A marketing promotion by the Milwaukee Brewers to have baseball fans hunt for 1,400 little Bernie Brewer statues across Wisconsin to win tickets and autographs has created a social media storm this week because of people who didn’t play fair.
The Major League Baseball club planted the 18-inch team mascots overnight on Tuesday at various parks, buildings and beaches, with @Bernie_Brewer tweeting clues for the hunt, which was to have started at 7AM. Unfortunately, some less than sportsmanlike fans staked out parks and tracked delivery vehicles, then scooped up bunches of the gnomes, some bragging about their scores on Twitter.
The actions resulted in dozens of angry fans taking to Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets to voice their displeasure with the ballclub’s management of the promotion and with greedy fans.
An ESPN story on the mess quoted a Brewers spokesman saying: “It’s disappointing. The intent of the promotion and the rules of the promotion were eminently clear — it was one per household.” The spokesman called response to the promotion “staggering”.
Disappointed fans of the 2nd-place Brewers tweeted comments such as: “FAIL with the promo. Of course people were gonna cheat and go early. Should’ve had 1 rep at each location to prevent that :/” and “Oh. Someone did cheat and take all of the @bernie_brewer lawn ornaments from what looks like more than 1 place…You call yourself a fan?”
PR/social media/marketing blogger Jeff Cole wrote Wednesday: “Clearly no one at the Brewers thought this thing through. This is a clear case I feel of ‘you know what would be cool?’ No one in the meeting asked the ‘what if fans get greedy and take more than one’ question. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: ‘hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”