Sundogs go over the top in scissor-lift ticket campaign
After garnering international attention Thursday, a five-day ordeal atop a 33-foot scissor lift came to an end Friday morning for four representatives of the Arizona Sundogs minor-league hockey franchise.
It took 120 hours, but Sundogs general manager Chris Presson, co-owner Brad Fain, team captain Jason Morgan and public relations director Lew Rees finally got to rejoin civilization at noon (Pacific time), coming down from their temporary elevated home, where they had planted themselves until the team sold 300 season tickets.
Actually, the 300th season ticket sold around 8:45 a.m. Friday, meaning it took about 117 hours to complete the "Whatever it Takes" campaign promotion Presson hatched about a week before the group first climbed into the lift around noon last Sunday.
But hey, after being confined to roughly 40 square feet in the sky, what's another three hours? The men opted to stick around as tickets continued to sell beyond the goal -- 310 at last count.
Presson, who's afraid of heights, proposed the stunt to the Sundogs management team in hopes of getting a good start on the team's offseason goal of increasing season ticket holders to 1,000 after having about 600 last season. The Sundogs are a minor league affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes, playing in the Central Hockey League and based in Prescott Valley, Ariz.
Once Presson had convinced the group to get on board with the idea, they hoped it would take two or three days. Instead it turned into a five-day endurance test. The men ate and slept atop the lift, only coming down to use the bathroom every four to six hours or so. They received meals via a pulley system, all the while enduring temperatures in the 80s during the day and the 30s overnight, along with consistent strong winds.
After getting local, national and international coverage on Thursday, the final push happened quickly. They were 17 short when the sun rose Friday morning, and less than three hours later, they were home free.