The New York Giants will decorate their game tickets with photographs of fans for the first time next season, the National Football League team’s chief marketing officer said.
Mike Stevens, senior vice-president, said fans can compete to appear by submitting images with their stories to the franchise’s website, www.giants.com later today. The team will select 20 finalists and fans can vote to choose 10 winners on the social networking site Facebook starting May 18.
Each will be scheduled to appear on tickets for one of the Giants’ two preseason and eight regular-season home games. The winners will also receive tickets to that game and be recognized on the field.
“In effect, that game will be dedicated to that fan and that fan’s story,” Stevens said in a telephone interview. “You become part of Giants’ history at that point.”
Stevens said the ticket plan grew out of research showing fans wanted more of a connection with the team and is also a way to stay in touch with fans during the National Football League’s work stoppage.
A similar contest to choose a fan to deliver the Giants’ fourth-round pick in last week’s NFL draft generated pictures including a boy named after the Mara family that owns the team and a Giants-logo floral arrangement from the funeral of a fan who died about a week after the team upset the Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl title.
Eric Bedner, 23, sent the winning picture from his father’s funeral and earned the right to announce the selection of offensive tackle James Brewer.
“After he was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 all he wanted was for the Giants to win the Super Bowl,” he wrote. “My father passed away 6 days after his dream came true.”
‘Here, You Pick’
The Minnesota Vikings and Houston Texans have also put fan photographs on their tickets, Stevens said. The Giants added the voting process because they found it hard to choose the winners.
“It made us think we should do a vote because all the entries were really great,” Stevens said. “It was like, here, you pick.”
The Giants also hosted a draft party at their $1.6 billion stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, last week and held an April 20 conference call with Commissioner Roger Goodell, who answered questions from season ticketholders about the NFL’s labor fight with players.
To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Kuriloff in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org.