Chase Utley ‘Dad’ T-shirt Latest Example of Personality-Driven Sports Merchandise
When Chase Utley announced July 13 that he would be retiring come the end of this season, we here at Promo Marketing are not above admitting we felt sad. Yes, we know time is undefeated, and that the now-39-year-old could not play forever, but we will still not enjoy parting with one of Major League Baseball’s most likable characters and a vital member of the Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series-winning club.
Enrique Hernandez joins us in finding it hard to say farewell to Utley, with the utility player for the Los Angeles Dodgers dubbing his teammate his second father, going so far as to don a T-shirt that declares that the six-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger Award winner is the “Best Dad Ever.” While that alone could have given us a smile, it brought to mind other baseball-centric items that have made good on players’ personalities to pull in better attendance figures and celebrate those athletes’ influence.
— Enrique Hernández (@kikehndez) August 14, 2018
Before we head to those, though, we want to check out the Utley garb for a bit more. From a design point of view, it is certainly a keeper, depicting the fan favorite looking right at us and placing his hands on Hernandez’ right shoulder. Interestingly, the “Silver Fox” and his 26-year-old “son” have played for the Dodgers since 2015, giving them ample time to bond. Since their interactions have obviously bred an affinity for each other, it can be quite an exercise in hero worship to consult Hernandez’s Twitter page, including a tweet that he posted the day Utley said he would be hanging up his cleats. From a promotional perspective, we think the Dodgers should look to add this to their promotional schedule as part of the stretch run. They are already going to issue an Utley bobblehead on Wednesday, so what is wrong with taking a giveaway-free day on the schedule and distributing a shirt with the two ballplayers? (Note to the Dodgers: This is completely a rhetorical question. Do it!)
With respect to other personality-driven baseball products, fans in this age of constant media coverage of players and people related to the game will likely never stop being recipients of franchises’ creativity. Promo Marketing has benefited from a plethora of awesome bobblehead concepts and other novel creations, while also covering how teams have engaged in T-shirt promotions to stoke their crowds.
Last season’s “Big Sexy” top by the Minnesota Twins still makes us laugh, especially since it seems that, unlike Utley, 45-year-old pitcher Bartolo Colon, now a Texas Ranger, will never retire. Major League Baseball has produced a number of commendable giveaways this season, and with division races heating up, teams’ creativity should end up well-received, especially the Sept. 2 “Hawk Day” bobblehead celebration the Chicago White Sox will hold in honor of broadcaster Hawk Harrelson.
White Sox will honor Hawk Harrelson with “Hawk Day” on Sept. 2 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Also, on “Star Wars Night” on May 19, first 20,000 fans will get a Hawk “Solo” bobblehead. pic.twitter.com/aXjNkZIhOj
— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) March 7, 2018