Cleveland Cavaliers Shoot for New Record
Updated: 23 minutes ago
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Carl Franzen Contributor
(Feb. 27) -- Because nothing suggests "basketball" and "world record" quite like a wearable blanket, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be giving free team-branded Snuggies to upwards of 20,000 fans before the March 5 game against the Detroit Pistons.
Already at the top of the NBA standings with 46 wins as of Saturday, the Cavaliers are also looking to score a Guinness World Record for "Largest Gathering of People Wearing Fleece Blankets." Guinness adjudicator Danny Girton will attend the game at the Cavs' home, Quicken Loans Arena. After he certifies the results, participating fans will receive a Guinness "commemorative magnet certificate," acknowledging their status as record setters.
"It's history in the making," Girton told AOL News. "The really special thing is that it shows just how anyone, anywhere at anytime has a chance at achieving a Guinness World Record."
Cavaliers Forward Anderson Varejao in a Cavs Snuggie
Bruce S. Gates, Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are giving fans free Snuggies before their March 5 game in a bid to establish a Guinness World Record. Here, Forward Anderson Varejao models the garment.
"The Cavs 'XL' season keeps getting bigger and bigger with this attempt to set a Guinness World Record," Cavaliers President Len Komoroski said in a press release. "Partnering with KeyBank and Snuggie blankets to create an event where our fans are an integral part of the success to give Cleveland the bragging rights of a Guinness World Record makes it a community team effort that is all the more fun."
The team's Web site also includes a live countdown clock showing the days, hours and minutes remaining until the "world record breaking event," accompanied by an image of a supremely relaxed, Snuggie-garbed Anderson Varejao, a Cavs star power forward. More images from Varejao's Snuggie photoshoot are available on the KeyBank Snuggie Night Facebook page.
"Any of the other players who want to don a Snuggie along with the fans before game time are more than welcome," KeyBank President Lisa J. Oliver said in an interview with AOL News. However, she understands that they will be in "game mode," and thus are likely to decline the offer.
Oliver said that KeyBank generated the idea for the Snuggie promotion in conjunction with an ongoing partnership with the Cavs, and that a limited number of the Snuggies will be available for free after the game at participating KeyBank branches.
"Being the hometown bank in Cleveland, we try to do something fun, some live events to engage all the Cavs fans out here, and the Snuggie just seemed like a perfect fit for our community and our team spirit," she said.
Cleveland is an especially suitable scene for the a Snuggie-Wearing World Record attempt, given the fact that the state of Ohio's next largest city, Cincinnati, actually holds the distinction of being the site of the "Original Snuggie Pub Crawl" back in January 2009. Since then, the practice of wearing Snuggies with other friends of-age and traversing the neighborhood liquor joints has been been transplanted to numerous cities around the country.
Of course, basketball games and bar crawls aren't the only events that the Snuggie infiltrated after its memorable TV commercial began airing in September 2008. The bathrobe-like sleeved blankets have popped up everywhere from the set of the "Today" show to the catwalk at New York Fashion Week. Specially branded Snuggies have been created for college sports teams, the NFL, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the rock band Weezer. There is even a Snuggie for Dogs.
But how to explain the outbreak and baffling persistence of the "sleeved blanket" phenomenon in the first place? (The Snuggie was actually preceded by several other, similar products with other funny names, like the Slanket and the Freedom Blanket.) Several theories have been proposed. First, there's the initial "As Seen on TV" commercial for the Snuggie, which quickly went viral online and was widely parodied, raising the product's profile considerably. Then, the mainstream media caught wind of the trend and wrote article after article about it.
But if you ask the man behind the Snuggie, you might get a more philosophical answer:
"Every once in a while, a product transcends advertising to become part of pop culture," USA Today quoted Scott Boilen, president and CEO of Allstar Products Group, which "conceived and markets the China-made Snuggie." He is expected to be in attendance at the March 5 Cavaliers game to observe and participate in the world record.
And after reporting sales of about 20 million units and counting, Allstar Products is still feeling very snug indeed. Fans can follow the path of the Snuggie from funky new product to full-bloated pop-culture star with timelines at the Village Voice and Celebuzz.
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