[Ed. note: Please welcome Shay Weintraub to the LL staff! Shay is a displaced Northwesterner and history nerd currently living in Rhode Island; check out her podcast, Anchored, if you’re interested in learning more about The Ocean State or just interested in learning in general. Talk to her about coffee milk, Rhode Island history, and Rainier beer @ShayHeyKid_ on Twitter.]
Welcome to the 2022 Lookout Landing Promotional Giveaway Round-up! I’m your host, Shay, and it is my pleasure to walk you through the 2022 Mariners Promotional Schedule also known as an incomplete list of things that would make Marie Kondo go batshit because it’s all stuff you don’t need but stuff you absolutely need.
A quick note: this story will cover the promotional items that have been released by the M’s as of this writing. In short, these are things you can get just by buying a normal ticket and walking through the front gate. Nothing else. Special Nights where you have to buy a Special Ticket to get the Special Experience and Special Item will be written up in a later story and after my nap.
I was given the distinct honor of writing about our future antique shop finds after I tweeted this silly little tweet the other night:
I will stop at nothing to get the Mariners to have a promotional giveaway where they hand out sourdough starter with a sticker on the container that says #SeaUsRise— shay weintraub (she/her) (@ShayHeyKid_) March 21, 2022
A little background: I work in marketing and nothing captures my heart quite like a playful gimmick. So for the next however-many-words I will be judging this season’s lineup of promo items in four categories: Kids, Clothes, Classics, and Other(ing), also known as “I Don’t Think Inclusivity Means What You Think It Means.” I will then conclude my Useless Junk magnum opus with some suggestions of my own.
But first, let me build a rubric
This season’s promotional swag will be graded on three metrics:
Did someone use their creative noodle?
Can I exploit this item for all its worth?
Does the ~ supply ~ meet the ~ demand? ~
While Creativity and Practicality go hand-in-hand with this grading system, Availability is a bit of an outlier. Raise your hand if you were also that kid that got intense anxiety thinking they wouldn’t show up to the ballpark early enough to get the wicked cool bobblehead only to enter the gates to see they had plenty left. Just me? Liars. So for this metric I will assess if there will be any little Shays in the ballpark crying because they missed out on that game’s promo.
I’ll add the caveat that it’ll be tougher to judge Availability because no one’s really sure how many people will be returning to the ballpark this year. Last year the M’s had an average of 15,012 fans attending the games while the year before COVID-19 it was 22,122. Eh, to hell with it, just show up to the game as early as humanly possible to ensure you’ll get the goods.
Without further Wordle’s Most Popular Word, I present to you my analysis of the 2022 Mariners Promotional Giveaways.
Little League Day: Mitch Haniger Hat
Sunday April 24 vs. KC | All Kids 14 & Under
The historian and collector in me is a big fan of this giveaway because it can serve as a cool relic for a grandchild to see decades from now. How neat would it be to find an old Satchel Paige hat?
Creativity: 10/10 Practicality: 5/10 Availability: 10/10
Overall: 10/10 (Kids love free hats)
Little League Day: Mariners Bat Backpack
Sunday May 8 vs. TB | All Kids 14 & Under
For real, though, this giveaway deserves a round of applause. Bat bags are another expense that a parent has to account for when their child signs up for Little League and even if the parents go with a brand name option, this still serves as a practical option. And for critics that argue “if you can afford a baseball game you can afford a bat bag,” I say to them this: fans of all socioeconomic statuses attend games for any number of reasons.
Creativity: 7/10; Practicality 10/10; Availability: 10/10
Overall: 10/10 (Kids love free bags)
Little League Day: Ty France Wristbands
Sunday June 12 vs. BOS | All Kids 14 & Under
I can only surmise that a Ty France wristband has the same effect as Michael Jordan’s shoes on Lil’ Bow Wow in the critically acclaimed 2000s period piece, Like Mike.
Creativity: 5/10; Practicality: 0/10; Availability: 10/10
Overall: 10/10 (Kids love free wristbands)
Kids Appreciation Day: Mariners T-Shirts
Sunday October 2 vs. OAK | All Kids 14 & Under
Question: if I still fit into a kid’s t-shirt can I have one?
