This Is the Best Story About a Promotional Banner You Will Read All Year
Have you ever seen "The Town," the 2010 crime thriller that's set in Boston and ends in a climactic action sequence at Fenway Park? Well, strap in, because this story from the Boston Globe is like the real-life version of that, except it's about a promotional banner and it involves significantly less Ben Affleck.
Our story begins Monday morning, when Louis Iacuzzi, a resident of Malden, Mass., and his friends James Amaral and Randy Baldasarri were driving along McGrath Highway outside of Boston. The trio spotted something in the road, a package wrapped in brown paper, that was forcing cars to swerve around it. Curious, and apparently oblivious to the dangers of rush hour traffic for pedestrians, they decided to act.
“I noticed a couple cars swinging, like moving to the right, and we seen something in the street,” Iacuzzi told the Boston Globe. “So I ran across the highway to grab it. We brought it in the car. We had no idea what it was.”
What it was turned out to be a banner—and not just any banner. It was the Boston Red Sox' 2018 division title banner, and it had literally fallen off the truck on its way to Fenway Park for an unveiling ceremony. (The Red Sox have not yet clinched the AL East, but they could do so as soon as tonight.)
Iacuzzi and his pals immediately realized what they had on their hands. This was no knockoff collectible. It was the genuine artifact, a real-deal championship banner for the freakin' Sox. Understanding its significance, the trio jumped into action to return the banner to its rightful owners, in true Good Samaritan style.
Wait, no, that's not what happened! Here is where we strongly encourage you to watch this short Boston Globe video in full:
— Jaclyn Reiss (@JaclynReiss) September 19, 2018
Get a load of these quotes! From Iacuzzi:
We wanna give it back to them because it belongs to them, and it doesn’t belong to us. But in reciprocation, we would like, you know, to maybe go to a nice playoff game or—we’re looking for something. We don’t want to just hand it over to them. We need to negotiate here.
And here's Amaral:
If they do try to put a duplicate up, you best believe we’re going to show up and say, "That’s not the original." We’re hoping they do the right thing. You know, we did the right thing. We could have kept it, we could have put it on eBay. You know, we got connections where we could have reached out to other sources.
Instead of returning the banner and graciously accepting whatever compensation the Red Sox may or may not have offered—some free tickets, a clubhouse tour, gas money—these guys basically tried to exact a ransom payment! From an MLB franchise! We need to negotiate here. We're hoping they do the right thing. This is some extremely brazen stuff.
After some heated back-and-forth—the owner of the company that made the banner accused Iacuzzi and crew of theft, to which Iacuzzi responded with an expletive-laced statement—the banner was eventually returned to the Red Sox unharmed. And it doesn't appear that the team issued a reward. That's kind of a shame, because despite all the veiled threats, it seems like the banner's finders did the right thing and had some reasonable demands.
“If I didn’t pick it up, a hundred people would have ran over it,” Iacuzzi told the Boston Globe. “I don’t want a million dollars. I don’t need a million dollars. All I wanted was to maybe bring my family, my friends to a [expletive] baseball game, maybe meet a player. ... The flag is back home with the Boston Red Sox.”
This is the best story. Please make a movie out of it.
(And while we're on the topic of promotional banners, signage and displays, check out our recent feature on selling trade show promotions.)