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#PR: Minor League Team Brings Home the Bacon
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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How easy is it to generate national media coverage and score an impressive communications win? The minor league baseball team IronPigs (located in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania) apparently scored a major accomplishment relatively quickly. According to a PR News Online column, the team is a Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

So what did this minor league baseball team do that generated such major media buzz?

The PR News Online story, titled “Recipe for a Quick Communications Win? LeHigh Valley IronPigs Just Add Bacon” and authored by Bryan Kelly, noted:

“Capitalizing on the Internet obsession with all things bacon, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, a minor league baseball team, created a big-time buzz with the simple addition of a slice of bacon to their uniforms. The uniforms generated national coverage from Yahoo, Time, ESPN, CBS and others while setting off an overwhelmingly positive firestorm on social media. The team even earned a retweet from GQ Magazine.”

The column by Kelly also had a photo, courtesy of the IronPigs, of the team's hat with the new logo. Petty snazzy if you ask me.

Kelly also commented further:

“[Iron Pigs] GM Kurt Landes says that the bacon-themed uniforms are about being 'fun and witty.' The team kept its red shirts with 'Pigs' in script across the chest, adding a strip of bacon as an underline. Another bacon strip replaced the IronPigs logo on the cap, and a strip of bacon runs down both legs on the pants. 'Having a piece of bacon as the logo on our hat just screams fun and unique and crazy and we're very proud of that,' Landes says."

“So what does all this add up to for the IronPigs? We’ve all been inundated with bacon memes over the last few years, and by tying into bacon’s popularity the IronPigs immediately generated a rasher of positive publicity and increased revenue. The team experienced an immediate bump in merchandise sales, with orders for the bacon-themed baseball caps and T-shirts coming in from across the country, according to Jon Schaeffer, the team’s director of new media. Add that to all of the publicity, and we’d call that a communications win.”

Fun and witty as well as smart and savvy. Score one for the IronPigs for creativity.

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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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