A Lexington Legends promotion Monday night had millennials shook, but not the way the minor league team intended.
The Legends received plenty of angry tweets from millennials about Monday's Millennial Night and activities like nap time, petition signing and selfies, but the event was not meant to be negative or critical, according to Anne Mapson, the Legends' special projects manager.
"At first (the negative comments were) a little tough to read, but we were looking at the things we were doing and nothing was malicious," Mapson said. "We didn't realize people would take it in a negative way."
During Monday night's game and promotion, the Legends received positive feedback that outweighed the social media backlash, Mapson said.
The Legends paid homage to those in their 20s to mid-30s by handing out out participation ribbons to arrivals at Monday's game. Petitions to make avocado toast the official food item of Kentucky were passed around the ballpark.
A group nap time was provided in between innings and the Legends offered selfie stations, since the ballpark is a #JudgeFreeZone after all, its release stated.
Mapson, who spearheaded the promotion, said the event was conceived by millennials in the Legends office. It was meant as a joke, Mapson said.
"The other generations see these as stereotypes as millennials. We know this isn't true, so we were going to poke fun at it," she said.
Were the Legends trying too hard with their latest promotion? Plenty of millennials felt the Legends were being extra, and they weren't low key about their feelings.
One commenter, Minda Haas Kuhlmann, said of the event: "Lazy stereotypes, going out of your way to alienate fans under 50, butchered attempts at 'hip lingo.'"
Another person on Twitter said "all that's missing is crippling student loan debt and overwhelming anxiety" and another thought a Baby Boomer Night would be a big hit, as well.
"First 10,000 Boomers to blame millennials for anything get a free hat and a bowl of soup," Jessica Ciezki said.
The Legends' millennial staff members were committed. They posed for a photo while staring at their phones or taking selfies.
The Legends announced an attendance of 2,931 for Monday's game, which Mapson said is above average for a Monday. Mapson said fans at the game had a positive reaction to the promotion; the millennials also got the opportunity to run the bases following the more than three-hour game the Legends lost 13-12.
The promotions geared toward the age group won't stop. On May 24, the Legends will have a '90s Night, which will feature a guest appearance from Dennis Hoskins, who portrayed Mr. Belding in "Saved by the Bell."