The Ex-San Diego Padre Chicken Still Rules!!
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
One of my most favorite pieces of e-mail I receive every year is the Minor League Promotions tracker from a company called Plan B Branding. They basically evaluate the promotions that go on in the minors and show what works and what doesn't. Well, I just got the latest report and here's the data you need to know.
Long after "The Baseball Bunch" (my favorite show as a kid after "This Week In Baseball") and the San Diego Padres ditching him, the Famous Chicken was the number one promotion in the minor leagues in 2007. Its appearance at minor league games, on average, increased attendance by 26 percent.
That's pretty good when you consider, as the firm reveals, that the Chicken's appearance only cost teams 22 cents per fan. It's also pretty good when you consider that the Chicken is more than 30 years old.
My favorite business story with the Chicken involves the day long ago that the man inside the costume, Ted Giannoulas, negotiated an attendance deal with the Padres. The rule worked that he'd get a piece of every ticket above a certain number of expected fans for the night.
The Chicken brought some 30,000 more fans to the game and Giannoulas came home with a $40,000 payday. As the story goes, he spent all that money defending himself in a lawsuit against KGB radio, the station that in March 1974, first put him in a chicken suit as part of a promotional gimmick.
And without further ado, here's the best of the Chicken, courtesy of You Tube.
FYI: The other surprises on the top promotions were park sleepovers (increased attendance by 13 percent) and used car giveaways, which boosted attendance by 1,161 fans per game.
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