Never too early: Buccaneers recruiting babies to build their fan base

You gotta start young.

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In New England, we understand the idea of getting your kids into sports at an early age, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have taken it to a new, very strange, level.

The Bucs posted an announcement on their website Thursday — for a promotion that has apparently been going on all month — and they teamed up with Tampa-area hospitals to force newborns into being Bucs fans. Sort of.

Babies born in certain Florida Hospital Medical Group hospitals have been receiving a special "Bucs Babies" package full of Buccaneers swag and "wellness items" in an apparent attempt to increase their fan base.

"Families will receive an official Tampa Bay Buccaneers baby "˜uniform," a signed photo by Coach Lovie Smith and a chance for one lucky family to win a VIP Buccaneers Prize Pack to include 4 Club Tickets, VIP Sideline passes and pirate ship passes to one home game," the Bucs’ 22-days-late announcement says.

"The wellness items included diapers, wipes, creams and coupons courtesy of Walgreens, a bib from Verizon Fios Quantum, coupons from Dominos, product samples from Pepperidge Farm and a free subscription and contest offer courtesy of the Tampa Tribune."

So it seems as though the Bucs have given up on this generation of fans and are simply hoping that they can hang on to the next one. That, and they think of Dominos coupons as a wellness item.

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