The New York Mets went to unusual lengths to help stuff the ballot box for David Wright's All-Star campaign. According to Deadspin, the team partnered with dating site "Cougar Life" -- where mature women meet younger men -- to get the site's members to vote the third baseman for the 2013 All-Star Game.
Cougar Life's female members recently voted Wright over Cole Hamels and Matt Kemp as MLB's "hottest cub." Last week, an employee of the Mets' marketing and communications department decided to take things to another level.
Deadspin revealed an exchange of emails from a tipster with names redacted:
We are trying to help push David Wright into the starting line-up for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field (his home stadium). He currently trails in the voting by 100,000 votes, even though he won your vote as “MLB’s Hottest Cub”. We were wondering if you would be able to blog/post a story asking your users (who apparently admire David and would love seeing him play in the All-Star Game) to go to the below link to vote David and #VoteWrightNow as he needs their help. Voting online ends July 3rd and updates come out once a week, so the more support/posts about David the better. We would be able to share weekly updates if you would like to help push “your cub” into the game and ask your members to #VoteWrightNow @ mets.com.
Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to give me a call if you would like to discuss over the phone.
Thanks for all your help.
A few hours later, a PR specialist with Avid Life Media, owner of Cougar Life, replied with promising news:
Thank you for reaching out to us! We would be delighted to partner with you guys on this initiative seeing as our females are very fond of Mr. "Right"! I'm going to meet with our social media director this afternoon to plan strategy and we'll get back to you later today or Monday with a plan.
Quick question: David Wright is engaged, correct? If by chance he recently became single, we would love to do a "win a date" contest!
Please let me know if you have any questions in the meantime.
PS. Our spokeswoman Marlo Jordan (Miss CougarLife) is doing sports radio interviews across the country this week because of the "hot baseball cubs" survey... there's lots of buzz about David winning top spot!
Cougar Life eventually promised to "blast" about 40,000 females in the New York City area and support Wright's candidacy with blogs and other PR posts. But the campaign was killed when the Mets' employee ran it up the flagpole. Apparently team execs were not ready to pounce on a partnership with Cougar Life.
A Mets spokesperson provided Deadspin some insight via a statement:
"Last year there was a big swing of votes at the end that cost David the starting job. We decided to do everything to make sure that doesn't happen again this year. We ultimately elected to pass. We thank whoever leaked this to Deadspin for increasing awareness of #VOTEWRIGHTNOW at mets.com."