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DASH takes Tulsa Drillers auctions beyond the stadium

Rob Gardenhire is one week out from a major fundraising event, the kind of long-in-the-works project in which development teams are on a high state of alert until the final bids are placed and tallied. But for the Autism Night Special Jersey Auction, which takes place April 30 as the Tulsa Drillers go up against the Northwest Arkansas Nationals at ONEOK Field, Gardenhire said the DASH Digital Auction Showdown app will keep the bids running to the first pitch of the bottom of the 7th inning. 

“We looked for and found a solution with an online auction firm that we did last year for our Star Wars jerseys,” said Gardenhire, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Media for the Tulsa Drillers. “But then DASH came into the fold with a much easier setup and a much easier backend for us, and it offered our fans an app on both iOS and Android, and so we’ve been really excited to use that.”

In past years, the Tulsa Drillers ran their auctions the old-fashioned way: pen and paper. Many organizations still use the old method, but the headaches associated with that process can be painful, especially when it comes down to announcing winners.

“It always worked fine and we always raised a decent amount of money for these organizations, but it was always a chore to staff that table and to wrap people up and stop them from arguing over who has the last bid,” Gardenhire said.

Because DASH’s app takes all the ambiguity out of the results and provided a clean interface for both the client and the participants, it became a natural choice for the team.

“We tested it in the fall with the Drillers and the Roughnecks, the other team we own here, and now we’re moving forward with DASH,” he said. “It streamlines the process, makes it so much easier on our end from getting it set up to the actual implementation in the stadium, because fans can place bids during the game on their phones, and if they don’t have smartphones, they can come to our table and we have tablets there where they can place bids on the jerseys throughout the night.”

The Tulsa Drillers and Tulsa Roughnecks, the city’s United Soccer League franchise, run regular fundraisers throughout their respective seasons for organizations such the Alzheimer’s Association and the Susan G. Komen foundation. Gardenhire said that DASH is particularly valuable to the teams, because it allows fans to bid on jerseys from anywhere. This allows the club to start the bidding at a higher price, which benefits the charity as they receive more more valuable donations at the base bid level.

The Tulsa Drillers are a farm team of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and DASH means that L.A. fans have a chance to bid on jerseys signed by players before they are brought up to “the show.”     

“They’ll be autographed at the end of the game, and that’s a really cool piece for folks who have kids with autism if they support the center and they want a really neat jersey to wear to our games, or our fans who are big fans of our particular players, or somebody in L.A. who is following our top prospects,” Gardenhire said.

  • George Lang