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Outside The Confines: Winter Madness

Lots of news from the Winter Meetings, including signings of Trea Turner, Justin Verlander, Taijuan Walker and others.

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Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres - Game Four Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Before we get started, I just wanted to give a shout out to the South Bend Cubs. While we think the Winter Meetings are about trades and signings, the real purpose is to conduct business for both the majors and minors. And in the ceremony for the 2022 “Golden Bobbleheads” that honor Minor League Promotions, the South Bend Cubs won the Award for “Best In-Game Promotion” for their “Spin to Win Saturdays.”

From the press release:

The South Bend Cubs modernized a staple of their promotional calendar from previous years, using technology and improved prizes to attract more participants, while also saving their staff hundreds of hours of data entry. After giving away a flat screen TV every inning on Saturdays in previous years, in 2022 the club offered fans a chance to spin the wheel for a shot to win a 50” smart TV, a $100 Visa Gift Card, an iPad, PlayStation5 or Xbox One or a $150 grocery gift card, among other prizes. Instead of having fans sign up by writing down their name, phone number and email address on a slip of paper (which later had to be entered into their CRM system by hand), the club created a QR code to allow fans to sign up using their smart phone. Participants were notified by text message and the following inning would spin the wheel live on the videoboard for the entire ballpark to watch. On the rare occasion the fan would win a “dud prize” (hot dog or soda) the team would surprise them with a real prize. Using the simple QR code to register fans led to thousands of new contacts in their customer database and provided additional sponsorship opportunities for the club.

“We work in an amazing industry that is always creating new and innovative promotions on an annual basis, so to be selected as this year’s winner is very humbling and we are incredibly honored to receive our first Golden Bobblehead,” said South Bend Cubs President Joe Hart. “Spin to Win Saturday has become a popular promotion and has created a new level of excitement at the ballpark.”

Now on to the news. I’m sure I’m missing stuff — this has been a busy two days.

And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.