Hula Figurine SGA
There is something to be said for an original. Unencumbered by past success an original is free to test the acceptable limits, in this case, of professional baseball promotions. Perhaps no other promotion exemplifies the rise in the team's promotional creativity over the past 10 years more than this week's Phillies Collectible, the 2007 Shane Victorino Hula Figurine SGA (6/3/07).
Sure there were others, Benny Agbayani and Sid Fernandez probably being the most famous, but it could be said that Shane Victorino's popularity with Phillies officially put the state on the map (never mind the President). Credit the Phillies Marketing team with seizing on a spark and willing it into a fire. In 2007, they recognized that Victorino's heritage made him different than other players, and though just a first year starter, gave him one of the biggest promotions of the season. And, they hit it out of the park.
The figurine itself is great. Modeled after the classic dashboard hula figurines (typically female), it dresses a barefoot Victorino in a grass skit, while playing a ukulele and flashing the shaka sign. At a glance it seems more suited for a minor league affiliate, but that is part of what makes it so good. The team continued with annual promotions related to Shane and his Hawaiian heritage, but none ever surpassed the creative heights of the original.