Creativity 5/10; Practicality: 10/10; Availability: 10/10
Overall: 10/10 (Kids love free shirts)
Mariners Puffy Vest Night
Friday April 22 vs. KC | First 10,000 Fans
File this under the “only in Seattle” category of promotional giveaways. My hope is that there will be a better variety of sizes so fans like me that can still fit in children’s sizes don’t wind up looking like the parachute from gym class. There may not be enough for a Friday night game, but it’s an April game against the Royals so I could be ~ wrong. ~
Creativity: 7/10; Practicality: 7/10; Availability 5/10
Salute to Armed Forces: Mariners Military Hat Night
Saturday May 7 vs. TB | First 10,000 Fans
I’m still on the fence about military camo as fashion and have only recently begun to accept it as at least one article of clothing in my wardrobe. One time I saw a college student wearing a Vietnam Veteran hat as fashion so at least this is not that.
Creativity: 5/10; Practicality: 5/10; Availability: 5/10
Overall: surprise, 5/10
‘90s Night: Mariners Neon Pink Hats
Friday May 27 vs. HOU | First 10,000 Fans
Hell. Yes. I know fashion when I see it. Someone send me this promo item.
Creativity: 10/10; Practicality: 10000/10; Availability 5/10
Mariners Retro Jersey Giveaway
Saturday August 6 vs. LAA | First 10,000 Fans for Game 1 of Doubleheader
The retro Mariners jerseys can get it. Smart move by the Mariners to offer this as a giveaway.
Creativity: 10/10; Practicality: 10/10; Availability: 7/10
Ichiro T-Shirt Night
Saturday August 27 vs. CLE (Ichiro HoF Weekend) | First 20,000 Fans
LONG LIVE ICHIRO. LONG LIVE ICHIRO T-SHIRT GIVEAWAYS.
Creativity: 5/10; Practicality: 10/10; Availability: 7/10
Opening Day Magnetic Schedules
Friday April 15 vs. HOU | All Fans
An easy layup to begin the season for the Mariners promo schedule. Not only is this a timeless classic but it also can function as that extra magnet you need to hang up another wedding invitation onto your fridge. Not that creative of a giveaway but for this it doesn’t really matter.
Creativity: 5/10; Practicality: 10/10; Availability: 10/10
Mariners Clear Tote Day
Sunday April 17 vs. HOU | First 10,000 Fans
Like the magnet, the clear tote bag sponsored by [insert a corporation here] is a timeless classic. It’s practical as hell and it’s probably the most useful of any giveaway a team can do. Tell me, tell me you haven’t thought “where can I get a clear bag” at least once in your life after your backpack was turned away at an event gate. I give Totes McGoats here a low score for Availability because this giveaway is on a Sunday during an Opening Weekend against a must-watch team.
Creativity: 5/10; Practicality: 10/10; Availability: 5/10
J.P. Crawford Bobblehead Night
Friday May 6 vs. TB | First 20,000 Fans
I personally would’ve chosen to hold this night the series after this one when the Phillies come to town. Could it be a “Ha!” to our Gold Glover’s former team? Sure. But we can also look at it as celebrating J.P. with the team that drafted him.
Creativity: 5/10; Practicality: 5/10; Availability: 7/10
Ichiro Mariners HoF Bobblehead Day
Sunday August 28 vs. CLE (Ichiro HoF Weekend) | First 20,000 Fans
I assume this game will be a sellout or a near-sellout so get to T-Mobes early if you want to snag one of these. Technically not Creative nor Practical, but a gem nonetheless.
Creativity: 5/10; Practicality; 5/10; Availability: 7/10
Dan Wilson Pop! Collectible Night
Saturday September 10 vs. ATL | First 20,000 Fans
Dan Wilson is great, I love Dan Wilson, but not many people outside of longtime-Mariners fandom know who he is and it may not be enough to get them to the ballpark. On the other hand, a Dan Wilson Pop! Collectible might be just niche enough to get another subgroup of fans to the game.
