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Five years since the RÖRT Incident

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The day when thousands of wooden spoons were confiscated at the Rogers Centre

A basket at Rogers Centre’s security gate is filled with wooden spoons
Minor Leaguer

For whatever reason, the 2015 Blue Jays decided that they would start celebrating hits by making stirring wrist motions to say that they’re “stirring the pot” or “making a disruption.” And we saw them stirring things up a lot because that year they had a lot of hits.

With the playoff-bound Blue Jays surging in popularity in Toronto, IKEA Canada thought it was a chance for their brand to hop on the bandwagon brandwagon. So, five years ago today, right before first game of the American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers, a team of IKEA promoters handed out thousands of RÖRT wooden spoons that had “#StirItUp” laser-blazed on the handles to fans entering the stadium. They even got one in the hands of centrefielder Kevin Pillar.

Fans were encouraged to tweet out photos of themselves stirring it up in the stands with the hashtag #StirItUp. Unfortunately that never happened because all those spoons were confiscated by stadium security at the gates.

There were baskets full of spoons at each gate and some poor sucker was running around between gates dumping those them into a large bucket. The Blue Jays never did reveal what happened to them but one executive involved with Rogers Centre operations I spoke with called it “one of the stupidest promotions I’ve ever dealt with.”

Small basket filled with wooden spoons Minor Leaguer

The RÖRT never got into the ballpark stands (and therefore on the broadcast) but IKEA did get social media a-buzzing about their aborted campaign, and that got them onto media stories.

I was one of the people who got a spoon confiscated, and at the time I felt that the Blue Jays security were party poopers trying to ruin the exciting atmosphere of the first Major League Baseball playoff game in Toronto since 1993. In retrospect, in light of the incidents of debris being thrown onto the field in game five of that ALDS, it was probably a good idea to have taken them out of our hands.