In a marketing ploy that tested the gullibility of local employers, the Cleveland Indians baseball team sent their mascot, Slider, into downtown Cleveland on Tuesday to hand out "permission slips" for attending an Indians home game the next afternoon. The pitch: Workers who got their to supervisors to sign the slips would receive $4 discounts on their tickets.
"Gee, what could go wrong with a plan to urge workers to inform their employers that they intend to skip out in the middle of a workday to attend a baseball game?" Sports Illustrated magazine asked. "Hopefully the Indians will help them find new jobs once they're fired, too."
"We just thought it'd be a fun way to draw additional attention to one of our rare noon games," Bob DiBiasio, vice president of Indians' public relations, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. "We thought the permission slips would be a good hook."
Sources: Sports Illustrated and the Plain Dealer