A guy in an ostrich suit flinging hot dogs, grown men dressed as vegetables running full tilt, two families pitted against each other armed with slingshots, hundreds of people hurling tennis balls at a slow-moving pick-up truck. What do these things have in common? Better question: Where might they be found…and why? If you’re a baseball fan like me, you probably recognized the mirth and mayhem typical of minor league baseball, where they still sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh inning stretch. Actually, at the Reading Phillies First Energy Stadium, the old standby is led by an older gentleman (who has worked at the park since it opened) chauffeured around the field in a golf cart. He is NOT a professional singer and is always gloriously out of tune. But no Reading Phillies spectacle rivals that of the Briscoe Disco.
Adam Briscoe is NOT a professional dancer. Well, he wasn’t until the Reading Phils folks made him one. Billed as the “number one fan and dancer” for the Reading Phillies, Briscoe wanders the stadium during every game, leading entire sections of fans in his trademark dance, arms pumping wildly (this guy’s rotator cuffs are a medical miracle). Don’t believe me; here’s the proof!
What’s this got to do with business continuity? Well, at a recent game I was doing the Briscoe Disco (no, there’s no video evidence of that!) and laughing at the silly promos, and I was thinking about how the business office and marketing people do a great job of using what they’ve got…which isn’t much. A handful of sponsorships from local businesses (burger joints, car dealers, insurance sales people) and some devoted fans. Sure it results in some silly games and pretty contrived promos, but it’s all in good fun and it gets the job done. That made me think of all of you and how sometimes you need to make the best of what you’ve got, get creative, and even put people in roles that might not be obvious picks. You make do too. And you do it to great effect and in times of actual crisis (meaning situations worse than being down by double digits in the bottom of the ninth). Who would’ve known that Adam Briscoe (a school lunchroom aide according to his Facebook page) could get a crowd going as well as any “real” mascot (so well, in fact, that I’m actually sad on the days when the big league Phillies lend the Phanatic to Reading)? I bet the Reading Phillies didn’t. But they took a chance on the Briscoe Disco and it paid off. May all of your pinch hits be grand slams too.
Director of Communications