In a time when exercise and healthy eating rule the average person's daily life, the York Revolution is taking the metaphorical road less traveled.
That's because during next Monday's game against Southern Maryland, on "Gluttony Day," the franchise will hold a promotional eating challenge that, on paper, looks as difficult to conquer as it is unhealthy.
Labeled the "7th Inning Stretch Mark Challenge," York will give the first 12 contestants who sign up in advance a chance to win a $50 Revolution gift card and, if they choose, a "Cool-Sculpting non-invasive reduction" courtesy of the team. All the contestants have to do is take down an eating challenge each inning that continues to grow in size and caloric intake as the innings start to mount.
"This was one of those ideas that one of my employees, Aysa Alwood, who's our marketing manager, and Scott Parker, who's our multimedia manager, they cooked up a lot of, basically, half-baked ideas," said Paul Braverman, the director of communications and marketing for the Revolution. "Then we took them and made them fully baked."
What you get: For the $20 entry fee, the 12 contestants gain entry into the challenge and will receive a bucket to use in case they can't keep the food down. The caveat with the bucket is that if it does get used, then the challenger is automatically disqualified. But even if you choose to enter the challenge, but can't successfully complete it, contestants won't go home empty-handed.
Each time a contestant is eliminated, he or she will receive a Revolution gift card, starting at a $10 value for the first tap out and then escalating in value by $5 for each contestant to quit after.
Stadium food: All seven of the food items that will be included in the challenge will be products provided by vendors at Santander Stadium. And while the exact concoctions that will be in the challenge aren't available to the public, Braverman believes that if there is enough positive feedback from the contestants, they could be added to concession menus for a game later in the season.
"Some of the things you can get at the stands normally," he said. "Other stuff you have to join the contest to eat. So that's kind of the allure of joining the contest is you get to try new concoctions of a first-time thing. If it goes over real well, we might make that available to fans, some of the crazier stuff we're doing, we might make it available to fans as a one-time item for one game or one weekend down the road."
The contestants will take part in the challenge in the Dietz & Bluett Insurance Diamond Deck located behind home plate.
Tough to finish: Despite the news release first going out late Monday afternoon, Braverman did think that there were a couple people already interested in throwing their hat — and stomach — into the ring. Unless a competitive eater shows up, Braverman and York are confident that this test will go unmatched.
"It's going to be tough to finish all that," Braverman said. "We purposely designed this that it would be somewhat shocking if somebody was able to finish it all."
Even if none of the 12 contestants can't complete the challenge, they'll still have a chance to enjoy a ballgame.
And, at the very least, won't go home with an empty stomach.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org