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Having Fun with the Yankees (Or at Their Expense): Opening Day Edition

Marketing is supposed to be fun. And by golly, the folks at HBO are circling the bases by taking on sport's most esteemed franchise, the New York Yankees. I'm talking about Comedian John Oliver's "I Have Never Sat In A Premium Location" contest. If you haven't heard about it, check out this clip from his recent show at

Apparently, Yankees COO Lonn Trost recently said on a radio show that the Yankees were not accepting printed tickets from StubHub for premium seats at the Stadium. For us bushleagers, the premium seats are in the prime location right off the field of play and come with not only a great view but access to the Legends Club, where you can get a waiter-delivered gourmet meal and an unpronounceable brand of beer rather than an over-boiled hot dog and watered-down Bud being passed fire bucket-style down your row.

When asked the reason for this new policy, Mr. Trost remarkably said that "the fan [who purchased the tickets on StubHub] may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So, that's a frustration to our existing fan base. " So, up to the plate steps Mr. Oliver who purchased 2 premium seats for each of the first three games and is offering them for 25 cents apiece to contestants who tweet a picture of themselves (or with a friend) in an outfit showing that they have never sat in a premium seat before, along with the hashtag #Ihaveneversatinapremiumlocation. As an added bonus, the winners must wear their glad rags to the game.

Grand slam!

Extra innings bonus: It's worth noting that you may question why (and how can he) make the winner pay 25 cents for each ticket, since paying money is usually a no-no, and doesn't the small print on the game tickets typically state they are non-transferable. In my humble opinion, the 25 cents is o.k., since it's a contest and not based on chance – the rules expressly provide that John Oliver or his staff will review each entry and pick the funniest ones. And while tickets generally can't be transferred or given as prizes (and some organizations will zealously enforce this), they can be sold (please refer to the entire business plan of StubHub-like companies). So, stop getting so caught up in the minutia and just enjoy the fact that sweepstakes and contests are meant to be fun.

Topics: Contest, Sweepstakes