published on October 27, 2016 - 5:05 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Ballpark Digest recently recognized the Fresno Grizzlies for having the most creative promotion of the 2016 baseball season.

The online publication honored the Grizzlies for the “My Big Fat Fresno Wedding Show” promotion. The promotion, held during a game on May 26, featured mascot Parker T. Bear officiating three ballpark wedding ceremonies. The mascot was ordained online as a minister prior to the game.

Originally, the wedding show was simply meant to attract vendors promoting their wedding related products and services, but Grizzlies Director of Marketing Sam Hansen said the promotion grew.

“One of the ideas was, let’s have Parker ordained as a minister,” Hansen said in a statement. “We kept pushing the idea forward thinking we would hit a roadblock, but we didn’t hit a roadblock. We didn’t want to mock the institution of marriage at all. We wanted to celebrate it and show you could expand on it and make it a more memorable day.”

Since people get married at a courthouse without a ceremony and fanfare each day, the Grizzlies front office figured at least someone would take the plunge at the ballpark, with a wedding backdrop of an in-progress Triple-A baseball game.

Due to that spectacle of people actually being married by a large yellow and green bear, and all the engaged couples the wedding show on the concourse drew, the crowd of 7,832 was more than a 1,500-fan increase for a typical Thursday night game at Chukchansi Park.

Ballpark Digest’s Zach Spedden wrote that the Grizzlies promotion stood out from the crowd.

“A promotion of this kind not only manages to generate headlines, but serve as an inspiration for possible trends in the future,” Spedden wrote.

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