About 74 million people attended a Major League Baseball game in 2015, but at many stadiums, fans experienced more than nine innings of baseball. At a time when fans multi-task with their mobile phones while they attend games, MLB teams are working harder to create experiences that keep the focus on what’s happening in the stadium. Here are some ways that teams complement on-field action with some fun in the stands:
Chicago White Sox, U.S. Cellular Field: Elvis Day. Get out your wig, deep-vee neck polyester suit and golden glasses when Elvis Night rolls around every year at the home of the Chicago White Sox, U.S. Cellular Field. Fans don gear covering all phases of this musical icon’s career, including Elvis as a young performer and his Vegas years. In between innings, swing your hips to some of Elvis’ greatest hits.
Miami Marlins, Marlins Park: Public Art Installations. When you head to watch the Marlins play, you’re also treated to a collection of stunning public works of art created by some of the most recognized names in the business. Many of the pieces focus on the sport of baseball, like Roy Lichtenstein’s Baseball Manager and The Pitcher, by Larry River. Others follow a more general theme, like Joan Miro’s Figures Mountains Sky Star & Bird. When the home team hits a dinger, turn your gaze to left-center field to see Red Grooms’ Home Run Sculpture in action.
Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Field: Right Field Swimming Pool. If you need to escape the desert sun while watching the Diamondbacks take on their opponents, head to Chase Field’s swimming pool out in right field. The desert can also be chilly during night games, so you might want to relax in the hot tub instead. There’s a deck for enjoying hot dogs, peanuts, and other concessions as you cheer on the home team. This is one fan experience that you’ll need to jump on early, however: the pool only accommodates 35 people and is often rented out for corporate events.
Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field: The Touch Tank. The 10,000 gallon Touch Tank just beyond right field is home to cownose rays, placed by the team and Florida Aquarium to help raise awareness and educate people about these often-misunderstood creatures. Admission is free to all fans, though there is a limit of 50 people who can be in the area at once.
Visitors can see the rays up close, learn more about them and even feed them after purchasing Ray Food at the concession stands. Proceeds from the sale of the food benefits the aquarium and the Tampa Bay Rays’ charitable foundation. Plus, when a Rays player hits a home run into the tank, the team makes additional donations to area charities and the player’s foundation of choice.
While you may not be able to take your next meeting to the level of these MLB stadiums, the ideas behind major sporting events can inspire you to engage audiences and encourage participation. Events should be an interactive experience where presenters, organizers, and attendees can all offer contributions that make a long-lasting impression.
For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Image source: by Mr.Konerko (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons