A homerun strategy for fan engagement

By Sara Cullin, APR

Prior to this baseball season, I had the opportunity to hear about the Reds’ fan engagement strategy at the Brand Innovators summit in Cincinnati. By emphasizing themes like tradition and companionship in ways that resonate with various consumer groups, the Reds are growing connections to grow commerce.

So what are the Reds doing to fill seats these days? Michael Anderson, public relations manager for the Reds, shared some insights with me.

Q. “America’s Favorite Pastime” has to compete for people’s time more than ever. How is the Reds organization connecting with the community to fill seats and provide great experiences?

A. Everyone in the Reds organization understands that connecting with our fans is the most important part of our role representing the oldest professional baseball team. Whether it’s at the ballpark or out in the community, creating memorable experiences is why we do what we do.

Q. The Reds seem to offer something for everyone with fan clubs and events for every age group and level of interest. Tell us a little about this strategy and how you’re working to create lifelong fans.

A. Engaging fans of all ages is a strategy that comes from the top of the ownership all the way down. Reds COO Phil Castellini has five kids and knows how important it is to get fans hooked at an early age. The Reds Heads Kids Club (for ages 3-12) will have close to 15,000 members this season. Many of us are parents and want a family-friendly environment for our kids as well. We are very proud of the Pampers Nursing Suite, which is the first-ever dedicated suite at a ballpark built exclusively as a quiet place for moms to feed and care for their babies.

  Q. The Reds are engaging followers on social media channels all year long. How do you leverage the players or various departments of the organization to create content?

A. The more content we can offer about the Reds on and off the field, the more of a connection we build between our fans and the organization. By utilizing players and staff in various departments for content, we are able to provide a unique, exclusive look at the Reds.

Q. What is something new we will see at Great American this year?

A. On Opening Day we debuted a new rooftop area with our partners at Cincinnati Bell called the Fioptics District.

  • The Fioptics District includes the Fioptics GigaBar, the first full service walk-in bar on the View Level.
  • For only $15, a Fioptics District Ticket provides exclusive access to a new rooftop patio, a general admission ticket for sections 408-410, and your first drink.
  • And for Cincinnati Bell Business customers, the Fioptics District includes the Cincinnati Bell Connections SkyBar with seats overlooking left field and the Ohio River.