The Saskatchewan Shockers, to put it mildly, have had a rough time coming up with successful promotions. In 2015, there was Japanese Night, in which the team started a sumo wrestler in goal; the result was an awkward embarrassment. Last season, there was the Kazoo Night fiasco; that game nearly turned into a riot, with fans chucking malfunctioning kazoos onto the ice.
This season, the Shockers decided to try a simpler, less dangerous promotion: Kids Night. In an effort to draw in younger fans, the Shockers offered discountered tickets for fans 12 and under. In addition, they raffled off the opportunity for kids to work in a variety of positions, including on public address announcer, in-game entertainment crew member, usher, reporter, and ceremonial first puck dropper. To cap it all off, the team offered a giveaway: a Shockers-themed activity/puzzle book.
The day itself largely went off without a hitch. The PA announcer repeatedly mangled the name of LW Tadeusz Adamczyk, and the puck dropper accidentally flung the biscuit onto the bench instead of dropping it on the ice, but otherwise things went smoothly.
The trouble started when the kids got home and started looking at their activity books. The book was riddled with errors and problems. For instance, the word search was missing several of the terms that kids were supposed to find, and the grid spelled out multiple curse words. The scramble that was supposed to contain the names of Shockers players instead contained strings of letters that didn’t spell anything. Multiple pages were printed upside down, and the page that was supposed to list the answers was missing entirely.
Irate parents took to social media to vent their displeasure with the book. “My kid cried for 45 minutes bc he couldnt get the word scramble right,” said one fan. “Turns out it was all garbage, like this team!!” Another highlighted the obscenities in the word search and tweeted, “So I guess u think this is ‘appropriate’ 2 give 2 kids???” The Shockers initially claimed that “some fans” might have received misprinted copies, but it quickly became clear that all of the books contained the errors and omissions.
It turns out that, rather than hiring a professional company to design and print the books, team owner Heinz Doofenshmirtz outsourced the job to a relative who “wants to make kid’s books someday.” He never provided proofs of the work before printing, and the Saskatchewan front office apparently never asked for any. Nor did they check the finished books before handing them out.
“Yeah, we had a few problems there,” said Doofenshmirtz. “The one time I really needed a self-destruct button, we didn’t have one. How ironic.”
The Shockers have destroyed all remaining copies of the book, and are reportedly looking for a way to compensate the children who may have been upset or traumatized by the event. “I was going to put a bouncy castle on the roof of our arena and let the kids play on it,” said Doofenshmirtz. “But it turns out there are some liability issues with that, and our insurance company dropped us after the whole Kazoo Night thing. So we’re working on it.”
At least one person from the Shockers had no problem with the promotion. “I don’t see what all the fuss is about,” quipped coach Myron Beasley. “I found the word search very educational.”