Everyone knows the phrase, “When life gives you lemons…make lemonade!” But, what if life gives you a rodent on the field at Busch Stadium during game four of the National League Division Series? Players and managers – take a deep breath. Everyone else – embrace the new, unofficial mascot of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Rally Squirrel. And print a couple thousand t-shirts while you’re at it.
In addition to the excitement of playoff season, the Rally Squirrel can actually offer business insights for marketers in every industry. Instead of ignoring its appearance, marketers turned the Rally Squirrel into the rallying cry of Cardinal fans nationwide. Moral of the story: ideas seldom fall into your lap (or run across a field, as the case may be). But when they do, seize the moment, recognize the possibilities and capitalize! If you don’t, someone else will.
Using Squirrels to Leverage Fan Support:
What began as an interruption in play has snowballed into a marketing phenomenon. Merchandisers have seized this opportunity to build excitement among fans and stakeholders during playoff season.
In addition to over 40,000 rally towels distributed for fans at tonight’s game, you can pick up your own Rally Squirrel stuffed toy or “Got Squirrel” t-shirt.
La Russa himself is even a Rally Squirrel fan, citing it as a reason to enjoy the playoffs despite the pressure. “I think it’s good. The fans are having fun,” he said. “This is not old-school, and I know I am in many ways, but I think there’s so much attention and pressure on the players that sometimes they don’t show their happiness.”
Using Squirrels to Do Good:
But beyond all the hype, the Rally Squirrel has become a mechanism for Anheuser-Busch’s newest philanthropic endeavor in the St. Louis community. AB provided a grant to the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation to cover initial production costs for a line of Rally Squirrel-themed playoff memorabilia. The Foundation created playing cards, t-shirts and hats – now being sold at the brewery and select St. Louis locations. All proceeds will benefit the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.
So if you see a squirrel downtown these days, please don’t call pest control. Try to wrangle it into a cardinals jersey instead (see image below).
No rodents in the vicinity? Keep your eyes peeled for your version of the Rally Squirrel and the business opportunities that follow.