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Who’s Your Daddy? Sports Events are Ready to Cater to Him on Father’s Day

14 Jun, 2017

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

Bulletin: Dad would rather see a tied-up-in-the-ninth baseball game than receive another tie.

Father’s Day, which is officially celebrated on Sunday, June 18, is about to bring an onslaught of cookouts, visits – and sports events with, well, tie-ins (see what we did there?) to dear old Dad. And the U.S. is primed and ready to spend.

An all-time high of $14.3 billion will be spent on Father’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation, whose business it is to track such things. And while Mother’s Day spending (a massive $21.48 billion) included such events as wine tasting and brunch, dads will likely receive shy of $1 billion in gifts from sporting goods stores (about 17 percent of all gifts).

At the same time, the NRF notes, 48 percent of all people will take dad out to a special event, including sports events like a baseball game (for a total outlay of $3.3 billion). And with two in five Millennials planning to give an experience, significantly higher than older generations, it’s a good time for planners to invest in cross-promotions destined to bring in families.

Running In The USA’s calendar of events for the weekend includes 691 5K and 10K races on Saturday, June 17, and 254 on Sunday, June 18. (Sundays are historically lower race days). And many of those races have key words like Father’s Day, Family, Dad, Daddy and more in the title.

Heading over to the pro sports side, it’s evident that Major League Baseball is embracing the tie-in, with special Father’s Day merchandise for all teams.Hats, jerseys, T-shirts, even souvenir bats – all in powder blue and grey to help raise awareness about prostate cancer. (Mother’s Day had pink and grey jerseys, by the way, to help raise awareness about breast cancer.) On a more upbeat note, specific teams are also offering promotions for dads on June 18, and here is a sampling; the Pittsburgh Pirates have a dads-and-kids cap special, the Milwaukee Brewers are offering golf umbrellas (more on golf in a minute) and the Los Angeles Angels have a triple promotion: a Father’s Day coffee mug, a Family Sunday sponsored by a probiotic drink and a kids-run-the-bases event.

On the MiLB side (always the home of great promotions), there’s plenty going on. The Harrisburg Senators have seat cushions for all and a Father’s Day brunch on the infield. The Frederick Keys have Buy Your Dad a Beer Day. And for those who missed Father’s Day (Bad kid! Bad!), the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are here to help you make it up with a Father’s Day Redemption Night  and Recliner Raffle (yes, really) on June 20.

If dad is more of the golfing type, TopGolf is ready to help you make the most of the day, with a special promo package for up to six guests, with two hours of unlimited play, bay times and more. And let’s just point out that PGA, not to be outdone, has created a full list of golf-related kitsch gifts for dad. There’s also a list of top getaways for golfing dads. For dads whose interests run to pickleball, cornhole, bocce or Jenga, Chicken N Pickle (think TopGolf, only for pickleball and some other outdoor sports pursuits) has a Brunchin' With Dad event.

The bass fishing industry has also gotten into the act, with Free Fishing Days (so that dads can spend some quality time with kids); the Chicago Tribune covers a few key events. The Pennsylvania bass season also kicks off on Father’s Day weekend, and special events are planned.

Need to get dad something to open when you come in off the water, off the road or off the golf course? ManCrates, a boxed-gift concessionaire specializing in male-interest presents, is offering themed packages including those with gifts relating to golf, pumping iron, hunting, zombie survival and more. Oh, and they come in a wooden crate. Crowbar included.

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