5 Corporate Promotions That Ended in (Predictable) Disaster

#2. $1,000 Cash Grab

Detroit farm team the West Michigan Whitecaps invited a helicopter to drop $1,000 cash in small bills over their ballpark in an effort to lure people to their crappy Class A baseball match-up.

Hell, what could go wrong with that?

What Went Wrong

People will push a nun down an elevator shaft for a handful of free money. Example: Jim Carrey only made a measly $350,000 for his role in Ace Ventura: Watch Me Make My Ass Talk To Tone Loc, so imagine what a non-famous populace will do for a fistful of cabbage.

When the helicopter opened up its belly and rained down cash, two seven-year-old children ended up getting trampled in the melee, including one Tino Rodriquez, who had to be rushed to the hospital.

The Backlash

While the injury of two minors did dampen spirits at the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps, the organization was able to avoid any legal action because all Cash Grab participants were forced to sign waivers before congregating under the helicopter.

It was technically YOUR FAULT!

Tito's grandfather blamed the rowdy 12-year-olds who were allowed to participate in the Cash Grab, noting, "It's like playing football. You can't put a 12-year-old versus a seven-year-old."

Uh, given the fact that free money was involved, Tino is lucky no one brought a shotgun, let alone 12-year-old ringers.

#1. Disco Demolition Night

The Chicago White Sox, another MLB franchise that never really lit a fire under anyone's ass, needed some kind of hook to put butts in the seats at Comiskey Park. So Mike Veeck, son of Sox owner Bill Veeck, conjured up a promo event to play on America's sudden rebellion against disco. He invited folks to bring their unwanted ABBA/Gloria Gaynor records to a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers in exchange for cheaper admission and the chance to see said records exploded on the field between games. Evidently nothing brings people to baseball games quite like gross criminal negligence.

What Went Wrong

Baseball fans are like puppies and teenagers; get over 75,000 of them (the official head count for Disco Demolition Night) worked up and something's going to get broken or pissed on. So many people showed up for the White Sox's "Fuck Disco" rally that the off-ramps of the nearby Dan Ryan Expressway had to be shut down to keep anyone else from attempting to come to the stadium.

When local rock DJ Steve Dahl finally detonated the unholy records, fans immediately poured onto the field, tearing down batting cages and starting fires while insisting the disco albums they contributed to the destruction were gifts and had not been intentionally purchased. Sox announcer Harry Caray tried desperately to convince fans to leave the field, but like most events in the Chicago area this one wasn't over until the cops showed up.

The Backlash

Chicago ended up having to forfeit the second game of their doubleheader that night to Detroit. Adding hilarious insult to that injury was the fact the Sox had to play the rest of the season on Comiskey Park's nearly destroyed field (evidently their maintenance staff were huge disco fans and staged a walk-out). As for Mike Veeck, he was blacklisted from the sport and never again detonated so much as a fart anywhere near a baseball stadium.

For more from James Greene, Jr., visit his blog JG2Land.

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