The Toronto Blue Jays do a terrific job bringing their 80's Nights at the ballpark to life for fans. Check out four (4) great videos below that showcase some of the creative ways the team incorporated an '80s thematic into several elements of their game entertainment.
Consider new ways that your organization can benchmark these tactics to create a memorable night at the ballpark for your fan base! Also, consider approaching one of your corporate partners to see if they would be interested in title sponsoring the night and letting fans relive their brand "in the past" as well! (ala Coca-Cola, IBM, Perrier, Reebok, etc.)
Toronto Blue Jays' 80's Themed Scoreboard Vignette
Minor League Baseball delivers some of the finest, unconventional ideas in all of sports. Here are seven (7) great promotional and entertainment ideas that teams from all leagues can consider benchmarking to enhance the game day fan experience at their venue.
I. Durham Bulls "Rock On" Promotion
The Durham Bulls created an entertaining segment where fans seated along the 3rd base line engaged in a singing competition against fans sitting along the first base line. The team played some commonly recognized rock songs that were easily embraced by the crowd. We should see more of this in Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball! Simple, yet effective.
II. Live Rain Delay Theater Entertainment (Miscellaneous MiLB Teams)
The following clip demonstrates how a series of MiLB teams used a splash of creativity to entertain fans during rain delays and stoppages of play. The performances require some pre-game planning but serve as a great way to demonstrate additional entertainment value for fans.
III. Lake County Captains - "Are You Smarter Than an Umpire?" Promotion Presented by the Ohio Lottery
The Lake County Captains created a promotion replicating the popular show, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" by creating a promotion where fans can test their sports IQ head-to-head against an umpire between innings.
IV. Charlotte Stone Crabs - Closest to the Pin Contest on Golfer's Appreciation Night
The Charlotte Stone Crabs attracted golfers in the local marketplace out to the ballpark by offering a post-game closest to the pin contest that allowed golfers to test their skills hitting a shot from home plate out to a flag in deep center field.
V. Lake County Captains - "The Price is Right" Promotion Presented by BJ's
The Lake County Captains did an excellent job creating a promotion replicating The Price is Right that features three (3) lucky fans being called out of the stands and onto the field to participate for a chance to win prizes.
VI. Lake County Captains - "Build El Burrito" Promotion Presented by Chipotle
The Lake County Captains created a simple on-field promotion where fans have to race to use a series of ingredients to build a burrito. The promotion, presented by Chipotle, served as a great awareness driver that also enhances the fan experience between innings.
VII. Lake County Captains - Michigan International Speedway Tire Race
The Captains teamed up with Michigan International Speedway to create a competition where two (2) contestants had to race head-to-head rolling actual tires used in NASCAR races around the infield for the chance to win ten (10) free tickets to an upcoming race.
The Cleveland Indians recently announced a partnership with BP that is highlighted by a series of promotions in-stadium and at retail.
As the Official Fuel of the Cleveland Indians, BP receives the exclusive naming rights of Indians batting practice and the company is taking full advantage of the designation to enhance the fan experience:
Fans can win free BP gift cards by catching specially marked balls into the outfield stands during batting practice
The first 100 fans who arrive for pre-game batting practice receive a limited edition Indians t-shirt at Gate A
BP will reward select fans with VIP batting practice experiences at 40 home games. The experience includes special on-field access and a gift bag of promotional items
From a retail standpoint, the Indians and BP are teaming up to execute a pretty standard fill-up and win promotion across 215 BP locations in Northeast Ohio. From June 1st to August 30th, fans who fill-up their cars with ten (10) gallons of gas can receive a scratch-off card that provides a unique code. Fans are encouraged to register five (5) unique codes on BPIndiansBaseball.com to receive two (2) free Mezzanine tickets to an Indians game online at www.indians.com/BP.
