2 min Read
June 1, 2012

1 Lesson from Big Duck’s Visit to Citi Field

Meghan Teich

Two weeks ago, after a full day – or more accurately, week – of nonstop downpours (when did we relocate to Seattle?), the Ducks trekked out to the end of the 7 line on a group field trip to Citi Field.

I had been to approximately one baseball game whole life (save for my illustrious 3 week stint on a softball team when I was 10), so I can’t say I was all that enthused about what was happening on the field. But I still found myself having a great time.That got me thinking about what a smart job Citi Field was doing to appeal to different audiences, who come with different expectations.

For the hardcore baseball fans with season passes, of course, there was baseball (well, a little bit of it). Give ’em a poncho and they’ll sit through anything, even continuous loops of some decades-old promo video that was playing to entertain the crowd during the rain delay.

For foodies, Citi Field has positioned itself as quite the culinary destination in the outer boroughs. There are outposts of several popular New York restaurants, including my personal pick for the best burger (Shake Shack!), BBQ, tacos and pizza, not to mention your classic ballpark hotdogs and fries (my personal culinary high or low depending on when you asked).

For those looking to shop, there was a Mets logo plastered on just about anything and everything imaginable. From your traditional foam fingers (we’re number… 3?) to sweatshirts and t-shirts, to scandalous lingerie and not so scandalous socks, if you come with some cash to burn and a desire to drape yourself in blue and orange, Citi Field is the place to blow it.

For kids, there’s everything. Cotton candy and hot fudge sundaes, Mr. Met roaming around, and a chance to see your heroes up close and personal. Not to mention how cool it is to ride the elevated subway alllllll the way out to the middle of nowhere in Queens.

It was incredibly impressive that even I stayed through the rain delay, and was entertained the whole time. Of course, my fellow ducks might have had a little bit to do with that, but Citi Field knew how to keep me engaged, even if it was just easy access to hot dogs, cotton candy, and beer.

Is she ever going to bring this around to nonprofit communications, you might be asking? Well, here it is. At Big Duck, we talk a lot about knowing your audiences, and figuring out how to tailor your communications to different groups, so your message truly resonates. Citi Field is a stadium where you go to watch baseball. Period. But they’ve also made sure that even half-hearted fans have a great time when they come to a game. It’s important that you’re communicating exactly what and who you are, whether it’s a baseball stadium or an animal rights group,  in a clear, consistent way. But the real magic comes in knowing and understanding your audience well enough to move people to action – whether that action is donating, participating in an advocacy action, or buying tickets for a game later that season.

And Citi Field moved me to action for sure, since on the way home, I actually declared, “That was fun. We should do it again!”. Even with soaking wet feet (ugh).

Go Mets! Oh, they lost that night. I think.