Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Most Unusual Promotion Ever?

Minor league baseball teams are famous (or notorious) for self-promotions, whether it be nuns giving massages for the St. Paul Saints (owned by Bill Veeck's son) or free haircuts, or thousand-calories food items in the all-you-can-eat-and-drink sections of the stadium. Any great promotion probably began in the low minors somewhere, the brainchild of an entrepreneurial owner in an attempt to attract fans. The latest effort by the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs might just set the bar to a level unreachable by anyone else. in history.
The Triple A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies recently awarded one fan a free funeral. yes. free. The winner received , in addition to the casket, embalming (or cremation), the use of a hearse, a headstone, flowers, and a memorial service: all valued at $10,000. It seems that one of the team's sponsors is a local mortuary, so that part isn't so far-fetched.
Prospective winners were required to write a 200-word essay explaining why they felt deserving of such a prize...and the winning entry's author left no eye dry as he was introduced at a recent game.
Steve Paul, 64, was recently diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and understood immediately that he was given a death sentence. In his essay, he explained how his family needed less to worry about, noting the expense of the funeral was prohibitive; in addition, he wanted them to focus on celebrating his life, not pondering his final days above ground. All in all, not what one might expect from such a zany promotion. As Paul was wheeled on the field to accept the prize, he got a standing ovation from the entire crowd: a memorable moment.
Unlike Lou Gehrig, Steve Paul may not consider himself to be the luckiest man on the face of the earth, but he can rest easy on this account.


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