The Chicago Cubs offer a Newborn Fan Club that allows loyal Cubs fans to purchase a commemorative "Cub for Life" gift pack for future sluggers. The concept of a Newborn Fan Club serves as a terrific non-traditional revenue stream for sports properties that are able to seamlessly weave it into their digital offerings and manage fulfillment through the team shop and/or a third party.
The initiative allows consumers a chance to spend $45 to receive a customized commemorative photo announcing the baby's birth (complete with the baby's name, birthday, and birth weight), a Cubs baby stocking cap, a Cubs "Rookie of the Year" onesie, and an exclusive birth certificate to hang on display. The Cubs even provide fans an option to purchase a wooden frame for $25 to display their marquee photo or commemorative birth certificate. Fans can input all of the required information to customize the piece and manage shipping/handling online.
Teams can look to generate incremental revenue streams through said initiative by affiliating a corporate partner with ties to retail and/or baby supplies. In addition to exposure, corporate partners can also derive value by offering post-purchase discounts, etc.
The Milwaukee Brewers are supporting their 2011 season ticket sales efforts with a "Fantastic 40" initiative that rewards 40 season ticket holders with 40 unique prizes and experiences over the course of 40 days (January 17th - February 15th). The terrific concept rewards all fans who sign up to become season ticket holders with the organization. Once fans' payments are received in full, they are automatically entered in the promotion, which offers some truly incredible prizes and experiences.
The Brewers are promoting the initiative by announcing the daily winners on a digital billboard in Milwaukee and posting an announcement, including a photo of the custom billboard, on their official Facebook page. The live billboard, complemented by a daily Facebook post, serve as a great call-to-action to entice fans and drive buzz in the weeks leading up to the season.
With an offseason of exciting acquisitions, ticket promotions, and fan-friendly incentives, the Brewers organization sold 1 million tickets for the 2011 season by January 19th, matching the earliest date that the club has ever reached that milestone. Season ticket and 9-Pack sales were deemed to be a priority for the club heading into the offseason.The Brewers tremendous "Fantastic 40" prize offerings include:
Sausage for a year delivered by the Klement's Famous Racing Sausages
Your photo on every single Brewers ticket for one game
A game with Brewers legend Gorman Thomas in a club suite
Groundskeeper at Miller Park during a game
Experience a friendly game of catch with a Milwaukee Brewers reliever (10 pitches)
Four (4) games of luxury seating in the Gehl Club, including a gourmet buffet
Autographed bat and jersey from your favorite Brewers player
Take the ultimate slide down Bernie's Slide at Miller Park
$500 in concessions vouchers
A game with nine (9) guests in the owner's suite with Brewers executives
Watch batting practice with five (5) friends in the bullpen
Co-present a jersey to a Brewers All-Star for the 2011 MLB All-Star game
Win a private party in the visitor's clubhouse with (19) guests
Announce the starting lineup over the Miller Park P.A. system
Surprise your sweetheart with roses from the Brewers mascot on Valentines Day
Take a tour and control the Miller Park roof
Sit in the owner's field level seats with (3) friends
Win an exclusive hitting lesson with tips from Brewers legend Dale Sveum
Win a trip to the 2011 MLB Draft, including airfare, hotel, and a spot at the Draft
Win a club suite for (20) with complimentary food
Win pizza for a year from Palermo's
Run the Klement's Sausage Race during a Brewers game
Win a $1,000 private shopping spree at the Brewers team store
A party with Brewers GM Doug Melvin and (9) guests in a club suite
Autographed baseballs signed by each member of the Brewers starting rotation
Opportunity to play video games on the Brewers new scoreboard
A fully catered tailgate for (20) guests, including tickets to a game
A party in the Dew Deck for (19) guests, including food and beverage
An opportunity to manage the Mini Sausage Race for a Sunday game
A chance to sit on a Wrigley Field rooftop with (3) friends for a Brewers/Cubs game
A chance to sit in the owner's box at Wrigley Field (including train fares to the game)
Experience a full broadcast in the Brewers TV booth, including the post-game show
A chance to get a photo taken with the entire Brewers baseball club
A VIP seat at the head table of the Brewers SSH Luncheon
A pre-game dinner and (3) innings of a game in the Brewers press box
A chance to watch a Brewers game live from the control room
Autographed baseballs from each Opening Day starter
A private party in the club level board room
A softball game at Helfaer Field, including food and beverage for (20) guests
A major league contract for a day, including a full uniform plus pay
Are you looking for new ways to entice fans? Are you looking for the hottest new promotions in sports?
