PULSE: Star Wars Night (Page 6)

Star Wars Nights are a sports marketing phenomenon. We take the Pulse from dozens of teams with examples, insights and inspiration to make your fans feel the Power of the Force!

What other elements have you create to connect with the Star Wars Theme?

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Here is where teams really showcase their creative force.

The Portland Sea Dogs change bats to light sabers on video board.  Their group welcome is like the opening credits of Star Wars scroll.  They have also added BB8 and Tauntaun races as well, to make each in-game promotion connected to the theme.

The Utah Grizzlies have used the Live Action characters to add to their starting lineups, recently coming out with lightsabers to welcome players.

An intergalactic Photo Booth and Cantina Photo Booth have been featured at the War Memorial Coliseum for the Fort Wayne Komets.  They also have patrolled the concourses with an authentic R2D2 droid.

Cyclones Star Wars Night Kootenay Ice vs Vancouver Giants
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The Stockton/Sacramento Kings have a playful addition to their PA scripting as well.  They adjust scripts adding Star Wars references along the way, even adding some Yoda-esque verbiage.

Ontario Reign fans are also treated to intermission performances by the Star Wars characters.

Star Wars Night at Tiger Stadium

The Brooklyn Cyclones even offer “Jedi Training” for fans.

In-Game Contests

In MILB, the Buffalo Bisons’ use their Star Wars Night to create a storyline arc that plays out during the entire game, using the visiting characters and team mascots to tell a multi-inning story.  We discuss Buffalo’s night on the February 2019 Podcast.

February 2019 Podcast

What is your favorite part/element of your Star Wars Night?

Star Wars Nights have become a huge creative outlet for many front offices.  Fans are not alone enjoying the characters, storylines and convergence of sports fans and Fandalorians.  Our survey asked these team executives what parts of the Star War promotion was their favorite as well.

Will Sadler from Bismarck noted the moment when “…everyone has their lightsabers lit up and the ballpark lights go off before the firework show. Fan use them all together, glowing, to start the epic firework show following the game.”

The lightsabers lit up for the custom Star Wars introductions is also a highlight for the front office of the Lakeland Magic.

The Wookiee was impressive. Most impressive.

One Ontario staffer loves the fan involvement, and another is a huge Star Wars fan and the night is always among their favorites of the season.

The most enthusiastic and common response from teams including thee Sea Dogs, Cougars, Mudhens, Cyclones and Kings was a love for what the 501st Legion costumed characters add to the experience.

Anything else you’d like to share about your Star Wars Night efforts?

The Ontario Reign added that they have found great value green screening the characters.

Annie Merovich from the Reign explained “When partnering with Lucasfilm, they will send you a link to materials, including green screen materials such as the Millennium Falcon flying. You can also find some on youtube or create it yourself by greening out the area you don’t want. We put them over live shots of crowd or players.”

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Did you contact LucasFilms to work though any permissions/rights questions?

All our teams added they work with LucasFilms to clear all the elements and ideas.  It has been widely commented on that the LucasFilms group is great to work with and helpful in many ways to maximize the connection between the games and the movie intellectual properties.

Any promotion that involves copyrighted material requires a willing partner on the other side. Minor league budgets are tight, so teams really have to be judicious where they spend their money. That’s just another reason Star Wars was such a good fit in the minors: not only does Lucasfilm provide what a representative called an official tool kit filled with Star Wars content, they do it for free.

“When they give you permission, you get the full gamut,” Bryan Holland, P-Nats General Manager, told WTOP. “You get a media kit, you can use the logos. They’re extremely interested in making sure that the execution on the back end is done in their vision, and rightfully so.”

Lucasfilm even gives advice on what might be most profitable, even though they don’t see any money from the promotions.  (from WTOP story)

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