

Courtesy of the GameOps.com blog ... Stay on your feet, time to meet and greet ... John Mason, the Detroit Pistons PA announcer.

Something in the Air: Florida Panthers opening video

This vid reminds us a bit of this old school gem from Calgary. Especially Bertuzzi's piano solo.

(via On Frozen Pond)

What happens to the hat trick hats?

When there's a hat trick in Atlanta, all the hats are collected and put into a big display box. Here's part of an article from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:

Traditionally, the hats are gathered into a bag, brought to the locker room after the game and offered up to the player who scored the three goals. Occasionally, a player will grab one as a memento.

On Tuesday night, with help from the Ice Girls, the 150 or so hats were quickly cleared off the ice into trash bins and brought to Hossa, who could have had his pick. He didn't grab one. He never has.

"I heard the first time, the guy gets his choice [of hats], but I never noticed," Hossa said. "I don't know what they do with the hats and have never asked about it."

He still has the puck from his first hat trick with the Thrashers, but has no interest in saving somebody's hat.

Neither does Ilya Kovalchuk. He's never kept a hat after scoring three goals at home.

"I don't, I just [have them] throw it in the box," he said. "There's a box in Philips Arena for all the hats."

It's the hat-trick case, located on the arena's main concourse. There, fans can see every hat thrown to the ice after a hat trick since the start of the Thrashers' third season. Decals on the front of the display give details of each home hat trick that helped contribute to the collection.

It was an idea stolen from the Columbus Blue Jackets, after the Thrashers vice president of marketing, Jim Pfeifer, toured their arena. The idea has been a popular one with fans.

(Via Kukla's Korner)

Pimp my zamboni

This is the "Fan Zam", a pimped-out zamboni that the Dallas Stars use at their games.

Specs, according to Kukla's Korner:

  • Seats 8 people
  • 3 Xbox 360’s on board
  • Fog machine
  • Hydraulic auto ride suspension
  • Strobe lights
  • 22-inch wheels
  • 110 cubic inch Harley-Davidson engine
  • 9 mph

Jan 15, 2007

Fans love t-shirts

Mark Cuban writes:
No where in any research have customers told us that they get most excited at a sporting event by T Shirts. But its true. I have gone to NBA games in every arena and many NHL and MLB games across the country . Without exception, the response to T Shirts being thrown into the audience exceeds the response to actual game action for all but the most exciting of game action moments.

The minute the T Shirt cannons or slingshots come on the court, field or ice, every man, woman or child of any age is up screaming their head off trying to get a free T Shirt . They have no idea what is on the shirt. They know the chances of getting one are slim, but it doesnt matter. Its T Shirts gone wild.

Its a huge marketing lesson.

The Customer is always right, but often they tell you want they want not by their responses to your inquiries but by their actions.

Read the full article...

Jan 14, 2007

Youppi! gets a new web site

Youppi!, the Montreal Canadiens mascot (formerly Montreal Expos mascot) has his own web site at youppi.ca. It's a fun site - the home page features an interactive Youppi! game where you can type in a command for Youppi! to act out - try "chicken dance".

You can also click on "Interactive History" and check out video from his debut on April 14, 1979 at Olympic Stadium. Or buy your very own Youppi! doll.

Can anyone confirm -- is Youppi! the only mascot to represent more than one professional sports team?

Related: Youppi! returns ... Youppi! makes his debut ... Youppi! round-up

Jan 6, 2007

GameOps.com launches Promotions Database

Earlier this week, Jon Cudo at GameOps.com announced a new addition to his awesome web site:
The Promotion Database is very exciting, it takes Gameops.com from a static list to a dynamic searchable database. It also allows us to (finally) add to our promotions. For over a year we have not updated the promotion lists, since we knew this update was on the way. The new database allows us to quickly add promotions each week….and we will. We have jumped from 300 promotions (as of last month) to 538 (as of today) promotions in a searchable database. We expect that number to grow, since it’s easier than ever to update and add.

