The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are the AAA baseball team for the Philadelphia Phillies. They’re hosting a “Celebration of Life” Night and will give one lucky person to live and die with their team. Big League Stew sheds some light on what this exactly means:
Well, the IronPigs will give their fans the opportunity to write a 200-word essay on what his or her ideal funeral would be. All entries must be turned in on July 31, and then, on Aug. 20, when the IronPigs will be host “Celebration of Life” night at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA, the person judged to have written the best essay will actually win a free funeral courtesy of the Reichel Funeral Home and Northampton Memorial Co.
It’s the real deal, folks. No expense will spared. In fact, according to the team’s press release, the Reichel funeral package will include a casket, funeral direction, body removal, embalming or cremation (I think you can decide later), hearse and facility for the funeral services, and a wake or viewing. Northhampton Memorial will throw in a $1,500 headstone and The Morning Call adds that Richmar Florist had promised a $300 casket display.
This is certainly a unique idea to get your fans involved and you would think that this is the first time that this has been done, but apparently it isn’t. IronPigs GM Kurt Landes used this promotion before back in 2003 when he worked for the Hagerstown Suns, which saw 2,000 essays submitted. The significance of that? That’s more than the Suns average attendance at the time, meaning people liked the idea and it got the teams name out there. When you’re a minor league team you need to have a great promoter at the helm that will think of out of the box ideas to get fans to show up, and it appears Landes knows how to do that.