2K Sports recently announced that it is offering a $1 million prize to the first person who throws a perfect game in its new release, MLB 2K10. The skill-based challenge marked a unique way to engage fans and drive a significant amount of buzz around the release of the game on March 2nd.
The simple catch? Entrants must record the entirety of their game, either with a camera aimed at the television or recorded digitally. To ensure legitimacy of submissions, 2K Sports is working with Twin Galaxies, a worldwide sanctioning authority for video game high scores and records... And only one (1) person can win!
The chances of a perfect game happening in the Major Leagues? Just 16 perfect games have been thrown in Major League Baseball since 1901 (during a stretch of 160,000 regular season games).
The company created a special microsite to reveal the details around "The Battle for $1,000,000", which included a set of nine (9) detail instructions:
Get a copy of MLB 2K10 for XBox 360 or Playstation 3
Read the Perfect Game Official Contest Rules and Legal Rules Carefully
Print a Copy of The Perfect Game Checklist to Help Ensure You Don't Miss a Step
Set up a Recording Device to Record Your Perfect Game Attempt
Play Your Perfect Game Attempt in the MLB 2K10 Contest Mode in the MLB Today Section and You Must Use the Pitcher That is Set to Start the Game for That Particular Day
Throw a Perfect Game Without..
Making any pitching substitutions
Calling any coaching visits to the mound
Pausing the game
Delaying the game (waiting 60 seconds or more between pitches)
Changing any of the control options. User must play using Total Control Pitching and Total Control Hitting (these modes are set to default when attempting the perfect game)
A Verification Code will Appear After Your Perfect Game - Input That on the Perfect Game Website
Print Two (2) Copies of the Verification Confirmation Page
Send Via Overnight Courier Your Recording Of Your Perfect Game on DVD Marked with Verification Code, Name, and Gamertag to 2k Sports Attn: MLB 2K10 Promotions Team 10 Hamilton Landing Novato, CA 94949
Are you looking for new ways to reward fans based on team performance? Are you looking for ways to make your tunnel signage interactive?
During the 2009 MLB season, Belle Tire and the Detroit Tigers teamed up to create a "Belle Tire Blast Contest" that ties an interactive promotion*to the corporate partner's tunnel signage at Comerica Park. Each time a Detroit Tiger hits a home run into the Belle Tire Blast Zone (the tunnel signage located in right field), one (1) lucky fan's name whose name is drawn that night can win an exclusive prize package.
For a chance to win, fans can either enter the drawing at online or at any Belle Tire location.The exclusiveprize package, valued at $750, includes:
A family four (4) pack of tickets to a future Detroit Tigers Game
A set of four (4) Goodyear Tires
A gift certificate for an Amsoil Oil Change at Belle Tire
Are you looking for new ways to reward fans at the ballpark? Are you looking to create new ticket promotions based on team performance?
This season, the Milwaukee Brewers are running a "Dollars for Dingers" ticket promotion where fans can save $1 off a Loge Outfield ticket (regularly $28) for EACH Brewers home run hitover a 10-day stretch of the season. The promotion offers fans the chance to save a lot of money on their tickets based on the team's performance (if the team hit 28 home runs during the stretch, fans would receive tickets for free).
