It seems like we’ve been talking forever about how terrible the Padres’ promotions and marketing are. There are the obvious problems with the branding related to 90 different uniforms, the very real possibility of wearing six different uniforms in six games, and a color scheme that rivals Unisom at sleep inducing effectiveness. But it was supposed to be a new era, right? Mike Dee is free to go captain the Love Boat and swing sick deals for himself (ALLEGEDLY!) and Chief Marketing Officer Wayne Partello was now able to craft a new, innovative promotional schedule to bring in the fans without noted blunderer Dee mucking things up. And don’t doubt for a minute that oh buddy do they need help in 2017 to bring the fans out. The team will be battling for 100 losses and Mike Dee and his right hand man Ryan Gustafson made sure to keep the prices for tickets at the All Star Game hosting year levels while retaining the same crappy season ticket benefits that they slashed last year. This was the year that marketing could help see the team through a rough year. Throw the fact that the Padres are now the only big league team in town after the notorious dickhead Spanos family skulked out of town, and the Padres were handed a golden opportunity to seize the San Diego fanbase.
Last week, I wrote that:
Another year of bitmoji t-shirts, Dodger Blue beat LA t-shirts, and garbage USB batteries isn’t going to cut it. Not when seemingly every other team takes chances with creative giveaways.
Lo and behold, this week the Padres finally got around to announcing their 2017 promotional calendar! Rejoice! This will be the turning point after years of just utter lazy garbage coming from the marketing department. This year will be totally different! They finally HAVE to improve promotions because the team is so terrible, right? RIGHT?!?!?! What’s that you say? They aren’t doing a big reveal through social media this year? They just snuck it out in a press release after most people left work already? Let’s take a look.
2017 Padres giveaways: Opening Day t-shirt, T-shirt hoodie, calendar, bag, fedora/trilby, Knockaround sunglasses, replica jersey, beach mat, hat, HOF giveaway, team photo, multiple fireworks/laser nights
That’s a great start! Let me look for the rest. Wait. What? That’s it? That’s the entire goddamned list? *sad trombone* *fart noise*
Yup, that’s it. While I know how people have been clamoring for another fedora to bring home and throw into a closet to never wear, wait til you see it in drab blue! Even the Knockaround sunglasses, usually the only dependably good giveaway, is in plain drab blue and white. In fact, EVERYTHING is in blue. And check out the terrible fashion hat! Partello sure did it again (as I bite my tongue so I don’t literally vomit sarcasm). Let me be clear here. The Padres have had a lot of awful promotional schedules, especially since 2013 when this management team had full control. This is, by far, the worst, least imaginative, least compelling, most spartan collection of promotional giveaway items I’ve ever seen. Ever. No hyperbole here, it is literally the worst offering in Padres history.
Just to reiterate, this is what a team that will be fighting for the worst record in MLB, that saw attendance drop by over 100k fans in a year they were hosting the All Star Game which they used to strongarm fans into buying season ticket packages (did I mention they were the first team IN HISTORY to lose attendance in their ASG hosting year), decided would help to bring fans into the park to watch Paul Clemens start games.
In case you were wondering, here is what the 2016 playoff teams decided to use for their 2017 promotional calendars. Keep in mind, these are teams that sell out their games, that lead MLB in attendance, and have less motivation to offer quality promo items because they’ll sell tickets either way. Unlike the Padres.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Magnet Schedule, phone charger, replica Fernando Valenzuela jersey, replica Jackie Robinson statue, kids Fathead, knit cap, Tommy Lasorda HOF coin, Corey Seager bobblehead, kids batting helmet, Orel Hershiser coin, Vin Scully microphone statue, chips and salsa dish, Kenley Jansen bobblehead, Clayton Kershaw coin, 1/4 zip pullover, kids sunglasses, Joc Pederson bobblehead, weekender bag, Justin Turner bobblehead, kids t-shirt, Brooklyn cap, tote bag, Andre Ethier bobblehead, beach towel, kids water bottle, Kirk Gibson coin, Clayton Kershaw shirsey, Dave Roberts bobblehead, Bluetooth speaker, kids replica Corey Seager bat, Olympics coin, kids pillowcase, replica Justin Turner jersey, Clayton Kershaw bobblehead, Dodger coin, kids backpack, TBD bobblehead, socks, Rick Monday coin, kids hamper, BBQ gloves, TBD bobblehead, Fernandomania coin, kids trash can, TBD bobblehead, multiple fireworks nights
Chicago Cubs: Magnet schedule, replica championship banner, replica World Series trophy, Cubs t-shirt, Cubs decals, Cubs Pink Out item, The Final Out bobblehead, relaxed Cubs cap, beach towel, kids giveaway, floppy hat, replica jersey, World Series MVP bobblehead, country cap, reusable tote bag, Anthony Rizzo mini platinum glove, Camo item, Turning Two bobblehead, fanny pack, Cubs sunglasses, ice mold, fedora/trilby, Fergie Jenkins retired #31 flag, Starting Aces bobblehead, tank top, Cubs printed bill cap, athletic cap, knit beanie, multiple kids run the bases days
Cleveland Indians: Magnet schedule, Indians t-shirt, AL championship replica trophy, Jose Ramirez bobblehead, Celebration banner, Carlos Santana jersey, wiffle ball and bat set, wayfarer sunglasses, Cody Allen jersey, tote bag, Francisco Lindor bobblehead, Block C skyline cap, Andrew Miller jersey, toy truck, stirrup socks, Jason Kipnis bobblehead, picnic blanket, mason jar mug, Lou Boudreau replica statue, Topps baseball card set, Terry Francona bobblehead, rally scarf, Edwin Encarnacion jersey, 1977 jersey, multiple fireworks nights
Boston Red Sox: Rick Porcello bobblehead, Mookie awards bobblehead, Hanley Ramirez chain, Craig Kimbrel bobblehead, Manny Ramirez bobblehead, Dennis Eckersley hat, Xander Bogaerts gnome, gym bag, July and August promotions TBD
San Francisco Giants: Opening day calendar, Giants SF Heart flag, Golden Glove foam finger, Johnny Cueto bobblehead, Brandon Crawford backpack with cape, Giants player scarf, Two flaps down hat, Pence on Board plus window cling, collectible tin box, expandable tote bag, car flag, Giants cap, cooler bag, Buster Hugs blanket, Will Clark jersey cap, bat and ball set, Madison Bumgarner t-shirt, retro bobblehead, blanket, August and September promotions TBD
There you have it. In a tumultuous offseason that saw CMO Wayne Partello basically go radio silent on Twitter after his patron Mike Dee got unceremoniously canned for rocking the boat, that saw him keep his job against the odds, and having a once in a lifetime customer capture opportunity fall into his lap with the Chargers bolting town, Partello decided to mail it in. My guess is fans will also mail it in at the turnstiles in 2017.