Facing the reality of empty stadiums, last month the Kansas City Royals came up with an unusual plan: Fans of the team could become KC Royals “Fanbassadors” by paying $40 for a life-size, printed plastic cutout* of their likeness to be placed in the stands.
*(Where cardboard cutouts once ruled, today the cutout material of choice for outdoor applications is CoroPlast, i.e. corrugated plastic, which is typically extruded in sheets.)
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In addition to making the stands look somewhat populated on video, 50% of the proceeds go to a Royals-backed charity that focuses on COVID-based food insecurity in the Kansas City area. Thus far the Royals have sold 700 cutouts, raising $28,000; of that money, $14,000 went to the charity, and the other $14,000 went to the folks that make the cutouts. The team “didn’t keep a penny,” according to Kansas City’s Fox 4 News.
Not every Fanbassador has paid to have their own likeness printed up. This month sharp-eyed fans spotted famously-dead ’80s movie character Bernie, of Weekend at Bernie’s, in the stands.
Lastly, I’ve gotta say: $350 to make a single printed cutout? That sounds like a pretty darned good business.