When the team offered the promotion from June 15 - June 25, the Brewers' power hitters slugged 12 home runs, discounting the price of the $28 loge seats to just $16 ($12 off) during a 2-game July homestand against the St. Louis Cardinals. Earlier this season, the team sold out their Dollars for Dingers ticket inventory in just 30 minutes, demonstratingthe strong support the promotion has received.
Look for more teams to showcase discounted tickets based on team performance!
Are you looking for new ways to draw buzz and excitement during the offseason? Are you looking to create new promotional ideas at the ballpark?
The Winnipeg Goldeyes of the independent Northern League and Hot 103, a local radio station, recently teamed up to create The Amazing Seat Race, a promotion that pitted three (3) select contestants against one another for the chance to win season tickets. The promotion challenged the contestants to sit in as many seats as possible during a 63 minute timeframe.
The winner? Pam Chubinski, a stay-at-home mom who managed to sit in 2,000+ seats using a sliding strategy to outperform the others. Craig Kuhlman, an inside sales rep, placed 2nd with 1,656 seats (a tough 2nd place finish to say the least). For the chance to take part in the promotion, Goldeyes fans were asked to fill out a three page entry form/questionnaire.
The promotion serves as a great way for sports properties to create an inexpensive promotion that leverages their existing assets (empty seats), yet is very engaging for consumers. Teams can benchmark this example by:
Hosting a pre-game promotion prior to their 500th sellout by challenging their fans to see who can sit in 500 seats in the fastest amount of time
Integrate a sponsor like 7-11 by creating a promotion pre-game/post-game where fans are timed sitting in their seats for 711 minutes for the chance to win a $500 shopping spree at a local 7-11 (all participants receive a takeaway) or see which fans can sit in 711 seats the fastest
Create similar promotions that leverage fitness sponsors (by hosting a special challenge for local gym attendees for the chance to win free season tickets)
Check out a clip of the promotional execution below:
Are you looking for new ways to drive excitement at the ballpark? Are you looking to feature an enticing offer that draws new consumers to the ballpark?
The Class A Cedar Rapids Kernals recently offered a tremendous "Million Dollar Monday" promotion that turned the heads of baseball fans throughout the state of Iowa. The promotional night, deemed the "perfect promotion", offered fans attending the game the chance to win $1 million if the team's pitcher threw a complete-game perfect game (getting 27 consecutive outs).
While the chances to win are slim (Yahoo.com places the odds of a perfect game at 90,000-to-1), the offer seems irresistible to fans who have to pay just a few bucks to get into the ballpark to enjoy some quality entertainment. The Kernals were able to effectively tie in a sponsor - Perfect Game USA baseball club/scouting service - to help underwrite the costs involved with implementing the promotion.
While the team didn't end up throwing a complete game, the promotional night served as a great way to get some new fans out to the ballpark!
Are you looking to create a promotion that will drive fans wild? Are you looking for a way to leverage a Sherwin Williams partnership?
The San Angelo Colts of United League Baseball (ULB) are teaming up with Sherwin Williams to offer "Sure-Win Wednesdays". a tremendous promotion that is perhaps the biggest fan favorite at the park. To celebrate the team's tenth anniversary, the Colts are offering a "Sure-Win Wednesday" promotion where if the team loses, all fans in attendance receive a ticket for the next Wednesday's home game (a great branding play for Sherwin "Sure-Win" Williams). In 2008, the team went undefeated each time it held the promotion on a Monday.
Is the "Sure-Win Wednesday" concept more likely to work in the minor leagues? Yes. But would it be possible to implement such an idea in the professional ranks? Yes as well. Corporate partners who offer in-venue fan destinations (e.g. Dew Deck, Gehl Club, Miller Lite Party Deck) could feature a similar promotional tactics for select guests at the ballpark on a particular night.
The promotional concept dates back to 2004 (the Rockford Riverhawks of the Frontier League ran the same promotion). Look for more teams offering a "Sure-Win Wednesday" promotion in the near future!
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