The Arizona Sundogs, a minor league hockey team, have trouble putting butts in seats.
That makes sense. They play in the Central Hockey League, a mid-level minor professional league, and they are located in Arizona. So, yeah, they don’t get a ton of turnout at their games.
But the Sundogs and their owner don’t want to play in front of an empty arena every night. In an effort fix that issue, the team created the “Whatever It Takes” campaign last season, which seemed to be the gimmick to end all gimmicks.
Before the 2013-2014 season, the team’s owner, general manager, captain, and marketing director went up in a scissor lift and said they wouldn’t come down until the team sold at least 300 season tickets. At the time, it probably seemed like a great idea, but the men ended up in the scissor lift for over 98 hours. The brass had to use a pulley to raise food and lower waste, needed an umbrella to combat the desert sun, and slept in 30 degree temperatures at night. Eventually, enough people felt sorry for them, and they sold 300 tickets.
Apparently though, it wasn’t the gimmick to end all gimmicks. The team is even more desperate than ever before, and this season is going for a slight variation on the previous year’s ill-conceived gimmick. Instead of camping out in a scissor lift, the Sundogs are burying their owner and GM in an empty lot off of State Route Highway 69 and Prescott East Highway in Northern Arizona. According to Fox Sports Arizona, the men are in an “eight-foot container with a grated cattle guard at the top, allowing for air circulation and the opportunity for fan interaction.”
But there’s something amusing about this year’s stunt that you may have missed out on. Did you notice who’s not involved this year? The marketing director. Even he’s not willing to suffer his own terrible ideas anymore. Can’t you just picture him as he pitches this idea to the management group?
OK guys, this year instead of going up in the air we are going to … wait for it … bury ourselves in the ground! Brilliant, right?
*Everyone looks around at each other, unsure of what to say*
But here’s the thing: it’s only an eight-foot container, so we can only fit two of us in there. I would totally do it, but I already had this family thing planned for those days. Yeah, I just can’t miss it or my wife will kill me.
*Owner whispers to the GM to remind him to fire the marketing director as soon as they get out of the hole in the middle of the desert, which likely won’t be for several days*
Charlie Crespo (@Little_Utopia) is the editor-in-chief of Little Utopia.
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