Adrian Beltre, the Texas Rangers third baseman, often does a little jig with his feet when a pitcher throws down and in and only Chuck Morgan and his team of promotional wizards would think to immortalize that moment in bobblehead form.
The so-called “Dancing Legs Adrian Beltre bobblehead” captures that moment, resulting in one of the more unusual, outside-the-box giveaways of the 2017 Rangers season. The legs actually move instead of the head.
“We’ve gotten to the point now where they can pretty much do anything.Nothing we’ve come up with has been balked at," said Morgan, the executive vice president of ballpark entertainment and productions
So, that begs the question: What kind of bobblehead promotions does Morgan have cooking for 2018?
Crain’s Dallas caught up with Morgan, who is best known as the voice of Globe Life Park, to ask about the bobblehead development process and what to expect next season.
It looks like you had a successful year of bobbleheads in 2017. What did you learn?
“To try to keep coming up with creative ideas. It’s always special when they’re giving away something at the ballpark. It’s no secret that that has an impact on attendance. It’s all designed to sell as many tickets as we can. The bobbleheads are a hot item right now.”
What is the planning process?
“For one bobblehead, it’s about a one or two month process. A lot of meetings. It involves ticket sales and sponsorships. The items that we give away in April, they’re already working on a couple of those. We need to have everything, artwork and all, by the first of November."
What goes into the actual development of something like the Beltre bobblehead?
“For the bobble legs, you find a pose, a picture of Adrian Beltre and send it to the vendors and they bid. The artists sculpt it in clay. Sometimes it only takes one or two times. Sometimes more. We look at the colors, the pose and most importantly make sure the face resembles the player. You also find a sponsor for the bobblehead and the sponsor has to sign off on the idea. They’re the ones actually paying the bill.”
What’s your favorite bobblehead giveaway so far?
“I’m probably most proud of that Franchise Four bobblehead (featuring former pitcher Nolan Ryan, former infielder Michael Young, former catcher Ivan Rodriguez and Beltre). To do all four of those guys on one bobblehead was amazing.”
The Rangers made a bobblehead of Hall of Fame broadcaster Eric Nadel so would it make sense to do one of the voice of the ballpark?
“There’s been a couple people mention it. I’m over this department so I don’t think there needs to be one of me. If they want to do a bobblehead after I’m gone, that’s fine. For right now, I’d leave that alone. I’d rather do one of a player.”
Most of the time the promos work out great but sometimes you end up with a Jonathan Lucroy bobblehead that is given away after he’s been traded. What goes into that thought process since you plan the giveaways so far in advance?
“The Rangers have had very few of those happen. There were actually two Lucroy items: the bobblehead and the backpack. The way the timing is now, you’ve got to do it so far in advance and with the two Lucroy giveaways being done in September, sometimes that happens.
What kind of promotional items are you considering for the 2019 season, the last season in Globe Life Park?
“We’ll look at some of the big moments that happened in this ballpark. Think Kenny Rogers' perfect game. Bengie Molina running into Neftali Feliz’s arms [after striking out New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez to clinch the Rangers first trip to the World Series in 2010]. I think that might be something we could pull off. It will be a nice tribute to Globe Life Park.”