By: Brian Gainor
There’s a famous saying in Minor League Baseball that “Fun is Good” and even during the toughest of times (the COVID-19 pandemic), MiLB has always delivered for its millions of fans across America.
Over the past 100+ years, MiLB has built an incredible reputation as the leader in the sports & entertainment industry delivering new, fun and innovative experiences and entertainment for fans of all ages in 160+ ballparks and communities nationwide.
But this past week, MiLB took its fan engagement efforts to the next level when it virtually reimagined its Opening Weekend (positioned as #MiLBatHomeOpener) – bringing the fun and excitement of MiLB Opening Nights into the homes of its fans. MiLB successfully launched and executed #MiLBatHomeOpener – a special day of fun online experiences, content and access for fans across America to enjoy.
It’s a true honor and pleasure to get to work with the Minor League Baseball team every day and wanted to share an inside look at how we used the following 4 key ingredients to make #MiLBatHomeOpener a grand slam success in the eyes of the fans!
1. Own a Moment in Time
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing leagues and teams across America to postpone games for the foreseeable future, Minor League Baseball saw an opportunity to reimagine how it could still deliver an incredible Opening Weekend experience for millions of fans across the country.
MiLB set out to create a day-long celebration on what would have been Opening Night, with teams participating and supporting a national #MiLBatHomeOpener campaign executed across the league’s collection of digital and social media channels.
2. Stand for Something
With millions of fans sheltered in their homes, MiLB set out to create a day for the fans – delivering smiles, happiness and access – a glimmer of fun, hope and excitement in a time when fans need it the most.
3. Take a Risk
In a matter of days/weeks, MiLB developed and executed an unprecedented day filled with 9 hours/innings of content and experiences for fans of all ages, including:
- •Features with team executives and mascots
- •Dedicated kids programming
- •Partner and community spotlights
- •MiLB apparel hour with exclusive giveaways
- •Streams of notable games and player spotlights
In addition, MiLB took some fun, creative programming risks that they knew fans would love – weaving in the National Anthem (to start the day), the 7th inning stretch, and a postgame fireworks show.
4. Tell a Story
MiLB creatively integrated its valued corporate partners into the programming throughout the day. The league partnered with Applegate and Stouffer’s around its MiLB Lunch Bites hour, integrated Guardian Protection into Kids Zone Hour, showcased Nationwide’s MiLB: The Road to the Show content series, and partnered with ECHO Tools and others on giveaways and more.
The #MiLBatHomeOpener was a grand slam success with fans:
- •#2 trending topic on Twitter in the United States
- •4M+ impressions across league and team channels (reaching total audience of 78M+)
- •333% increase in total engagements on Twitter vs. 2019 MiLB Opening Night
- •National coverage in AdWeek, Yahoo! Finance, SportTechie, Market Watch
- •#2 national campaign in MiLB history (earned media)
It’s fun to be a fan… and fun to be a partner of Minor League Baseball! We couldn’t be prouder to get to work with the MiLB team day in and day out, making exceptional days like the #MiLBatHomeOpener happen!