The Reno Big Horns of the NBA Development League staged its first theme night that included an OT Sports game-worn jersey design. Account Executive/Team Store Manager Joey Santos explains why the team will do more of them in 2016-17.
OT: What led you to come up with the idea to do a Star Wars theme jersey?
Santos: We were coming up with theme night ideas last September, and with the new Star Wars movie coming out we thought its release date would end up on perfect timeline with our season. Unfortunately, we had scheduling conflicts and moved it to March, but it didn't matter. The movie was still a big deal.
OT: What was planning the event like?
Santos: We followed all of Lucas Films' guidelines. We sent invitations to all the dress-up groups sponsored by Lucas and had characters at the game. Storm Troopers, Jedi knights and desert creatures. The fans loved it.
OT: How did the jersey auction go?
Santos: We did a silent auction during the game for the American Lung Association. Bids started at $250 and we sold every single jersey. We even sold the one worn by a player who played 3 minutes for the entire season. The American Lung Association ran the auction for us. We set up two tables on the concourse with an extra jersey on display so people could see see it up close and get a feel for the quality and design.
OT: What did the players think?
Santos: One of our guys, David Stockton, liked his jersey so much that he tried to win it. He gave our team president a spending limit and told him to bid on his behalf. [Editors note: Stockton was outbid. :-( ] Our players told us they liked playing in OT Sports jerseys. The quality and comfort is the same as their everyday game jerseys.
OT: Do you know what did the winners did with their jerseys?
Santos: We did have one fan who came to a couple of games afterward wearing his jersey. But we got a lot of them autographed because most of the winners wanted to frame them for display in their homes and offices.
OT: What did you learn from doing that first special jersey event?
Santos: I know as an organization we definitely want to do more theme jerseys next year. Personally, I learned the timing of everything, working with Lucas, OT Sports and the league. That should help us next time. I want to have more time to promote and prepare for the event because I think we could draw even more fans.