This season, the Oklahoma City Barons will give away 14 vehicles.
The American Hockey League team tried the unique marketing strategy last season, committing more than $300,000 to new vehicles that someone drove away following every Saturday home game.
The AHL released its 2013-14 schedule on Thursday. The Barons open at home Oct. 4-5 against the Charlotte Checkers. The second home game is the first of 14 car giveaways.
Prodigal, which runs the Barons for their NHL parent club, the Edmonton Oilers, gave away 13 vehicles last season, including two at a late-season game.
New vehicle winners must only pay tax, title and tag. One requirement is they keep the Barons' logo on the side of the vehicle for at least one year.
“People thought it was a shooting contest or they had to shoot a puck into a ridiculously small hole to win,” said Bob Funk Jr., Prodigal chief executive officer. “That wasn't the case. Every Saturday we gave away a vehicle. This year we'll give away at least 14.”
At every Saturday home game, 20 finalists have a chance to win a new vehicle. One week they might have to guess how many soda cans are in the back of the truck they're trying to win. Other times it's pure luck, the person standing on a given number drives away in a new vehicle.
“As the season went on, people got into it,” Funk said. “They loved to stick around during the second-period intermission to see who was going to win the new vehicle.”
Similar to last year, Oklahoma City will play 44 of its 76 games against West Division rivals — the Texas Stars (12 times), Charlotte Checkers (12), San Antonio Rampage (12) and Abbotsford Heat (8).