Case Study

Case Study

LA Dodgers

In March 2009, as Dodger Stadium opened its doors to the world for the semi-finals and finals of the World Baseball Classic, the belief that baseball is truly a global sport was never more evident.

Problem: How do you generate buzz for an upcoming season? 

Solution: Use out of home to reach niche markets and remind them why they love their home team.

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Background

In March 2009, as Dodger Stadium opened its doors to the world for the semi-finals and finals of the World Baseball Classic, the belief that baseball is truly a global sport was never more evident. Fans from all corners of the globe and the city of Los Angeles descended upon the heart of Dodgertown to watch baseball players from the nations of Japan, Korea, Venezuela and the United States play the National Pastime. Japan came away with a second straight title, but the most inspiring stories were not played out on the field, but in the stands. Fans with painted faces, tribal drums and oversized flags stood up to sing, applaud and cheer the likes of Ichiro, Shin Soo Choo and Miguel Cabrera - personifying the WBC’s international tagline – “Baseball Spoken Here.” 

The experience resonated with the Dodgers Marketing Department and encouraged them to reconsider their target audience. There was potentially a new market: more than just cheer for their favorite players, there were fans looking for a chance to cheer for their country. 

Goals

The objective was to find a way to embrace the myriad of cultures and communities that comprise the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County and invite them to experience Dodger baseball. Given the numerous niche audiences in the greater Los Angeles area, as well as the national and international fan base, marketing efforts needed to embrace the wide variety of fans, and an understanding both their support of the Dodgers and their interests away from the ball park. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ marketing campaign over the past 10 years lacked creativity and depth. In 2009, a new internal marketing team recognized that the fans had an extraordinary strong sense of loyalty to their team and needed something they could sink their teeth into. Dodgertown was “Their Town” and as individual fans, it was “My Town” and the campaign ballooned from that into “This is My Town.” 

The primary objective for the Out-of-Home campaign was to generate buzz within the marketplace for the upcoming season and create excitement among fans of all ages, races and genders with both the players and Hollywood celebrities. 

Audience

The marketing team built an integrated campaign with a strong Out-of-Home presence in the Los Angeles market that showcased the diversity of the Dodgers fan base both in the general market and the Hispanic market, as over 43 percent of Dodger fans are Hispanic. 

Strategy

The campaign allowed the Dodgers marketing team to pull in personalities from the sports world, as well as entertainment and music, demonstrating an understanding of the fans’ complete lifestyle, not just their Dodger fandom. The first phase of the campaign would depict the Dodgers roster, while phase two introduced celebrities. 

PLAN DETAILS:
Phase 1: Current and Former Dodgers Players 
Market: Los Angeles 
Flight Dates: March – September 2009, April – September 2010 
Out of Home Formats Used: Bulletins with extensions, bus backs (full back), wallscapes, phone kiosks 

Phase 2: Celebrities 
Market: Los Angeles 
Flight Dates: June – September 2009, July – September 2010 
Out of Home Formats Used: Bulletins with extensions 

Results

The Dodgers received over 200 million impressions from the actual media exposure and the press the campaign generated. The Dodgers also led the MLB in attendance with over 3.8 Million fans attending Dodger games in 2009. The Dodgers are currently leading attendance for the second consecutive year in 2010. 

The campaign has been extremely popular with the fan base and the Dodgers have incorporated both online and in stadium applications where fans can put themselves into the campaign and make their own billboard. PRIME TICKET, the television rights holder for the Dodgers, incorporated the Mini Player Billboards into their pre- and post-game shows.