We tried to appeal to the Cleveland Cavaliers, as best we could. We thought we had a convincing case for Elliot playing at least some role in a brilliant promotional campaign — but we didn’t want to take an aggressive or adversarial tone towards our favorite basketball team.
So we took a patient and measured approach.
We e-mailed multiple contacts within the Cavaliers organization on multiple occasions, starting a year ago. We tweeted at the team, the players, and the businesses involved in the promotion, starting six weeks ago: #BobbleheadIdea. We got some friends with more significant social media presence to retweet our message. We reached out to a couple of local news outlets to gauge their interest in the story.
In the end, however, it got us nowhere: no bobbleheads, no tickets, not even a recognition of our existence.
I kind of understand the Cavaliers’ perspective. By ignoring our appeals, they’ve maintained plausible deniability that Elliot’s suggestions ever had anything to do with the promotion. Neither Elliot nor I have the level of notoriety or cachet (on the internet, or in real life) that makes things this story all that consequential. So it’s cleanest and easiest for them to batten down the proverbial hatches and wait for the storm to blow over.
So what did we do? We bought four tickets — at fair market value — to last night’s Cavaliers game. We brought a friend along to celebrate Elliot’s birthday (this has been his preferred “party” for the last several years). And by being one of the first 5,000 in attendance, we got the Larry Nance Sr. Bobblehead — thus acquiring at least half of the set that Elliot had originally imagined.
We always have fun at Cavs’ games. We had a nice dinner in downtown Cleveland. We got some autographs from the players during warm-ups. We yelled our guts out get a prize for Elliot in the T-Shirt Toss. And during a break in the action, we decided to make a visit to Guest Services to see if there was anything we could do to get the Birthday Boy a Larry Nance Jr. Bobblehead to complete the set.
Fortunately, we found a sympathetic ear at Guest Services.
We started by saying that we had tried e-mailing and tweeting at the Cavs, without much success — but we felt like there might be some strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that Elliot might be part of the inspiration for the Larry Nance Sr. / Jr. Bobblehead promotion. Elliot got out his phone to try and plead his case on the basis of old e-mails in his “Sent” messages. But in the end, the woman at Guest Services didn’t even look at the e-mails. She just listened attentively and then kind of whispered, “I got you” before turning around to pull out a Larry Nance Jr. Bobblehead to complete Elliot’s set.
In the end, I think it was a pretty easy ask on our end — and the woman at Guest Services had obviously been granted the power ahead of time to make some people happy. So the boys went crazy and hugged the woman over the counter — and we got a happy ending to our Bobblehead story.