ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - It began as an April Fool's joke.
In an age of social media and shortened attention spans, minor league baseball teams have to contend with an ever-increasing amount of entertainment options--oftentimes embracing guerilla marketing schemes with varying levels of success.
For proof, look no further than the Twin Cities' own St. Paul Saints--stunts like new mascots, internet cat videos and some good, old fashioned twitter humor all reflect the unique personality of the franchise and its owners, which include comedian Bill Murray and marketing guru Mike Veeck.
Playing off the trend of minor league teams changing their names, the Saints' marketing team announced April 1 they were playing their 50 home games under 50 different monikers and let fans vote on their favorites.
Some of the over-the-top Minnesota-themed team names stuck out, according to team officials--including the St. Paul Holy Buckets, St. Paul Uff Da's, Minnesota Nice and the Minnesota Cabin Goers--but one rose above the rest.
"In a social media world where trolling is an art form, the Saints painted a Picasso," the team said in a release.
Saints' marketing personnel decided to rebrand the team as the "St. Paul Duck, Duck, Gray Ducks" for one game Aug. 19--but didn't stop there, asking their opponents for the day, the Cleburne Railroaders, to change their name temporarily to "Duck, Duck Goose," in theory settling the debate over the name of the popular children's game once and for all.
In case you need a primer: Duck, Duck Goose entails one player walking around a ring of people, tapping each on the head while declaring them "duck" until one player is named the "goose." The goose then chases the first player around the circle, either tagging them to reclaim a spot in the circle or becoming the picker themselves.
It's a point of contention for those from Minnesota over the proper title of the game, contending that the rest of the English-speaking world is wrong. Minnesotans refer to this game as "Duck, duck, gray duck," substituting the goose for a different colored waterfowl of the same species and oftentimes using other colors during gameplay--i.e. "purple duck" or "red duck" (other, less popular variations of the game also exist, including "Drip, drip drop" and "Vroitier," the South African version).
The St. Paul Saints aim to solve this dilemma once and for all, in-a-no-way-sanctioned, winner-take-all contest to determine the rightful title, according to the release.
"It may as well be a battle of Minnesota vs. the rest of the U.S.," team officials said.
Both team's jerseys will be auctioned off during the game and promotional T-shirts of all five finalists will be available at the souvenir shop.