With the Fish Bowl XLVIII victory behind him, Marshawn Pinch has happily scuttled into the post season, where’s he’s enjoying some much deserved relaxation and tank time. And, after all the excitement, we thought we’d give you a peek behind the bubble curtain and share the inside story of how Marshawn Pinch came to be:
Aquarium biologists came up with the original idea for Pinch, noting the similarity between the reticence of Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks running back, to talk with the press and a hermit crab’s propensity to withdraw into its shell. Biologist Kathryn Kegel provided a miniature Seahawks helmet from a vending machine, attached it to a hermit crab’s shell—and a media star was born.
Cartoonist Jim Toomey, creator of the marine-themed strip Sherman’s Lagoon and keynote speaker at our inaugural SeaChange fundraising event last year, provided an illustration of Pinch in “Beach Mode” and the Aquarium began actively promoting the campaign. In the week before the NFC playoff game, visitors eagerly sought out Pinch in his exhibit near Life on the Edge, Aquarium divers showed their Seahawks spirit by wearing jerseys and tossing footballs in Window on Washington Waters, and our sea otters happily devoured Seahawks-themed ice toys.
Promotion intensified in the days prior to the Super Bowl, and the Aquarium’s efforts were rewarded with increasing amounts of media attention. To date, the campaign has been featured on national and local television, radio, print and online outlets. It has generated approximately 11,000 visits to our blog, 12,000 shares, 18,000 visits to our website, 2,000 Facebook followers and 1,000 Twitter followers. All told, the campaign has reached 5.2 million people—so far.
What’s next for Marshawn Pinch? Only time will tell. For now, you can still see him on exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium or visit him virtually via our Pinch cam. He’s also sure to be a major player for the Searocks next season…check our blog, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter for updates! Interested in learning more about hermit crabs? Check out the Seattle Aquarium’s hermit crab fact sheet!
*No hermit crabs were harmed in the creation of this promotion.