Kurt Landes got the big splash he was seeking with last week's announcement about the urinal gaming system that has been installed in Coca-Cola Park men's rooms.
"Within a half-hour of us releasing the information, we had several national media outlets contacting us," said Landes, the IronPigs general manager. "The reaction exceeded expectations."
Once the fans get that gimmick out of their system, there will be plenty of bells, whistles and bobbleheads on the schedule to entice people to keep coming out to IronPigs Way with regularity.
For the last three seasons, Coca-Cola Park has been the most visited minor league park in baseball, and the only one to go over the 600,000 mark in attendance in each of the last five years since its 2008 opening.
The IronPigs are considered the gold standard in the industry, making an impression on even visiting managers such as former New York Mets infielder Wally Backman. Backman has suggested that every minor league team send a representative to east Allentown to see how it should be done.
Besides their array of promotions, the IronPigs have built their success on a number of factors.
They have been blessed to have their existence coincide with the most glorious era in Phillies history, a run from 2008-11 that included four division championships and two World Series appearances.
They also were able to secure the Triple-A All-Star Game in 2010, their third year of existence, and had a Hall of Fame player, Ryne Sandberg, manage the team in their fourth and fifth years as an added bonus for autograph-seeking fans.
With the sixth season of IronPigs baseball to begin on Thursday night, Landes and his staff have another tool at their disposal, the Sept 17 Triple-A National Championship Game that will be played at Coca-Cola Park.
But he may have something else to drive people through the gates — a team capable of playing in that national title game.
The 2013 IronPigs are stocked with young, talented players who may form the core of the Phillies' future.
Watching how these prospects progress may get the die-hard Phillies fans with no interest in the mini Barbie Q bobblehead out to the park.
Following the fortunes of the pitching rotation — Tyler Cloyd, Ethan Martin, Adam Morgan, Jonathan Pettibone, B.J. Rosenberg — alone might be enough to get the purist to attend often. The average age of that fivesome is 24.
Also, following the day-to-day fortunes of rising stars such as catcher Tommy Joseph, third baseman Cody Asche and outfielder Darin Ruf should keep interest steady.
Six of the Phillies' top 10 prospects according to Baseball America — Joseph, Asche, Ruf, Martin, Morgan and Pettibone — will be in IronPigs uniforms to start the season.
"From a managing standpoint, this is what excites you so much," said new IronPigs manager Dave Brundage. "I'm excited from my standpoint and also for the people of the Lehigh Valley because they get to see part of the future of the Philadelphia Phillies. I know that hasn't happened quite as often in the past because they've had to fill that gap along the way. But that gap has now closed."
Brundage said that it's really not a change of organizational philosophy that has brought so many prospects to the Triple-A level when Double-A Reading seemed to be the proving ground.
"It all depends on the players," Brundage said. "You want to put the player in the right place. You want to make sure they're not in over their heads and they're deserving to be at that level. Over the years here, they signed a lot of six-year free agents to fill the roster, but now we have young men in our clubhouse who are deserving to play at this level and now it's our job to develop them."
Having players who are ascending to the big leagues rather than those coming back down from "The Show," makes Landes' job of filling up the 8,400 seats at Coca-Cola Park a little easier.
There will always be the thousands of fans who will come only for the so-called "IronPigs experience," and a relatively inexpensive night with the family.
But for people who really care about the player-development angle of minor-league baseball and want to say 15 or 20 years down the road "I was there in Allentown the night Darin Ruf did this" or "B.J. Rosenberg did that," this season may be the most compelling.
It's yet another attraction not listed on any promotional calendar.
"Certainly, regardless of wins and losses, there's a number of guys in our clubhouse who will be in the majors somewhere, if not in Philadelphia," Landes said. "We've had good guys in the past like Andy Tracy and Rich Thompson who fans loved to follow. But as good as those guys were, their careers didn't have the same potential as some of the guys we have now.
"There are guys here now who will be all-stars one day and the fans who come out this year will have the opportunity to say they saw them back when they were IronPigs. And that's kind of neat."