The joint promotion featured the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Fresno Grizzlies. In 2014, the IronPigs created an alternate jersey featuring Bacon USA emblazoned across the front. But in 2016, members of the Philadelphia Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate donned the bacon jerseys every Saturday.
“You throw a lot of ideas on the wall and see what sticks,” Jon Schaeffer, vice president of media and communications for the team, said at the time. “I remember thinking the idea was so wacky and so unique that I had a feeling it was going to take off.”
According to the IronPigs website, the amount of bacon sold at Coca-Cola Park doubled, and “…The original bacon cap remains one of the top-selling lids in the history of Minor League Baseball. With widespread interest and publicity, the bacon logo quickly sold to each of the 50 states as well as Australia, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom...”
The Bacon USA jerseys and caps proved to be so popular that another minor league baseball team took notice. The Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple-A affiliate for the World Series Champion Houston Astros, adopted a taco logo for the Grizzlies alternate jersey, and proclaimed California’s Central Valley “Taco Capital of the World” because of the popularity of taco trucks and food trucks in general.
But the real magic happened when bacon connected with tacos. The general managers of the two teams leveraged the brands and logos to create a social media sensation spurred by a nationwide poll with one question: Bacon or Tacos?
In the end, bacon won. To seal the victory, the Fresno Grizzlies were required to wear the IronPigs’ Fighting Bacon cap during a home game against the Sacramento River Cats.