Double header: star power and tech5 minutes
Baseball buffs attending the 2017 Northwest League vs Pioneer League Minor League All-Star game will be the beneficiaries of their host’s investment in the sporting experience.
The two-day event will be hosted by Northwest League’s Champion Hillsboro Hops, a Minor League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, starting July 31. Hillsboro Hops President and GM KL Wombacher said a big change in the fan experience comes from this season’s tech overhaul including a new right field ribbon display.
Now, when fans want to get up close to the on-field action, stats, scores and promotions around players like Centerfielder Tramayne Holmes and Third Baseman Eudy Ramos, they have a new way to engage. “Providing affordable, quality family entertainment is our goal every day and that was especially so for our newest technology upgrade,” Mr. Wombacher said. “Adding a new videoboard in right field allows us to offer substantially more game information, entertainment and engaging content and we feel our fans will immediately notice the enhanced experience.”
Minor League Baseball teams across the country are turning to technology to creative immersive fan experiences and bring the feel of the major leagues to their stadiums. Panasonic, the integrated solutions provider creating technologies that move us toward a better life and a better world, is collaborating with more than a half-dozen teams using applications that touch almost every aspect of our lives like end-to-end video and content capture, production and immersive display, stadium Wi-Fi, digital shopper marketing and public safety solutions.
The Hudson Valley Renegades in New York
One team official says new technology transformed the fan experience “overnight.” The goal of transforming the fan experience drove the Hudson Valley Renegades to update visual displays to feature virtual scoring as well as sponsorship and replays at the team’s Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, New York. “The opportunity to bring the latest in technology and wow our fans with both an incredible display and a whole new game presentation lends to our passion for providing fresh and exciting game entertainment,” said Renegades EVP & GM Eben M. Yager.
Hartford Yard Goats in Connecticut
Many teams have found that large videoboards and other technology can produce a “wow” for fans as they enter. Hartford Yard Goats Assistant GM Mike Abramson, for instance, said the impression their Panasonic videoboard has on the fans is immediate.
The Hartford Yard Goats of the Eastern League, Class AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, have opened MiLB’s newest ballpark in grand style with a 16mm video board in Left Center Field. The board is one of the largest in minor league sports measuring 79’ wide x 38’ high. On top of the video board is a Dunkin Donuts coffee cup that emits steam after each Yard Goat home run. Additionally, there are right field and 1st and 3rd base ribbons around the stadium.
“When people walk into Dunkin Donuts park, the first thing they always say is that it feels like a Major League ball park,” Mr. Abramson said. “A huge part of it is the size of the videoboard and the LED board.”
Lincoln Saltdogs in Nebraska
Other teams have found that these technology upgrades produce opportunities for advertisers and sponsors to engage with fans in new ways—leading to new revenue streams. In Nebraska, the Lincoln Saltdogs have added two 16mm LED wing boards on their existing primary video board structure in right center field as well as a new LED Speed of Pitch Display in left field. The wingboards measure 11.75’ wide x 11.75’ high and are designed for sponsorship placement.
Lincoln Saltdogs President and GM Charles D. Meyer said the team’s new Panasonic signage, “will give our sponsors the opportunity to use multiple messaging opportunities throughout the baseball season for the University of Nebraska Cornhusker games as well as Lincoln Saltdogs’ games.”
About our expert: Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company’s Director of Minor League Sports David Frost is a MiLB veteran himself, presiding over 1,200 games in various capacities for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, and as a regarded consultant in the sports & entertainment industry.