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Do you ever wonder what extra-terrestrial anthropologists would think of how we behave? I do.

 

All the time.

 

SAP TechEd T-Shirt Cannon 10-29-2013-A.jpg
Maggie Fox (center) fires a t-shirt cannon into the crowd at the celebration of SCN’s 10th anniversary last week in Las Vegas.

But few things get me guessing more about what these social and cultural scientists from beyond the stars are noting about us than the t-shirt cannon. The pneumatic launcher of Western civilization’s most ubiquitous garment itself isn’t what captures my curiosity.

 

It’s the way people in a crowd react to the possibility of catching said garment from the jaws of fate -- or at least the clutches of those in neighboring seats.

 

My first observation of this phenomenon was at a WNBA game years ago. Between plays, people with menacing-yet-festive shoulder-launched apparel bazookas would flood the court, catapulting t-shirts into the upper reaches of the arena. There, spectators jumped, stretched and clawed to get their hands on a $10 t-shirt.

 

Professional women’s basketball isn’t a contact sport. But competing for a garment launched from a t-shirt cannon sure is!

 

I’ll spare you everything that I think alien anthropologists might glean from this, and just give you the top three:

 

  • T-shirts are worth more when propelled through the air by a quick burst of compressed air
  • The size, color and content (message, graphic, etc.) of a shirt are irrelevant
  • Catching the mystery prize conveys prestige, if not wealth and title

 

So it was at last week’s 10th anniversary celebration of the SAP Community Network, which took place just before Demo Jam at SAP TechEd 2013 in Las Vegas. SAP’s new Senior Vice President for Digital Marketing Maggie Fox kicked things off by welcoming SAP mentors, partners, customers and employees.

 

SAP TechEd T-Shirt Cannon 10-29-2013-B.jpg
Attendees of SCN’s 10th anniversary celebration lunge for the precious booty launched from a t-shirt cannon.

“This is such an amazing, amazing opportunity for us to get together in real life this week, and meet the people you spend time with over the course of the year,” Fox said. Then she borrowed a t-shirt cannon from Patrick Flanders and really got the party started.

 

I don’t know if the t-shirts conveyed wealth, title or even prestige to anyone who caught them. But I do know that the t-shirt cannon helped get the crowd amped for the ultimate developer competition that followed -- no matter what any alien anthropologists might think.

 

Derek still doesn’t know anything about the size, color or content of the WNBA or SAP t-shirts launched from the t-shirt cannons, but you can still follow him on Twitter: @DKlobucher. Like this story? Sign up for the SAP Business Trends newsletter here.

 

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