If there’s one constant in the history of the Saskatchewan Shockers, it’s their record of promotions gone wrong. The litany of failed promos is nearly endless: the time they put a sumo wrestler in goal, they time that angry fans littered the ice with off-key kazoos, the children’s books full of errors and obscenities, the T-shirts that featured owner Heinz Doofenshmirtz’s face where the team’s logo was supposed to be, or the team rally song that included a line calling the town of Saskatoon boring.
The common theme in all of these disasters: Doofenshmirtz. The owner’s combination of heedless enthusiasm and disinterest in details leads to a lot of creative ideas that tend not to pan out as expected. According to team’s sources, most of the team’s promotions are dreamed up by Doofenshmirtz himself, and he is often also involved in their execution, turning to less-than-competent relatives and friends to help carry them out.
No matter how many times these promotions fail, however, the owner keeps coming up with new ones. Recently, the Shockers offered their fans another Doofenshmirtz-planned giveaway: “Shock Boppers.” These featured a pair of glow-in-the-dark lightning bolts, connected by springs to a headband. Each fan received a Shock Bopper upon entering.
Between the first and second periods, the team dimmed the lights at Potash Arena so that the fans could see their Shock Boppers glowing. As the fans rocked out to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” the seating bowl was filled with undulating lighting bolts. It was a pretty neat moment, and the team later posted a video of it on their Instagram account.
Sounds like a successful giveaway, right? Well, it was… until a few days later, when fans began posting angry comments on the Instagram videos. It seems that the glow-in-the-dark paint on the Shock Boppers was flaking off, leading to messes at best and hospital visits at worst. Some fans complained about coming home to find flecks of glowing paint all over their carpets and furniture. Others told of take pets or young children to the emergency room after they swallowed the paint flakes. One irate mother threatened to sue the Shockers for child endangerment.
After initially trying to resolve the issues individually, the team eventually realized that the problems were widespread. It seems that Doofenshmirtz outsourced the manufacture of the Shock Boppers to a firm in his native Drusselstein, one reportedly run by his cousin. “Yeah, in Drusselstein, quality control isn’t… really a thing,” the owner said.
Within a couple of days, the Shockers announced a recall of the Shock Boppers. Fans who returned the giveaway received a credit for merchandise at the team store. This failed to mollify fans who had to deal with cleaning or medical bills as a result of the paint flaking off; the team arranged settlements with those fans.
Has Doofenshmirtz learned his lesson? On the one hand, he did say that he planned to let his marketing team handle the execution of future promotions. On the other hand, he vowed that “I’ve got a bunch of great ideas that I’m working on. Just wait and see!”