Creativity: 8/10; Practicality: 5/10; Availability: 7/10
Overall: 8/10 (9/10 if someone can grab me one)
Mariners Team Poster
Friday September 30 vs. OAK | First 20,000 Fans
If I were 8 I would hang this on my bedroom wall. With that said, I am 28 and would hang this on my bedroom wall (*eyebrow raise* ladies…)
Creativity: 5/10; Practicality: 5/10; Availability: 7/10
Ken Griffey Jr. “42” Bobblehead Night
Saturday April 16 vs. HOU | First 20,000 Fans
Here’s a fun fact I learned while writing this piece: our Lord and Savior Ken Griffey Jr. was the very first person to don the “42” in honor of Jackie Robinson when he sported the digits 25 years ago on April 15, 1997. This bobblehead giveaway is more so a cool nod to Mariners history than baseball history and in turn this feels like a hard smacked ball that looks like a four-baser, only to land beyond the foul pole. The fact of the matter is we’re celebrating the desegregation of the sport we love so dearly and it deserves to be honored with sincerity, not with scenes of its giveaway living on a Goodwill shelf for years to come. Why not a nice poster of Griffey donning the 42 jersey for the first time and setting off a cultural change in the landscape of baseball?
Creativity: 4/10; Practicality: 5/10; Availability: 7/10
Mother’s Day: Mariners Clear Purse; Father’s Day: Seattle Steelheads Hat
Sunday May 8 vs. TB; Sunday June 19 vs. LAA | First 10,000 Moms (21+); First 10,000 Dads (21+)
“But we celebrate women in baseball!” the team screams as they hand out a promo item celebrating a diverse group to *checks notes* only men.
Creativity: stop gendering giveaways; Practicality: stop gendering giveaways; Availability: stop gendering giveaways
Overall: stop gendering giveaways/10
Mariners Pride Night Hats
Thursday June 30 vs. OAK | First 10,000 Fans
Look, I’m as gay as the day is long but I don’t like this. Handing out 10,000 Pride caps to everyone doesn’t make an organization an ally, wearing a Pride cap doesn’t make a straight individual an ally, and putting a rainbow on one promo item once a year while Queer people are Queer 365/366 days a year doesn’t make team an ally.
Creativity: 0/10; Practicality: 5/10; Availability: 10/10
Overall: donate to a charity/10
“But what will we do if we don’t rely on “been there, done that” promotional nights, Shay?” Fictional baseball executive, I’m so glad you asked!
My Promotional Giveaways
#SeaUsRise Sourdough Starter
What better way to celebrate the (hopeful) end to the global pandemic by going back to where it all started: sourdough starter. Fans get a small bucket with pre-packaged flour inside and directions on how to hopefully knock your bread out of the park. On the side is a ~ fun ~ play on words stickered to the container, SeaUsRise.
Supply Chain Issues Night
If this promo schedule feels a little light, it’s possible there aren’t more giveaways announced yet because of supply chain issues. To honor this truly horrid time in our highly capitalistic society’s history, every fan brings one (1) item of their choosing and after the game fans do one giant
Yankee Mariners Swap. Okay, maybe a few medium-sized groups.
Choose a Seat Night: Butt Pad Giveaway
For one night this season every ticket becomes General Admission and seating becomes first-come-first-serve. Guaranteed to get butts in seats and gives fans an opportunity to sit closer to the action provided they show up early enough. Each fan gets their own Mariners-themed butt pad as a giveaway.
Date Night Out: Chocolate Roses and Chocolate Baseballs
This promotion is inclusive of everyone’s relationship dynamic and also involves chocolate. CHOCOLATE. How can you tell who’s coming in for a date or not? It doesn’t matter, spread the love and give everyone some chocolate.
Your Promotional Giveaways
Comment below or tweet at us and share what you think would be a bangin’ giveaway for the Mariners promo team. Just don’t ask me for advice on intellectual property rights.