The second of two Max Scherzer no-hitter bobbleheads was distributed on Friday at Nationals Park before the series opener between the Washington Nationals and the Colorado Rockies.
As I mentioned in last season’s post about grandstand seating (the limited supply of $5 tickets in sections 401 and 402), arriving early is essential on bobblehead giveaway days. The line already snaked from the box office to 1st St. and wound halfway back to the box office when I arrived 2.5 hours before the game. It moved quickly and I had a $5 ticket and a Scherzer bobblehead in less than 15 minutes.
PNC Bank, which sponsored the giveaway, administered a sponsorship activation in front of the escalator leading up to the scoreboard walk before the game. The activation, which was located in a heavily trafficked area of the ballpark, had three activities to promote the company and the promotion.
Fans had the opportunity to win prizes at the PNC tent by correctly answering three multiple choice trivia questions about the Nationals’ ace. Questions varied in difficulty and substance. One question was about the fastest pitch Scherzer has ever thrown (99 mph) and another was about the name of his dog (Rocco).
The activation also provided fans with an opportunity to enter a free raffle to win Scherzer memorabilia including an autographed jersey and autographed bobblehead.
The final part of the sponsorship activation was the giant Max Scherzer bobblehead photo station from the #MaxAboutTown promotion. All three of these activities helped make the giveaway a successful promotion.
The bobblehead features Scherzer in the gray road uniform and blue cap he wore during his October 3 start against the New York Mets at Citi Field when he tossed his second career no-hitter. He is featured in the set position and smiling with his mouth closed. The backdrop of the bobblehead features Scherzer’s statistics from his historic night and a disproportionately sized rosin bag.
Charlie Slowes, the radio play-by-play announcer for NationaIs, often prompts fans to, “Remember where you are so you’ll remember where you were.” It brings back memories to sitting down on a Saturday night and trying to salvage the last bit of Nationals baseball until spring training. It was incredible to watch Scherzer dominate and strikeout every batter swinging his third time through the lineup.
The bobblehead could have been A+ material if it captured more of the enthusiasm from the historic night. It, for example, could have featured him pumping his fist after a strikeout or celebrating with his jersey untucked. This bobblehead is a great addition to any fan’s collection.
The new Nationals team store Twitter account also tweeted about a promotion where fans could receive a Max Scherzer bobblehead by spending $100 in the Nationals team store. This was notably a bigger ask than the promotion at the team store in May where the purchase of two apparel items got you a Scherzer bobblehead.
EXCLUSIVE: Spend $100 in the Main Team Store and receive a free Max Scherzer bobblehead! (Limit 4 per customer. While supplies last.)
— Nats Team Store (@NatsTeamStore) August 26, 2016
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 23, 2016
Nationals Red Carpet Rewards members were also able to redeem a limited supply of bobbleheads with 500 points. They were all redeemed by the time of publication.