The most innovative marketers in baseball (and what you can learn from them)


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The minor leagues have always been a breeding ground for innovative, out-of-the-box ideas to drive attention and ticket sales. And many major league teams and owners over the years have become (in)famous for their marketing stunts.

But in today’s game, the Cleveland Indians may be the most innovative marketers in Major League Baseball. Consider the evidence:

Fan Advisory Council
The Fan Advisory Council is a consultative group of 12 to 14 Indians fans, comprised of both individual ticket buyers and season ticket holders. The group meets once per month during the regular season to discuss anything and everything related to Indians baseball and the Progressive Field experience.

Snow Days
This past winter, the Indians turned Progressive Field into a winter wonderland, complete with sled runs, a harvest maze, skating rink and more. No ballgames? No problem. Admission, concessions, merchandise, tickets for next season. All sold.

Social Suite
Want to write about, blog, tweet or otherwise talk about the Indians on your social networks during a game? Apply for a spot in the Indians Social Suite. Different attendees every game to mix up the experience and the coverage.

Picture Contest
Want your Indians photo featured in future Indians promotional or marketing material? Snap a picture and send it in (and show your Tribe Pride on Facebook and your other social networks as well).

Batting Practice Xtra
Premium seats not good enough for you? Stand behind the batting cage and meet members of the Indians at a game of your choice.

Indians Music Festival
Plenty of stadiums host music events, but the Indians are taking it to another level this year with their own branded Indians Music Festival – featuring A-list musicians as well as an interactive water area.

Now ask yourself these questions for your organization:

  • Are you gathering regular, direct feedback from your customers and fans? Is this ad-hoc or a formalized program that not only captures feedback but recognizes and rewards those who participate?
  • What assets does your organization have that can be monetized when otherwise not in use? How can those assets drive revenue, awareness or other value for the organization?
  • What are you doing to get more citizen marketers to write about you? How are you making bloggers, tweeters and other online influentials feel special?
  • What are you doing to encourage your customers and fans to interact with your brand? How and where are they sharing their connection with your brand with their peers and networks?
  • How are you better monetizing your premium customers? What else can you offer them to further tap into their intense interest in your product, service or brand? What opportunities does your organization have to create and deliver a high perceived value product with minimal actual cost?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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