It's a marketing coup - but it's a whole lot more. If you don't know, Mr. Irrelevant is the title that is bestowed on the very final pick (#255) of the NFL Draft. Instead of wallowing in the misery that ought to go with this lowly honor, Mr. Irrelevant has turned into a marketing phenomenon, kicking off an entire week of promotions that you'd think would go to the MVP of the NFL. It was started by Paul Salata, an 80 year-old guy who used to slug it out in the NFL, and is now a smart businessman. He saw the brilliance in elevating an otherwise less-than-random player into something special. Hey, isn't that purple?
This year, Mr. Irrelevant went to "Team Irrelevant," the pathetic Detroit Lions. He's Ramzee Robinson, and he's having a ball, and becoming a national celebrity at the same time. (Hey, on THIS team, he could actually make the roster.) But there are all sorts of radio applications to Mr. Irrelevant, starting with Steve Loomstein Day, a now annual event at KHITS in St. Louis, which we recently covered in this blog. That was the promotion where programming mastermind, Rick Balis, took a listener who had written the station a letter and made him a local star.
The idea of elevating someone totally obscure to your "star of the day" is a cool idea, and one that would resonate with fans. The idea for Mr. Irrelevant was inspired by a Newport Beach bar that would randomly go through the phone book and find a local person to honor for the night.
So think about that, as you plan that fourth bar night of the week. In addition to playing "Guitar Hero" on site, and doing everything you can to make each of these "events" a little special, consider diving into your database, and honoring a different listener each time you do one of those club nights. A basic limo trade will help make it special for each night's big winner, in addition to getting his/her name on the bar's marquis.
It's simple, listener-friendly, and the type of thing your audience will talk about. And perhaps those bar nights won't be so "irrelevant" after all.