The Minor League Baseball team, the Hillsboro Hops won the Northwest League Championship in 2014 and so far in 2015 they are the season first-half title winners for the second consecutive season. In addition to being baseball champs, the Hillsboro Hops are social media champs by continually thinking outside the box to improve fan engagement with their unique and all-encompassing social strategy, one that any team can learn from.
A Social Stadium
The social engagement starts from the moment fans arrive at the ballpark. The first calls to action come in the form of branded Hillsboro Hops flags lining the parking lot and stadium entrance. Callouts include: “Welcome to Hops Nation” and “Is Your Phone Charged? Barley Loves Selfies.”
Moving inside the stadium and after grabbing an official Hops team beer – the Long Ball Ale, from a local brewery of course, fans make their way to their seats and are able to take in the stadium and field as a whole.
Once settled, fans take notice of callouts painted directly on the field. Painted down the first base line is the official hashtag of the Hillsboro Hops – #AllHoppedUp and painted down the third base line is their official Twitter username – @HillsboroHops. These front-and-center painted reminders constantly urge fans to participate.
A Social Game
As the game progresses fan attention is on the field and the scoreboard. Between innings is the expected entertainment including fan favorites such as the Kiss Cam and 7th Inning Stretch. However, the Hops take their entertainment a step further by utilizing the scoreboard screen to showcase the #AllHoppedUp fan content. By integrating a social wall display into their scoreboard big screen, the social posts from all of the calls-to-action fans have been seeing are collected, styled and displayed, further urging participation.
Finally, when the game has wrapped and hopefully the Hops have won, fans head back to their cars and are for the last time saluted by the branded and hashtagged flags. The final invitation to share is with post-game callouts such as “How Many Hot Dogs Did You Eat? We Won’t Tell Anybody”, “Thirst Quenched? Happy We Could Help” and “You Are Now a Citizen of Hops Nation”.
Including their fans in the social conversation, from the moment they step out of their cars and head toward the stadium to the moment they leave, the Hillsboro Hops increase fan pride, participation and community awareness. So many reasons to get #AllHoppedUp.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: How a Minor League Team Uses Social Media to Improve Fan Engagement
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