After leading minor league baseball in attendance four of the past six years, it is certainly fair to say that the Lehigh Valley IronPigs own the regular season. The International League franchise, known for its offbeat promotions and trend-setting ballpark, has fared pretty well during the offseason as well.
After all, it was just a year ago that the IronPigs went where no team has gone before by installing hands-free urinal gaming systems in their men’s rooms—a technological advance they dubbed the “Ex-Stream Games.” This is the team that held pig races in a ballroom when unveiling their logo in 2007 and held a Pigapalooza festival as part of their Triple-A all-star game celebrations in 2010.
So when Lehigh Valley promotes a major announcement coming, as it has this week, there is reason to believe it will be something grand—and pig-themed. The team’s “Smell The Change” promotional campaign, which is accompanied by an image of sizzling bacon, will come to an end on Monday during a celebration at Coca-Cola Park. What exactly are the IronPigs celebrating? Well, now that is the question of the hour.
Not even the IronPigs’ normally team-promoting general manager Kurt Landes would offer up a hint to what is in store. Is it a promotion? A ballpark improvement? Pork for every fan? Racing bacon mascots?
Landes remained mum, opting only to repeat a question of his own: “Can you smell the change? Smell the change?”
“I’ve received a lot of emails saying, ‘Come on, you can tell me.’ . . . And I haven’t,” Landes said.
Whether the announcement lives up to its billing, the IronPigs have succeeded in drawing attention to their campaign. “For us, it’s a big announcement, so we want to pique the curiosity of a lot of people,” Landes said. “We’re no different than any minor league team. We’re shaking the trees beforehand and are certainly getting some buzz in Lehigh Valley and I think even in the industry circles.”
So stay tuned Monday to find out what the IronPigs are cooking up this time. “We do things the IronPigs way: unique, creative and fun.”