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Brewers’ ‘Where’s Bernie?’ scavenger hunt descends into chaos

May 24, 2011, 12:43 PM EDT


An ill-conceived scavenger hunt organized by the Milwaukee Brewers to promote goodwill and baseball instead uncovered the dark side of humanity early this morning. OK, not really, but there was rampant cheating that made a mockery of the organization’s Where’s Bernie Brewer? promotion, in which lawn gnomes in the shape of the Brewers’ mascot were placed in public areas across Wisconsin, many with prizes attached.

The problem is that many greedy Brewers fans were staking out the areas in which that the gnomes were distributed by Brewers employees just before daybreak this morning. Those fans then snatched up the treasures seconds after they had been placed there, meaning that there was nothing left for fans who followed the rules and showed up later.

The Milwaukee Brewers were hoping for an enthusiastic response to their “Where’s Bernie?” promotional program. They weren’t expecting fan stakeouts, Internet auctions and isolated reports of lawn-ornament hoarding.

Brewers spokesman Tyler Barnes said fan response to Tuesday morning’s scavenger hunt-style promotion was “staggering,” though team officials were disappointed that some fans didn’t play by the rules.

“It’s disappointing,” Barnes said. “The intent of the promotion and the rules of the promotion were eminently clear — it was one per household.”

Or, 20 per car trunk. See the angry response to the hoarding here.

The Brewers scattered 1,400 lawn ornament statues across Wisconsin early Tuesday, some with tickets, prizes and player autographs attached.

It didn’t take long before social networking websites were buzzing with complaints about some fans staking out workers who were stashing the statues well before sunrise, then snapping up armfuls of ornaments as soon as they were hidden.

One Twitter user posted a photo of at least 10 Bernie Brewer statues stuffed in the trunk of a car, drawing the ire of fellow fans. The user later appeared to have deleted the Twitter account.

The statues have even started showing up on eBay ($200? Really?), which is sad, because the Brewers announced plans earlier today to sell them online for $48.

Brewers promo marred by statue stakeouts, hoarding [NBCSports]
1,400 Bernie Brewer Statues Gone In Minutes [WISN]

  1. danberman4 - May 24, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Greed in baseball? Never happened before.