Last night I got to witness a Madhouse @ Camden Yards 1st hand as the O’s PR Department tried to do something nice for the fans and it backed fired as usual!!
The 83 O’s Celebration seemed to be getting off on the right foot when we were coming through the gates. We could see a couple of players at each gate meeting and greeting the fans and signing autograph’s for the fans. Then as usual the O’s PR ladies decided to stop the players from signing any autograph’s for the fans. Telling everyone that the players would be signing autograph’s at 7:15 near gate D.
We all went up and got into line and waited for nearly 2 hours for the players to show up. By this time the line from from gate D all the way to the Warehouse. At some point in time the PR Department should have figured out they had a problem and looked for a solution. But as they always do their wonderful attitude started to kick in.
I stayed around to see the outcome of the craziness that was starting to unfold. At 8:00 there was still a line down to almost the warehouse and the PR people finally realized they had a problem. Some of them went down to the line telling people that they probally would not be able to the players due to the time. Then it started with the fans starting to yell and scream at the PR people who were behind the tables.
Now I know from experience in doing these types of shows that the PR people were in a no win situation. If only they had planned the event some what better it could have solved alot of the problems and the upset fans. For example: The PR people should have not stopped the players from signing at the gates; most of the players wanted to sign for the fans.
2nd the PR Department should have the event setup more planned out. If they would have split up the area where the players were signing it might have cut down on the line.
3rd If the PR Department would have told everyone who was going to be at the table alot of people would have left the line. From listening to the people in line they thought that the whole team was up there at the table signing. Now we all know that was not going to happen!! Mr. Ripken is not going to sign for free and for all the people that were there last night. Palmer was working. Eddie is also not going to sign for all those people.
I was a little surprised who of the other players that did not come down from the suites to sign for the fans. Dempsey, McGregor, Boddicker and Flanagan.
I heard more then one person say later that night that some one had stolen their pennants that they had signed. I know that one old lady is happy today with the Eddie Murray and Al Bumbry signed pennants that she picked up and walked out with as someone was yelling to her that the pennants were theirs!!
One guy from the PR Department tried to save the event at the end by gathering up all the cards that the players had signed and had not given out. He started to give one card out to everyone who was still in line as long as he had cards. Atleast he made some of the fans happy.
Last night’s event was no different then the events that the O’s PR do with ESPN Zone or Chick-Fil-A; no organization or planning. Someone has to teach these people that there is more to a event then just showing up and say the line starts here!!