Intern Island

In the Spotlight: Intern Survivor Night, low Class A Lexington, Saturday.

An event so brilliant we may have to adopt it here at Baseball America headquarters in Durham. Sure, it has the sounds of a well-dressed fraternity hazing, but so long as no paddles or barnyard animals are involved, where’s the harm?

The Legends kick off their second-annual Intern Survivor Night, a five-day promotion in which the club’s indentured servants camp out in a luxury suite and take on a variety of baseball-related challenges, from selling hot dogs to performing with the on-field promotional team. Each night, an underperforming intern gets booted out of the suite–which sometimes will be determined by fan vote.

At the end of the week, the intern who shows the most agility in events like selling kids club memberships and picking fireworks ash off the playing field, wins a yet-to-be-determined prize. Last year’s winner came away with $1,000 in cash–or the equivalent of an intern’s season’s wages.

Lexington has been on the promotions the last couple of seasons. One of my favorites last year was their ‘Win a Date with Seth Poteat’ contest. Poteat was no celebrity, but rather a front-office employee who female employees felt needed to settle down with the right lady (where were these people when I was single?). Since our link to the story is subscriber-only, here are some of the highlights from the event:

Lexington encouraged ladies to come out to the ballpark for an opportunity to win a date with corporate account representative Seth Poteat, an idea spawned by several women in the front office who wanted to put on a promotion based on the television show "The Bachelor."

Poteat agreed to participate while out with co-workers last year to celebrate the conclusion of the 2006 season, and the next day "pretty much instantly regretted it," he said.

"I’d been trying to get out of it for months, but before I knew it, it was on the promotional calendar," he said. "I figured who the hell wants to win a date with me? It’s not as if I’m a celebrity. I thought it had the potential to be embarassing."

A strong marketing campaign led by promotions director Tiffany King turned up 15 contestants, all of whom watched a late-April game with Poteat in a suite. After each inning, Poteat voted off a couple of contestants until the field was narrowed to four. The foursome came onto the field between innings to compete in traditional minor league games like dizzy bat and hula hoops, with two victors emerging. Poteat then picked a winner.

"It turned out to be pretty challenging to pick a winner. I was stuck," he said.

No matter; Poteat admits to having gone on dates with each of the finalists.

"I don’t know if the fans liked it, but it’s turned out great for me," he said.

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