Introducing the Runaway Bride Bobblehead


You have to love minor league sports. The talent is usually sparse and the games are really irrelevant but the whole experience is almost carnival-like. Best of all, teams will do anything to boost attendance.

Case in point: The Gwinnett Gladiators of the East Coast Hockey League needed a way to get fans to come out for their Sunday afternoon game against the Pensacola Ice Pilots. They decided that the first thousand people in attendance would receive a Runaway Bride bobblehead doll.

The figurine is Jennifer Wilbanks, the Duluth, GA woman who last year went missing days before she was supposed to be married and was later found in New Mexico with a made-up kidnapping story. The Gladiators didn’t actually attach her name to the doll, trying to make the story amusingly coincidental.

The promotion worked to a tee. Some people arrived for the 4:00 p.m. game as early as 11:45 in the morning. The dolls were gone within ten minutes. Never fear, there are already three on eBay.

The Gladiators have easily become one of my favorite minor league teams. This promotion is right up there with some of the classics. I say it goes, 1. Nobody Night when the attendance at a baseball game was zero, 2. Runaway Bride bobblehead day, 3. Jerry “The King” Lawler night.

Runaway dolls high-tail it out of there – Atlanta Journal Constitution


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