High Five – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Page 2)

High Five is a game review series from Gameops.com reviewing ways teams make their show great. This review is from the Fort Wayne TinCaps on August 30th, 2019 during the final weekend of their season.

4.  Bunn Box Ball Toss

It’s easy to stage every time out from the dugout and have a game full of contests that “feel” alike.  The TinCaps avoid this trap with several promotions, including a great spectacle promotion staged atop their center field Tuthill 400 Club.  The Tuthill 400 Club is unique experience for groups from 20-150 guest, but in-game they use this perch for a contest.

The game pits two contestants against each other trying to throw a softball into a bin that is rolled out into center field. It’s a fun 90 seconds with the host commentating the action…and its so much more compelling due to the setting. Take a look:

Teams have contests every night. It is worth looking to see that your contests start and end in different places, have a range of contestants, and have a varying degree of difficulty. It makes each one a little more interesting and compelling.

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5. Full-Time Staff Make the Best Operations Team

While meeting the PA voice, music operator and video director each were introduced with their game-night role and their full-time job title.  Jared, Melissa and Tony spend their days in the office and game nights in the control booth.  Michael explained the internal knowledge they have from being full time shapes their actions behind the controls, creating a great synergy and a better show.  There is a trust in how they will produce the show, since the each full understand the goals and motivations of the team and are vested in the team’s vision.  “These guys know the team vision and they strive to make the show the best it can be,” which can be harder to achieve with part-time game night staff.

In addition to knowing the team philosophy they also have years of experience together.  This familiar crew is more nimble to make quick in-game changes to the script, all in an effort to make the show shine.

The team meets daily at 10am on game days to run through the script and then take part in a full day of communication about the elements with the goal of having the best game experience possible.

Summary

Since TinCaps moving into Parkview Field the team has created an effective model for their game presentation. Taking full advantage of their park and its layout.  This includes a ticket sales model that dovetails with the ballpark “neighborhoods” created though seating features and concession options. Interestingly they have used data to identify the type of fan at their game and build their show to cater to those fans. With a large majority of the fans coming once a year the team builds a show to offer their best elements nightly.  They fine tune elements for maximum effect rather than spending time and resources trying to recreate the wheel. The TinCaps also put in extra time to make element available every night so these in-frequent visitors don’t miss out on the fun.

Extras

With each we see a lot of fun contests and promotions that don’t make our High Five list, but we like to drop them in so you can see them in action.

The TinCaps had several entertaining contests in-game, including this Lottery Ball Drop. Balls are released from the Press Box level onto the fans below. Balls are batted around by fans and when the music stops, fans can grab the balls. Those who end up with the balls receive a prize from the Lottery (provided they are 18 years or older). Really fun visual in addition to being well connected with the Ping Pong balls in a lottery.

Bonus Coverage – Lottery Ball Drop and Baby Race

Baby Race

The TinCaps held a baby race mid-inning and showed why you can never count on a baby to do anything (ha). On this night the three babies proved to be hilariously uncooperative.  None of them really moved and the fans were left with …. a super funny non-race. This showed part of the charm of these contests with babies, that you have no idea what is going to happen.

Not sure its completely captured on the video, but the crowd responded in a really positive way to this despite the lack of zeal in the racer’s effort.  Really fun segment and it’s unpredictability really added to the show. As I noted earlier it is fun when contest have different degrees of difficulty, different ages of contestants, different stages and different endings.  This added to that, creating a really nice contest mix.

Big thanks to Michael Limmer and Michael Nutter f0r their hospitality and insights.

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