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Jordan’s Monster Deal this year? A very long shot

(Globe Staff Digital Illustration)
By Johnny Diaz
Globe Staff / April 1, 2010

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Jordan’s Furniture is hoping to once again turn a long shot for its customers into a marketing hit for the chain.

As part of its ongoing “Monster’’ campaign, customers who buy anything at one of the regional chain’s stores today through May 2 won’t have to pay for their purchases if a Red Sox player hits the image of a Jordan’s Furniture baseball on the company sign at Fenway Park between July 15 and the end of the regular season on Oct. 3.

Could David Ortiz actually hit the baseball on Jordan’s Fenway sign, which measures 6 feet by 12 feet and hangs 421 feet from home plate? It may sound like customers have a slim chance of getting free goods.

But the odds for the Monster promotions — which began three years ago when the company issued rebate checks to 24,000 customers after the Red Sox World Series win — have certainly favored the company, serving as successful branding tools for the furniture retailer, said one advertising specialist.

“Jordan’s has always found ways to touch their customers with their corny, slap-dash humorous ads,’’ said Chris Cakebread, a Boston University advertising professor who noted that the new campaign is reminiscent of old-time minor league baseball promotions where fans won samples of products if the home team struck a homerun off a sign.

Other brands have tried similar approaches by having athletes score a hit off a sponsor’s sign. Last year, MasterCard Worldwide, in partnership with Major League Baseball, had a “Hit It Here’’ promotion at Busch Stadium in St. Louis to raise money for cancer awareness. In 2004, Taco Bell positioned a giant “Free Taco Here’’ bull’s eye sign during World Series games in St. Louis.

Eliot Tatelman, Jordan’s chief executive officer and president, estimates that the Sox — and customers — have at least 3,000 chances for the ball to strike the sign in the right place. There are only two restrictions: The ball cannot ricochet off a bleacher seat or a fan’s hands.

“The ball has to go directly from the bat and hit our ball on the sign,’’ he said. “Every time a Red Sox batter gets up to bat, you have a chance.’’

If the Red Sox don’t hit the baseball image on Jordan’s sign during the team’s 35 home games, Tatelman said the company will give customers who shopped at the chain during the promotional period a coupon worth 20 percent of their total purchase toward any future purchase.

Johnny Diaz can be reached at jodiaz@globe.com.

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