"S.O.S.: Save Our Sundogs!" Owner and Management's Stunt to Sell Hockey Tickets, or Die Trying...

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    Apr 25, 2013 6:30 PM GMT

    The Death-Defying Perils of Selling Ice Hockey in Arizona...


    DeadspinOn 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.

    Catfish Athelli (4/21/2013 8:57 PM, via Twitter)So far boys are holding up good . But only 17 sold . Need a few more . I see an overnight or two in the future .

    Catfish Athelli (4/23/2013 10:47 PM, via Twitter)Going strong. !!!!
    @arizonasundogs Less than 100 away . One more cold night on the lift !!

    Catfish Athelli (4/24/2013 11:03 PM, via Twitter)Thumping some tunes. Trying to keep spirits up as the boys are fall down exhausted heading into another cold night

    Catfish Athelli (4/25/2013 8:46 AM, via Twitter)The boys are barely hanging in there . Raspy tired voices . They look visually exhausted. We need to do this today !!

    Catfish Athelli (4/25/2013 2:18 PM, via Twitter)Arizona high desert winds picking up. Staff holding on to ezups . Banners are shredding. This must happen soon !!!
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    Apr 26, 2013 4:26 AM GMT
    They're still up there on the scissor lift tonight!

    Oh, and it started raining on them tonight. Funny thing, if you hang outside in Arizona long enough, it'll rain on ya.

    17 season tickets left to sell as of 4 hours ago. Good luck to them again tonight! Are there vultures in Prescott Valley? Just wondering...
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    Apr 26, 2013 2:56 PM GMT

    DeadspinYesterday we brought you the story of a minor league hockey ticket promotion that has turned into a test of endurance. The sun has risen, we've hit hour 115, and the prisoners remain aloft until the Sundogs can hit their season ticket quota. But they're oh-so-close.

    On Sunday, four representatives of the CHL's Arizona Sundogs—the owner, the GM, the marketing director, and former NHL journeyman Jason Morgan—went up in a scissor lift. They wouldn't come down, they vowed, until the team sold 300 season tickets. (The cheapest plan is $389.) It took maybe a little longer than expected. The boys went to bed last night just 17 away from freedom.

    Very much related: It's 38 degrees in Prescott Valley, Ariz., right now. It's expected to get as high as 81 today. Rain is in the forecast.
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    Apr 26, 2013 4:07 PM GMT
    The long national nightmare is over!

    Arizona Sundogs (4/26/2013 11:43 AM via Twitter)We have officially reached our goal! Thank you to everyone who came out and showed their support. We couldn't have done it without you!
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    May 12, 2013 3:44 AM GMT
    If Arizonians will buy Filiberto's, they'll buy anything.