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Media Nerd Goes to a Solar Bears Game…

…and is a little confused about some of the promotions.

The game, I mostly got.  I didn’t understand how while players were in the penalty box could be switched out so there would be five players still on the ice… Is there a rule that players must be switched out after so many minutes?  I didn’t see a pattern.

Anyway, some of the advertising was really well done.  This Zamboni, for instance.

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It’s a Sanford Airport Zamboni! And it even has a plane tail.  Well done.

So if you also sponsor a Zamboni, you get coverage on the ribbon advertising and big screen.

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But there must be a bigger sponsorship package, because not only did Miller Coors get a Zamboni and the ribbon, they got ice placement and formal recognition as a sponsor.

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But there was one promotion, sponsored by the Victory Casino people that I didn’t get.  I heard the announcer at the beginning of the game while I was waiting in line for the bathroom, that if the Solar Bears make a goal during the Victory Casino “turbo-zone” shot (or something like that), then every ticket holder could get a discount on gambling on their ship.  But every time it was announced, the crowd would cheer, which probably distracted the player who in turn missed the shot.  IMHO, every time it’s announced, everyone should get really, really quiet…

Another promotion which confused me was for someone to win something after they had donated to a charity.  When you walked into the arena, you could donate money to the charity, be given an orange rubber puck with a number on it, and then at the designated time, you could throw that puck onto the ice and if it landed in a bin, you’d be eligible to win a prize.  Sounds fine, right?  But look what happened.

2013-11-02 20.50.01Only a few made it, but then they did this!

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They started scooping up pucks and placing them ALL IN THE BIN!

The Media Nerd in me last night was confused about why this was happening and thought: wouldn’t fans who made it in on their own feel cheated about this?

Then the Media Nerd in me this morning had the clarity to remember the rules of games of skill and games of chance.  Did anyone listen to the NPR fund drive this past month?  When they had iPads and other fun things to win, they always made mention that you didn’t have to actually donate anything in order to be entered to win the prize.  This turns a pay for play promotion into a games of chance which takes a lot less legalese for large prizes.  If someone has to do something in order to be entered to win (either with a skill or a monetary contribution), lawyers make more money at handling the terms and conditions required to cover the sponsors tail in case of lawsuit.  So the same thing applied to this promotion.  Yes, they would give you an orange puck if you donated, but you could have probably asked for one (and by law they would have to give you one – just nobody ever does this because it’s a charity for goodness sake – donate some money!).  But everyone has a fair and equal chance to win the big prize.

Lastly, I would like to give props to the Solar Bear Dancers.  You may not have noticed them in the picture of the Sanford Airport ribbons because they were tucked under an overhang dancing their hearts out.  They were barely dressed and as the evening waned on, it seemed to get even colder.  And eventually, they were given their moment to shine… on the ice.

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If I ever go again, I’m bringing a jacket and a scarf!  I’m not sure how they managed to not freeze!  They should be dancing in parkas!

Final final note: Some of you might now be thinking, Media Nerd, did you even watch the game?  Yes, and here are some highlights.

2013-11-02 20.26.49One of the three fights where helmets and gloves flew.

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Broken hockey stick.

It was a lot of fun!

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