Fans can live and die with the IronPigs

For minor league teams, promotions are a huge part of what they do and nobody does them better than the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. This August, there are opportunities for fans to renew their wedding vows and even win a free funeral. Leave it to the IronPigs to put the fun in funeral.

IronPigs general manager Kurt Landes calls it the "circle of life." In August, the team is giving fans a chance to renew their wedding vows and less than a week later, they'll be giving away a funeral.

Landes said there is actually a bit of a tie-in between having fans renew their vows and giving away a funeral.

"Truth be told, we would like to do a whole cycle of life promotion and are hoping to give away a free birth, just to complete the process," said Landes, whose team has led all of minor league baseball in attendance for the last three seasons, thanks in part, to interesting promotional ideas like giving away a funeral.

The idea for the promotion came together the same way Landes says most of their promotional ideas come together, just kicking around ideas with a client - in this case, Reichel Funeral Home in Northampton, PA - and trying to meet their needs.

"We were brainstorming with a client and it just came out of meeting their needs," said Landes. "We always try to think outside the box - pun intended - and not just stay inside the box. Plus, I have a feeling that this is a client that wants to have a strong community involvement and this actually provides a service to the community by providing something of real value that may be difficult for some people to afford."

The IronPigs and Reichel Funeral Home have teamed up to provide the following funeral essentials, valued at $7,500, for the winner:

  • A casket.
  • Professional services of funeral director and staff.
  • Body removal and preparation (embalming or cremation).
  • Use of facilities and services for viewing (visitation/wake), funeral ceremony, Memorial Service and graveside services.
  • Vehicle to transfer remains to Funeral Home along with Hearse for cemetery transfer.
In addition to the offerings provided by Reichel Funeral Home, Northampton Memorial Company will provide a complimentary headstone (valued at $1,500) and Richmar Florist will offer a casket spray of flowers (valued at $300).

Fans can register by submitting an essay of 200 words or less that describes their ideal funeral and why they feel they will, eventually, be deserving of the free funeral. All essays must be received by July 31, 2013 for consideration. All entrants must be present at the Tuesday, August 20 game to be eligible to win.

Landes says the team is receiving entries and expects to receive a lot more prior to the deadline. "There are a lot of funny, sort of tongue-in-cheek essays so far, but I suspect there may be some others that will be more morbid," said Landes.

There are two ways to submit your essay and register:

  • Email with your essay and along with your contact information (Name, Phone and Address).
  • Submit an essay and your contact information (Name, Phone and Address) to: CELEBRATION OF LIFE, Coca-Cola Park, 1050 IronPigs Way, Allentown, PA, 18109.
Renew Your Vows night falls on August 14th against Syracuse, while the Celebration of Life promotion will be on August 20th when the IronPigs host rival Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

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