Today most of New England is still bruised from the Patriots loss in the Super Bowl on Sunday. For the last 48-hours the city that has been spoiled by championships in football, baseball, basketball and hockey in the last decade was numb at the sudden and heart-breaking loss by the Patriots.
You can feel it in the air nearly everywhere you go in the region: coffee shops, restaurants, taverns, schools, and work places.
New England loves its sports teams.
We’re hardy stock here in New England and not known for being thinned skinned, but what do you make of the actions of Pawngo, an online pawn shop headquartered in Denver? This morning the company dumped 900-pounds of butterfingers in Copley Square with a sign bearing the Pawngo logo and a legend that reads (see the photo above):
“Thank you, Wes Welker.”
As many fans know, Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker dropped an admittedly difficult pass from quarterback Tom Brady that could have sealed a victory for the Patriots. During the press conference after the game, Welker was holding back tears and took full blame for missing the catch.
Talk about rubbing salt in the wounds of an entire region. Pawngo even rubbed it in further with a tweet:
“We’re giving Boston a late morning snack to get over Sunday’s loss #butterfingers”
So far the stunt has gotten a big thumbs down as you can see from the sample tweets below:
One wonders what Pawngo was thinking – or if it was thinking at all?
Todd Hills, the CEO of Pawngo, told Forbes:
“Sports are always competitive and there are going to be people who take offense to the stunt, but we hope that the majority of people will see the prank as the light-hearted joke we intended.”
I’m all for pranks and guerrilla marketing techniques, which are quite effective when they are clever and disruptive in unexpected ways. But Hills is delusional if he thinks this stunt was light-hearted. It was mean-spirited and obnoxious at its core. Pawngo is celebrating the worst part of our sports culture, which is to rip the losers instead of celebrating the winners.
Being a poor winner – by degrading your opponent – is much worse than being a poor loser. And what does Pawngo have to do with the Giants anyway? They aren’t even from New York or New Jersey. They are injecting themselves into the Super Bowl narrative by being as odious as possible. All they want out of this is publicity.
Looks like they succeeded, but this is petty marketing at its finest.
What do you think? Has Pawngo gone too far?
Pawngo on Twitter