To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.
(NECN: Marnie MacLean, Portland, Maine) - The new Boston Celtics minor league affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, are off to a strong start. The team is in second place in the MBA D-League and every home game has been a sellout. The Red Claws are having success off the court, as well. It's morning practice for the Maine Red Claws, at 12 and 6, the new team is showing it can get the job done. While the players take care of business on the court....off the court, the Red Claws brand is proving to be a money maker as well. The team logo features Crusher the lobster---on hats, shirts, banners, even the foam claw. It's not just Mainers....the team ships out orders to fans across the country. To try and capitalize on the logo's success the team has ventured into uncharted marketing territory in the NBA. Case in point, red claw ale....Gritty McDuff's a Portland brewer agreed to make the special beer for the team...started selling at the expo where they play, selling so well...why not sell it in other places as well" So Gritty McDuff's put Red Claw Ale into 22 ounce bottles and started selling it in grocery stores and beverage centers like RSVP in Portland. Even before the displays went up...customers were buying. Thomas Wilson--Gritty McDuff's: "We had boxes or cases of the 22 ounce bottles and people were walking up and taking bottles out of the boxes" The Red Claws get a small residual from the beer sales...but the real value is the added exposure to a whole new audience outside the arena. For Gritty's, it's a chance to introduce a new product people are excited about as well as create a new revenue stream. And while you have to be 21 to buy a red claw ale--there's no age restrictions on a whoopie pie.....or as they are now called...”Hoopie Pies” The Red Claws teamed up with Wicked Whoopie Pie founder Amy Bouchard to make Hoopie Pies....soon to be sold at stores throughout Maine. Amy Bouchard: "Whoopie pies are a fun food and to call it a hoopie pie is an additional fun name it went together well" This kind of product development and marketing is a brand new concept for the NBA--Red Claw general manager Jon Jennings says this is a test case for the league---and everyone is keeping a close eye on Crusher.