January 2011

Bobble This!

Griffey_Sketch.jpgMinor League Baseball teams are widely recognized for their ability to generate creative ideas on how to promote their team and ensure a festive atmosphere off the diamond as well.  The same amount of energy put into game production can be applied to manufacturing a promotional giveaway item in return.  Many fans will be delighted to receive their Ken Griffey Jr. bobblehead (or should we say bobblearm) at Arrowhead Credit Union Park on Saturday, April 23rd, but few know the taxing process of getting the concept of a bobblehead from out of the creator’s mind and into the fans hands. 

The first item to be decided was what pose we wanted to use to portray the former Spirit and Mariner great.  One of the most memorable traits Griffey Jr. possessed was the ability to leap and climb outfield walls to rob homeruns. So naturally, we decided to use that as the pose. 

Another important feature of bobbleheads that cannot be overlooked is the face on the bobblehead. After pouring through our archive of old Griffey Jr. photos from when he played on the Spirit, we could not help but notice how he always seemed to be smiling.  We utilized his smile and added eye black for a finishing touch and the concept of what we wanted to showcase was complete.Griffey_Blank.jpg

When we had our idea of what we wanted the bobblehead to look like, we took our vision out of our heads and put it onto paper.  Several drawings were rendered and a final copy was produced and sent to the manufacturer. 

Once the sketch reaches the manufacturer, the concept becomes reality.  The manufacturer looked at our drawing and fashioned a wax model of the bobblehead. Several picture emails phone conversations ensued until we were happy with the finished product.

The final stage in completing the bobblehead is applying the paint to the figure.  We provided the manufacturer with the colors we desired and the figure was almost complete.  Once Rotolo Chevrolet came on as a sponsor for the bobblehead, their logo was applied to the item and it was ready for mass production.   

However, the uniqueness of the promotion does not conclude when the bobblehead is shipped out for distribution.  In true Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory fashion, five of the Ken Griffey Jr. bobbleheads are painted gold and the lucky fans that find them will receive free Half Season Ticket plans!

2011 truly is the season of giveaways for Inland Empire 66ers fans!


Top Ten Reasons to Make ACUP Your Home this Summer

Top_Ten_9.jpgThere are hundreds of reasons to visit us this season at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.  But as the season quickly approaches (only a handful of weeks until Opening Night), we’ll highlight the top ten reasons to cheer on the 66ers beginning April 7!

#9 Friendly Staff

From the time you drive through the gate and park your car, to the second you leave the stadium, you’ll encounter close to 20 or 30 different staff members with the 66ers.  Parking attendants, ticket sellers, ticket takers, ushers, concessions employees…it goes on and on!

The people we hire to make your experience great are some of the smartest, friendliest and outgoing people in the area.  Most of them have a love for baseball, but beyond anything else they have a love for people.  We pride ourselves in our training and make sure everyone that works at Arrowhead Credit Union Park puts the fans first in everything they do.

But it isn’t just our gameday staff that puts Friendly Staff our number nine reason to make us your home this summer.  Our Front Office staff, led by Assistant General Managers Ryan English and Joe Hudson, are committed to bringing the best possible family atmosphere to the ballpark every year.

If you’ve ever organized a group event with us, have a ticket package of any kind or if you’ve worked with us to advertise your business, you’ve worked with one of our staff members to make that happen.  Our goal is to always discover the needs of our clients and implement an event or package that best meets those needs.  If you love baseball and want to see some games — but you can’t commit to a full season — we have close to 10 ticket plans for any budget.

Know that you need to do something to tell your employees thank you for working hard all year long, but can’t spend a whole lot of money?  We’ll make your night at the ballpark look like you broke the bank, but keep the cost down to the affordable level that our fans have come to expect.  Bottom line: our staff not only wants you to be here this season, but we want you to be here and want you to come back.

We could go on about ourselves and our gameday employees all day long, but you don’t want to listen to us brag for too long.

So we’ll end it with some slightly breaking news to prove how friendly we can be!

