On Sunday, an Arizona minor league hockey team's owner, GM, captain, and marketing director perched themselves atop a scissor lift. They would not come down, they declared, until the team sold 300 season tickets. It has been 94 hours. The team has not sold 300 season tickets. They are still up there. Please send help.
The Central Hockey League's Arizona Sundogs, like many minor league hockey teams, break out creative promotions and gimmicks to fill the arena. The latest, and possibly most abusive for the Coyotes affiliate, is the "Whatever It Takes" campaign. On Sunday at precisely noon, co-owner Brad Fain, GM Chris Presson, captain (and former NHL journeyman) Jason Morgan, and PR chief Lew Rees ascended in a scissor lift at the corner of Glassford Hill Road and Highway 69, in Prescott Valley. They have a pulley to raise food and lower their waste. They have an umbrella to block the desert sun. They have 300 season tickets to sell. Whatever it takes.
It's taken longer than they expected. The sun is strong, and the nights are cold, into the 30s. Spring is remarkably windy in the valley. They're still up there, right now.
Satish Athelli, the Sundogs' merchandise operations manager, is part of their ground support team. He's out there with them in the daytime, but at night gets to go home to his family and his bed. On his Twitter account, he's been sending out frequent updates on their condition and the sales drive's progress. It makes for remarkably grim reading, like a journal from the Donner Party.
So far boys are holding up good .But only 17 sold .Need a few more .I see an overnight or twoin the future .— Catfish Athelli (@Catfish_Athelli) April 22, 2013
Those crazy boys made it though the first night alive !!— Catfish Athelli (@Catfish_Athelli) April 22, 2013
Night 2 realized .I am surprised the big dogs are sticking it out .Over hundred tix now . Need help, support , homemade goodies .:)— Catfish Athelli (@Catfish_Athelli) April 23, 2013
Heading into the lift. To make sure the boys are still alive .— Catfish Athelli (@Catfish_Athelli) April 24, 2013
Wind gust destroy our banner .Quick trip to ACE. ,a couple of pints of elbow grease and we are back up!— Catfish Athelli (@Catfish_Athelli) April 24, 2013
Thumping some tunes.Trying to keep spirits up as the boys are fall down exhausted heading into another cold night— Catfish Athelli (@Catfish_Athelli) April 25, 2013
First pot of coffee is on. A few minutes before five .Hoping today we seal the deal on 44.So close .— Catfish Athelli (@Catfish_Athelli) April 25, 2013
The boys are barely hanging in there . Raspy tired voices. They look visually exhausted.We need to do this today !!— Catfish Athelli (@Catfish_Athelli) April 25, 2013
As of three hours ago, the Sundogs had sold 256 season tickets, 44 shy of their goal. Forty-four tickets away from liberation for those four windblown souls, one of whom (the GM) suffers from acrophobia. Forty-four tickets from escaping their 5' x 8' prison 30 feet in the sky. Say a prayer for the Sundogs.
Update, hour 98: Oh god:
The final weather element.Rain drops ..And 20— Catfish Athelli (@Catfish_Athelli) April 25, 2013
H/t Clue Heywood.