Milwaukee Brewers Chorizo Lawn Ornament

Spring Madness Kicks Off with the Chorizo Lawn Ornament Scavenger Hunt

In preparation for their Spring Madness promotion, the Milwaukee Brewers announced that the Chorizo Racing Sausage has gone missing and only Brewers fans can help find him.

You may remember last year when Bernie Brewer lawn ornaments were scattered across the state and Milwaukee County parks. Greed ruined the “Where’s Bernie” promotion with many fans hoarding multiple lawn ornaments of the team mascot. This year the promotion was kicked off the day of the event, undoubtedly to avoid the logistical issues of 2011.

The only hint that something was afoot was on Sunday when the Chorizo, part of the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages, was absent from the sausage race.

Bernie Brewers tweeted the winner after the race – “ITALIAN! But wait, someone was missing from the race!? Has anyone see Chorizo!? #WheresChorizo #Brewers

During the 2011 Where’s Bernie promotion the Milwaukee Brewers began releasing clues on May 16, with the scavenger hunt happening on the morning of May 24.

This year, the Brewers took a completely different approach. At 4:55 AM they issued a press release detailing the promotion. In the release, the Brewers stated that 2,000 Chorizo yard ornaments would be available to fans this morning starting at 5:00 AM in a scavenger hunt surrounding Miller Park.

Just a few hours earlier Brewers employees began placing the Chorizo lawn ornaments around the ballpark. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “by 5:45 a.m., cars were lined up along Story Parkway waiting to get into the parking lot. And by 6:43 a.m., all of the lawn ornaments had been snapped up.”

Whereas the “Where’s Bernie” promotion last year had some special prizes, every Chorizo lawn ornament was affixed with a pouch that included game tickets for a Spring Madness game, set for May 21 through May 23 at Miller Park.

There also were three “Grand Prize” ornaments that included:

  1. An immediate breakfast with Hall-of-Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers in the Helfaer Field Atrium.
  2. An opportunity for four to watch batting practice from the field with one person tossing a ceremonial first pitch.
  3. A home visit from the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages for a tailgate party with supplies provided by Pepsi, Klement’s and Miller at a mutually agreed upon date and event.

Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger said “the response from fans to last year’s ‘Where’s Bernie’ event was off the charts, and while we needed to adjust some of the logistics, we knew that this was something we wanted to do again.”

Photo Credit: John Steinmiller

To avoid the problem of last year’s scavenger hunt featuring team mascot Bernie Brewer, this year the Brewers imposed a strict limit of one Chorizo lawn ornament per customer.

If you did miss out on a Chorizo lawn ornament this morning there will be an online dutch auction at brewers.com, beginning on Thursday, May 17 and ending on Thursday, May 31 at 5 p.m., in which fans can bid on five Chorizo lawn ornaments. The initial bid starts at $40. Through the dutch auction, the five highest bidders will each receive a lawn ornament and they will all pay the amount of the fifth-highest bid.

In my opinion, it was nice that the Brewers caught their fans by surprise this year. But it feels like the scavenger hunt found itself on the opposite side of the spectrum. Last year’s Bernie Brewer lawn ornament giveaway had much more build up, and much more coverage – especially in social media channels. It also had many logistical issues. Unfortunately the Chorizo lawn ornament giveaway had very little coverage or fan participation online, yet the day of announcement did limit the hoarding and logistical problems we saw in 2011.

There are four more Klement’s Racing Sausages that could be featured in upcoming Spring Madness promotions. So perhaps the team will fine tune the event even further next year.

What do you think of this year’s Spring Madness promotion? Was it better executed than the “Where’s Bernie” promotion last year? Did the lack of information leading up to the event limit the coverage that the Brewers received? Share your thoughts below.