Join us next Tuesday (February 1) at 8:00 PM at Empire Bowl in Redlands for a chance to meet the staff and get excited for the upcoming season.  We’ll introduce some information about the 66ers Booster Club and the Host Family Committee.  The price is only $10 for unlimited bowling for up to two hours, with shoes included.

The idea for this event is to allow our fans to meet the new faces that have come to the Inland Empire since last year, plus reunite with the ones that have been here awhile.  In going with our yearly goal of putting our fans first, this is a time where we want our fans to come out and say hello, and also let us know where we can improve to make the experience best for you!

See you next Tuesday — and go 66ers!

Top Ten Reasons to Make ACUP Your Home this Summer

Top_Ten_10.jpgThere are hundreds of reasons to visit us this season at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.  But as the season quickly approaches (only a handful of weeks until Opening Night), we’ll highlight the top ten reasons to cheer on the 66ers beginning April 7!

10. Promotions & Giveaways

We unveiled the 2011 Promotions Calendar last week at 66ers.com and here in The Inland Empire Insider.  Bobbleheads, blankets, national entertainment acts, theme nights…we’ll have it all this year at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

Through feedback from our loyal fans and from studying our yearly attendance patterns, we learned that fans in the Inland Empire generally prefer giveaway items over any other type of promotion.  Whereas other teams across the country may find success in fireworks shows or hiring the Famous San Diego Chicken, our fans typically enjoy a bobblehead to a dancing bird.

Because you — the people that come through our gates every year — are our most important asset, we aim to give YOU what you want!  We’ll honor the 2010 Cy Young Award winning performance of former 66er Felix Hernandez with a bobblehead on August 20 and commemorate 25 years of baseball in San Bernardino with several San Bernardino Spirit items this season.

There will be a bobbling heads of several real Angels stars, plus one mythical Angel on September 4 when we give away the Angels Gnome Bobblehead.  And it’s not just oversized head figurines that we’ll hand out this year — don’t miss the game on August 21 for your plaid Angels hat, courtesy of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

As a whole, Minor League Baseball runs on promotions.  While the game of baseball will always be the most exciting and pleasurable sport in existence, it isn’t marketable to every person in a community all the time.  Teams yearly try to outdo one another in creating the most unique experience for its fans, and it usually equals a perfect place for families, workplace picnics or for a night out with friends.

That’s why this summer we want you to experience 66ers baseball at Arrowhead Credit Union Park…the way you want to experience it.  Although we understand that our fans want giveaways, we couldn’t completely abandon our fireworks shows, especially on a night like the 4th of July.  And we want everyone to be able to have a good time at the stadium, which is why Toyota of Redlands 50 Cent Fridays will feature discounts throughout the ballpark for all Friday home games.  And while a giveaway is great, it might not entertain you all night long like the Inflatamaniacs or Christopher.

We’re very proud of our Promotions Schedule this season, and we hope you’re proud to call us YOUR home team!  Look for #9 on the Top Ten list soon, and go 66ers!

Promotions in Motion: 66ers Release 2011 Promotional Calendar

Apologies from all of us at the 66ers for the lack of posts this week, but we’ve sort of been saving it all up for a doozie.

Today we released our 2011 Promotions Schedule, complete with three fireworks extravaganzas, two national entertainment acts and tons of great giveaways.  It’s the day you pick your favorite games and decide which dates you can’t miss at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

We begin on Opening Night, April 7, with our magnet schedule giveaway against I-10 rival Rancho Cucamonga.  From there, almost every night features some sort of promotion, whether it’s a themed evening, special giveaway or traveling act.

Christopher (you may remember him from last year as the Amazing Christopher) returns this year on June 10 with his dancing dummies and wild music.  He’ll entertain the crowd as Michael Jackson or as the Village People, or may have a new and unique routine to show off in San Bernardino this year.  Another national touring act, the Inflatamaniacs also return this year on April 22.  The Inflatamaniacs are inflatable mascots that use bizarre costumes and interesting dance moves to crack up the crowd.


Christopher performing at a game in 2010 at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.