I finally spent a bit of time tonight exploring the new tool, and it's great. A lot of the information in the database was already on the GameOps.com site - but the new search tool makes it easier to find.

One of the coolest feature has to be the ability to show a list of 25 random promotion ideas.

Another wacky promotion: Tom Cruise Night

GameOps.com reports:

The Lake Elsinore Storm and the High Desert Mavericks held a Tom Cruise-themed evening of giveaways and fun.

Besides giving away a Cruise bobblehead — make that a “bobble-couch,” depicting the star in full Oprah couch-jumping mode — the San Diego Padres’ Class-A affiliate celebrated the “silent birth” of Tom and Katie Holmes’ baby, Suri, with a “silent inning,” during which no batters will be announced and no music played. “Silent birth,” a Church of Scientology teaching, specifies no music and no talking during the birth.

Other planned activities include a couch-jumping contest, a Scientology information and sign-up booth and a retrospective of Cruise’s movie career.

Behind the scenes at Yzerman night

From Behind the Jersey: Some pics from the Steve Yzerman jersey retirement ceremony on January 2. What I like about these pics is that they go beyond the on-ice ceremony, and show some of the hand-outs, displays, merch, etc. around Joe Louis arena that night.

The youngest organist in pro sports

Ben Shwartz started playing the organ for the Providence Bruins (AHL) in 2001-2002, when he was just 13 years old. Now he runs all the music as well. From his web site:
Around February 2006, Ben was notified that he would no longer continue in this routine. Why? He was being promoted! He would now have full control over all of the music played at the Providence Bruins games—not just the organ ditties, but also all of the prerecorded music as well!

This is Ben’s current position. He is the Music Director of the Providence Bruins, one of the premier professional hockey teams in all of North America, and at the ancient age of 18 no less...

Ben hopes that the infusion of youth into the noble—and disappearing—profession of sports organist will help ensure the vitality of this dying breed of musician in an era when prerecorded pop is threatening true virtuosity.

Previous: Lament for the hockey organ

Jan 1, 2007

Game Entertainment YouTube Extravaganza, Part 3

We can hardly keep up with all the YouTube clips coming in ... more coming soon!

Calgary Flames unveil the new Enmax Energy Scoreboard

More vids:
Game Entertainment YouTube Extravaganza, Part 2

Catching up: Dancing seniors, tacky sweaters, helmet safety

Flyers Ask Fans to Wear Ho-Ho-Horrible Sweaters: "In the spirit of the holiday season, the Philadelphia Flyers invite fans attending their game on Saturday, December 23 vs. the Ottawa Senators (at Wachovia Center at 1 p.m.) to wear their ugliest holiday sweater. Fans are encouraged to dig deep into their closets and attics to find their most garish, obnoxious, horrible holiday sweater – the worse, the better!" (Source: Philadelphia Flyers)

NJ Nets start a senior dance team: "The Nets are joining the latest craze among NBA teams, the senior dance team. The Miami Heat have the best team out there (and the best dance team). The NBA does a great job spreading hot ideas like this around the league with their best practices initiatives. Look for this to spread like the fat guy teams and drumlines in the NBA." (Source: GameOps.com blog)

Helmet Safety Night in Cincinnati: "The Ohio Dept. of Transportation has provided information on motorcycle safety to all in attendance, along with $50 gift certificates to The Plastic Surgery Group--with a grand prize winner getting a $500 gift certificate. The first 1500 kids will receive Cyclones foam goalie helmets and two lucky ticket holders will receive Pocket Rocket motor bikes." (Source: GameOps.com blog)

EPSN Page 2 catches up with Dave Raymond aka Philly Phanatic: "A good mascot knows how to take a punch. There's really no way around it. Spend any significant amount of time clowning around in a furry suit, and somebody somewhere will take a swing at you. Hard. Because even the luckiest mascots – read: the ones who have managed to avoid jock itch of the face – can't avoid pissing people off..." Article: Are We Having Serious Fun Yet? Also: Great Moments in Mascot History.