The St. Paul Saints, a minor league baseball team playing in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball (say that three times fast), are never afraid to go a little crazy when it comes to marketing their product. Owned by Mike Veeck, son of former Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck (Disco Demolition Night, anyone?) and actor/nutjob Bill Murray, the Saints have carved a nice little niche out for themselves in the Twin Cities sporting landscape. Best known for their oddball promotions that are out of this world (any team that brings in William Hung to sing “She Bangs” is worthy of admiration), the Saints routinely play in front of a packed house at the charming Midway Stadium in St. Paul.
Obviously, with the hometown Vikings and their fans busy whipping themselves up into a frenzy in anticipation of Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints, saying the “S Word” in the Twin Cities is presently considered taboo. The higher-ups in the organization agreed and thought it would be a grand idea – as well as a solid marketing gimmick – to temporarily remove Saints from their name and refer to themselves as “The Paul” until after the game on Sunday.
The idea came to fruition when The Paul’s (in going with their bit) Executive Vice President Tom Whaley appeared Tuesday on the morning show of Twin Cities sports radio station, KFAN.
Whaley was asked by the trio to become the first in a long line of companies, cities and more to remove the “S” word from their name. Not only did Whaley agree to support the effort, but he and the club have also decided to incorporate the name change during their 2010 season.
“KFAN called us Tuesday with an idea that was perfect,” said Executive Vice President Tom Whaley. “We’re thrilled they would think of us first. When you think about it, there are a lot of folks they could’ve called first: John, Thomas, Kate, Ben and Scholastica to name a few.”
The club will don jerseys with the name “The Paul” across its chest during a regular season game in 2010. The team will align itself with other organizations with the “S” word in its name with a night full of fun for which The Paul is known.
Brilliant. That’s commitment to the cause right there. I wonder if their mascot, Mudonna and the pig that carries out balls to umps during the game, Slumhog Millionaire agree with the concept.
Team Won’t Utter “S” Word this Week [Saints Baseball]