Inflatamaniacs character “Munchie” catches items from a 66ers bat boy during a game in 2010 at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

The 66ers have a strong tradition of memorable giveaway items.  This season we have nearly 20 giveaways, ranging from items featured at Angel Stadium in Anaheim to exclusive 66ers products, including a Felix Hernandez bobblehead, celebrating his 2010 Cy Young winning season (August 20).

We’ve partnered with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to produce several giveaways this year, none more exciting than the lucha libre mask that we’ll provide our fans on July 22.  The mask, which features an Angels theme, will resemble the masks worn by popular high flying Mexican wrestlers.


WWE professional wrestler Rey Mysterio in a traditional lucha libre mask. (Credit WWE Entertainment).

In addition to giveaways and entertainment acts, Arrowhead Credit Union Park will be a hot spot for theme nights all season long.  We’ll have nightly themes, including Toyota of Redlands 50 Cent Fridays, where select items will be significantly discounted throughout the ballpark, and Bark in the Ballpark on Wednesdays where fans are encouraged to bring their dogs through the gates.

We’ll also celebrate 25 years of professional baseball in San Bernardino this year with Turn Back the Clock Tuesdays, where players will wear San Bernardino Spirit jerseys every Tuesday throughout the season.  Any fans with special memories from the past quarter-century are encouraged to tell us all about them in the comment section, and we’d love to use some of those in game this year.

Not all theme nights are limited to nightly features, however.  As noted in a previous entry in The Inland Empire Insider, we’ll have decade nights, where fans are encouraged to join the 66ers Dance Team in dressing in appropriate attire from the specific era.  Star Wars Night returns on June 11, and, in order to coincide with summer movie releases, there will be special evenings dedicated to Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean.


66ers Dancers in poodle skirts on 50s Night at Arrowhead Credit Union Park in 2010.

Ticket packages have been created around these promotions, with our 24 Game Premium Plan guaranteeing at least one game against every California League opponent and a giveaway or theme night on just about every night.  For more information about our ticket packages, click here or call (909) 888-9922.

To view the complete list of promotions for 2011, click here.  Please also remember that all promotions are subject to change without notice.

Opening Night is only a handful of weeks away!  April 7 can’t get here soon enough!

Go 66ers!

The Monday Ticket – 1/17

TicketMonday.jpgThis season we’re not only dedicated to providing our fans the best possible customer service while creating a positive and memorable experience, we are also focusing our efforts on making it an affordable one as well.


In an exhaustive Ticket Office research project, we found that the Inland Empire 66ers have the third most valuable ticket plans in the entire California League.


Looking at the full season ticket prices, we charge $490 for our best seats in the stadium – which by the way is one of the most beautiful and fan friendly stadiums in the league AND boasts the largest big screen – let’s have a look at our competitions full season prices for comparable seats.


The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes charge $499, Lancaster JetHawks $525, Lake Elsinore Storm $575, Modesto Nuts $625, Visalia Rawhide $770, Stockton Ports $800, and the San Jose Giants $820. Only the Bakersfield Blaze and High Desert Mavericks charge less for their full season tickets then we do.


Included alongside the value of our ticket is our 16 amazing giveaway items this season, our famous postgame fireworks extravaganzas (see website for dates when released), and other exciting post game entertainment. All in all, the Inland Empire 66ers provide the best family value in the California League and are looking forward to a highly competitive year.


We hope that you will join us and as always, the Ticket Office is open so please contact me at joey@ie66ers.com or call 909-493-7638 if you have any questions or would like to secure your 2011 66ers ticket package.

Turf Talk – 1/13

turf.jpgThe grass is green, the sun is bright and all is well on the field at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.


In the next few weeks, the 66ers will host a Field Day pertaining to the daily maintenance of baseball fields. We will be covering the basics: turf selection and management, infield dirt maintenance and mound/plate repair.


We’ll have several sports turf professionals on hand giving you the tricks of the trade and sharing their own personal ways of maintaining a baseball field.


