February 16, 2010 | last updated December 1, 2011 4:32 am

Red Claws' Crusher plays Cupid

Photo/Courtesy Maine Red Claws
Photo/Courtesy Maine Red Claws
Maine Red Claws mascot Crusher delivers surprise Valentines in the greater Portland region

Crusher, the Maine Red Claws' red lobster team mascot, was already perfectly color coordinated when he played Cupid and delivered 10 surprise Valentines in the greater Portland region Friday.

One employee at Quirk Chevrolet in Portland was completely surprised when Crusher showed up and presented him with a dozen red roses, a box of chocolates and a pair of side center court tickets to a future Red Claws basketball game as his co-workers looked on, according to Jana Spaulding, the team's director of public and community relations.

She says she accompanied Crusher as he made his deliveries to women and men in Portland, South Portland, Scarborough and Saco with bouquets of roses provided by Skillins Greenhouses, which has three shops in Brunswick, Falmouth and Cumberland.

The Valentine's package, which included a photograph of Crusher and each recipient of heart-felt love and romance, cost $95. Spaulding says the first-year promotion generated a little more than $1,000, but it also helped the Boston Celtics' NBA Developmental League team gain some more exposure in the Greater Portland region market. "It's a fun way to get our name out there," Spaulding says. "We are still a brand new team."

Spaulding says Abby Pierce, the team's vice president of marketing and sales, came up with the idea very recently. She and Crusher were happy they had 10 deliveries this year, but hope to do many more next year.

"This is kind of a pilot program for us," Spaulding says.

One delivery was made to one woman's home and the rest of the Valentine's Day packages were delivered to men and women at their workplaces. Their reactions were pretty universal.

"They got a good chuckle out of it. To see a lobster show up with candy and roses is not an everyday experience," Spaulding says.


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