The coronavirus is limiting how many people can gather in one place at one time, and no industry is more impacted by social distancing than professional sports. The MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL are all planning for fan-less games this season, but what exactly will that look like?Other leagues across the world are providing a clue.
In a recent game between the Hanwha Eagles and the NC Dinos, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) replaced their human fans with stuffed animals, filling the stands with Pikachus, Spongebobs, teddy bears, and more.
This isn’t the first possible solution to fan-less games that the KBO has come up with. In the beginning of the season, they used everything from freestanding 2D cutouts to dressed up mannequins. They even created crowd noises to react to plays out on the field. None of these solutions, however, really stuck with the players or the fans watching at home on their television screens.
The KBO quickly found a better alternative. On June 3, the game between the Hanwha Eagles and the NC Dinos was supervised by an adorable and cuddly crowd of stuffed animals. All of the stuffed animals were sent in by Hanwha Eagles fans, and, once human fans are allowed back into the stadiums, they will be donated to the Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation.
So, if the MLB is still wondering what they should do with their empty stadiums, why not look to Korea for some ideas?
Here at The Zoo Factory, we know our stuffable animals would love to spend a day at the ballpark. If you’re looking for a stuffed animal for your child, thenlook through our website to get started!
Take a walk around the neighborhood and what do you see? Empty streets, shuttered businesses, and cars lining their driveways. However, if you take a closer look, you may see something sitting by a window: a teddy bear.
From the United States to France to Japan, individuals are placing teddy bears in their windowsor in their yards as part of a worldwide ‘bear hunt’ for kids.
Essentially a social distancing form of a scavenger hunt, the game is meant to distract kids from the current stresses of the coronavirus pandemic. Unable to go to school or play games with their friends, most kids can only go out for walks or drives around the neighborhood with their families. So, individuals have started placing teddy bears in their windows, on their porches, or in their parked cars to encourage kids to get out of the house and see how many teddy bears they can find.
In Monmouth, Maine, one parent told her local TV station that the teddy bear hunts help distract her kids from the current crisis: “For about an hour we didn’t think about anything else that was happening in the world. It was just about the bears. The kids sat in the back seat. My daughter kept a tally. We kept looking, and it was only that, and I had completely forgotten what was going on until we pulled back into the yard.”
If you’d like to participate, it’s as simple as grabbing a stuffed animal (teddy bear or otherwise) and placing it somewhere in your house or yard where it’s visible from the street. You can put it in your window, or you can get more creative like this family who had their teddy bears doing activities out in the yard.
These were the words one commentator cheered as 45,000 stuffed animals fell onto the ice at Giant Center, home of the Hershey Bears (the AHL affiliate to the Washington Capitals). In fact, it was a total of 45,650 toys, shattering last year’s record of 34,798.
The Bears took on the Hartford Wolf Pack. What turned out to be an already thrilling game became even more so as the annual Teddy Bear Toss went underway. Just after the Bear’s scored their first goal, the deluge of stuffed animals began. It delayed the game for 40 minutes, and players took their time diving into piles and batting them with their sticks.
Teddy Bear Tosses have become a tradition for many hockey teams across the United States and Canada, but the Bears’ record-shattering tosses are perhaps the most well-known. All of the stuffed animals collected from the Bears’ Teddy Bear Toss are donated to 40 local charities, including schools, food banks, churches, lions clubs, as well as the Milton Hershey School, Children’s Miracle Network, and the American Cancer Society. The team also pairs with CommunityAid, a local nonprofit that donates 25 cents per stuffed animal (up to $15,000) for the Children’s Miracle Network.
As for the game, the Bears won it in overtime, 4-3, making both the children, and their fans, happy this holiday season.
Nothing brings smiles during the holiday season quite like a teddy bear, and the Teddy Bear Toss continues to impress with displays of generosity each year. If you’d like to donate or gift a teddy bear this Christmas, then take a look at our inventory here at The Zoo Factory.
Stuffable animals mean a lot to kids, especially those in need. That’s why we at The Zoo Factory are so proud that our stuffable animals were used in a recent event and donated to the Ronald McDonald House. Learn more below!
We Work Well
We Work Well is a series of events that promote overall health, happiness, and productivity in the modern-day workplace. At their recent event in Pasadena, California, in between yoga sessions and group activities, We Work Well participants made their own Zoo Factory stuffable animals and donated them to the Ronald McDonald House. Not only was this great community service, but it was also a fun and relaxing activity for the attendees of the We Work Well event.
Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House serves families with sick children, allowing them to stay together and close to the medical care they need. The stuffable animals from the We Work Well event were donated straight to the Ronald McDonald House, and will go to the children and family that could use the comfort of a stuffable friend more than anyone else.
If you want to learn more about this event, or about how stuffable animals can be a part of your event, check out the video of the We Work Well event below!