As the Brooklyn Cyclones celebrate 10 years of minor league baseball in Coney Island this season, they’ll also mark 10 years of promotional wackiness.
“Since there are so many sports teams in New York, it’s one of the ways that we stand out above the rest,” team publicist Jason Solomon said of the team’s history of offbeat theme nights. “It helps to sometimes have that little extra something to offer them, especially for those weekday games at the ballpark.”
On Wednesday, for example, the Cyclones will put on “The Hangover Night,” inspired by the hit film comedy about lost nights of partying. Fans will be able to get temporary face tattoos and race through an obstacle course with a baby carriage.
“They’re becoming more prominent, I think, in terms of the creativity, but we’ve had promo nights going back to the beginning," Solomon said. “We’ve done Medieval Times Nights before. We have people fighting on the field with swords, and we have an on-field joust in center field.”
Due in part to their promotional creativity, the Class-A Mets affiliate — whose home opener is Saturday against the Staten Island Yankees — led the New York-Penn League for the 10th straight year last season with 7,147 fans per game, which also ranked 15th out of 176 minor league teams.
The Cyclones’ zaniest recent promo nights include:
"The Baracklyn Cyclones," June 2009
The first 2,500 fans received Barack Obama bobbleheads in in a tribute to the new president that earned national attention. There was also an “Economic Stimulus Package” — tickets bought during February’s Inauguration were discounted. “More than anything, [Baracklyn Cyclones Night] was a play on words,” Cyclones communications director Dave Campanaro told MLB.com then. “If [the president’s] name didn’t sound so much like ‘Brooklyn.’ ... We heard a lot of comments like, ‘Oh, you wouldn’t have done this if [John] McCain won.’ And to that I’d say, ‘No, we wouldn’t, because ‘Mc-Cain’ sounds nothing like ‘Brooklyn.’”
Bellies & Baseball: Salute to Pregnancy, July 2009
A salute to pregnancy featuring a pre-game Lamaze Technique class in center field. There was a craving station serving pickles and ice cream. And if you agreed to name your child Brooklyn or Cy (short for Cyclone), you got free tickets for life. What’s more, any woman who gave birth at the ballpark before the end of the game got free Cyclones season tickets for life for each member of her new family.
"Jersey? Sure!" Night, July 2010
In response to the popular reality TV show “Jersey Shore,” fans received limited-edition mesh jerseys with the Cyclones logo on the front and mascot Sandy the Seagull, posing mid-fist-pump, on the back. There were also GTL (“gym, tan, laundry”) giveaways, consisting of gift certificates to local gyms, tanning salons and laundromats — as well as dance battles between innings on top of the dugouts.
Ike Davis Bobblehead Night, August 2010
Bobblehead nights are not uncommon, but this particular bobblehead commemorated Ike Davis’ penchant for upside-down, over-the-dugout catches for the Mets: The doll’s feet bobble rather than its head. Davis is depicted as a Cyclone even though he was not on the team when the catches took place, having already been called up to the big leagues.