I recently attended another one that is off-the-charts good.
Each day of training camp, the Green Bay Packers players ride kids’ bikes to practice. The players exit their locker room to the American Family Insurance DreamDrive, a bike-lined corridor with kids waiting to get selected by a player. The player will ride the kid’s bike a quarter-mile from Lambeau Field to Nitschke Field, where the team practices. Some players find a new fan each day, while others have a “rider” for the length of training camp.
The tradition began in the ‘60s during the Vince Lombardi era, maybe earlier. Legend has it that the bike-riding tradition started when a few players were hurrying so they wouldn’t be late to practice. The tradition grew from there.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated for Kids last year, Packers’ safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix summed it up:
“I don’t think there’s a tradition anywhere that will top it. Being able to touch these kids’ lives and ride with different riders each day or one person for the season, it’s moving for me, and I think it’s a memory they will have forever.”
Traditions like these can create customers, fans and advocates for life.