This event is for the Saturday morning groundskeepers of youth league fields, parks and recreation employees and professionals looking for that little piece of knowledge to set them apart from the rest of them.


For more information on the event, contact me at jhilderbrand@ie66ers.com.

66ers Party Patio

66ers fans occupy one of the tables in our Party Patio during a game in 2010


Last year (we’ll call him “Bob”) told me his organization was in heavy competition with another company for the business of a certain client.  “Bob” needed to do something to knock the socks off of his future business partner, so he contacted me about hosting an event with the 66ers.

“Bob” booked a Party Patio, invited the client and his wife — along with others from both companies — and layed out his business plan while letting the 66ers provide the entertainment.  Needless to say, “Bob” nailed it.

Sometimes stadiums and arenas have bad reputations for food prices, but we’re hoping to change that with this all-inclusive group package in the Party Patio.  Located on the first and third base sides, we set up a 90 minute all-you-can-eat buffet for you and your guests, with tickets to watch our future Angels beat up on their Cal League opponent for the rest of the night!

Bring 25 of your friends, family and coworkers to Arrowhead Credit Union Park and experience the hospitality of the 66ers like “Bob” did.  For just $23/person (with everything included), the Party Patio could be yours sometime this summer.  A personal 66ers party planner is available to talk to you today at (909) 888-9922!


Menu Includes:

-BBQ chicken, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs

-Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Potato Chips, Cookies

-Soda, Water

The Year of the FAN!

“F” – Fan Events

In 2011 the 66ers Office Staff wants to continue their sense of “community” all year long. Be on the lookout for various events (bowling, bbq’s, movie events, post-game parties, etc) in the near future. You can be the first to find out about any upcoming events by “liking” the Inland Empire 66ers on Facebook or subscribing to our E-Newsletter. Most of our events will be open to the public, as we want to spread the good will of the 66ers brand in the community. In the next week be on the lookout for an event that will be coming up in January.

“A” – Angels on the Field and in the Community

2011 is going to be an exciting season in the Inland Empire as the Los Angeles Angels set up shop in San Bernardino. The Angels farm system has been one of the best in baseball in recent years and the talent that will be on display at Arrowhead Credit Union Park should be no exception. The Angels Organization will be a very active figure in San Bernadino and the Inland Empire. A recent example of their generosity was on display at the Loma Linda Children’s Hospital where Angels’ farmhands Tyler Chatwood, Eddie McKiernan, Eric Oliver, and Chris Pettit, as well as the 66ers Dance Team visited with the kids and left some presents behind.


(From L-R; 66ers Dancer Shay, Chris Pettit, Eric Oliver, Tyler Chatwood, Eddie McKiernan, 66ers Dancer Karissa)

“N” – Never A Dull Moment

Whether it is the great dancing and antics of our loveable mascot Bernie, the energy that the 66ers Dance Team provides, or the sound of the train whistle following another 66ers run, the 2011 season promises to deliver excitement each and every day. To join the fun is really easy: please give us a call at 909-888-9922 to get your season tickets or mini-plans today to make sure you don’t miss out!

The Monday Ticket – 1/10

TicketMonday.jpgWith our first pitch only 13 weeks away, things are getting pretty exciting here at the 66ers. Today we launched a great incentive program for our current season seat holders whereby they refer a new client to us and receive a personalized 2011 66ers replica jersey (if you are one of our current season ticket holders, please contact me for further details).


This is yet another bonus of becoming a season ticket holder with us! We continue to strive to come up with new ways to introduce fans to our team with programs such as this one.


Also, we are looking for a qualified intern to assist in the box office. The position would start within the next couple weeks and last throughout the season. If you or someone you know has ever wanted to get their foot in the door with a professional sports team, please send a resume and cover letter to joey@ie66ers.com.


Finally, we are nearing the date of the official release of the 2011 promotions schedule. Keep your eye on the website for this and the exciting 24 Premier Game plan!


As always, if you have any questions about tickets or the box office, please do not hesitate to contact me.


The box office is open!

Dancing Bernie