business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Last week, Major League Baseball announced that next summer, the New York Yankees will play the Chicago White Sox - at the Field of Dreams field in Iowa, which was popularized in the Kevin Costner-James Earl Jones movie.

For me, a big Eye-Opener.

You want to create excitement? Touch people’s hearts.

And I’d just like to say that I totally agree with Marketing Insider columnist Jon Last, who wrote:

“Creating immersive experiences that put fans into the action or creating virtual environments may evoke an intimacy that has often abated as sports has become more about the biggest stages and athletes have been anointed as unapproachable superheroes or demi-gods.”

The Field of Dreams game, Last writes, “checks the box for both creativity and broader cultural relevance, in lockstep with MLB’s efforts to reach more broadly into audiences that it doesn’t always directly connect with … the concept also makes sense by drawing perfectly from what research for individual teams and sports properties has shown: An added level of intimate access coupled with an innovative yet authentic extension of the core brand can elevate the resonance of a sports marketing activation.”

Last goes on: “The Field of Dreams timing in mid-August occupies a place in the calendar typically void of other major sports competitions, but should also further evoke a nostalgic piece of  the final weeks of summer in America that can reinforce MLB’s differentiated positioning. And the limited number of tickets available adds an elusiveness to the proceedings consistent with two recent non-baseball related studies that drew insights on those elements that make a particular event special and personally relevant.  The Field of Dreams Game’s combination of exclusivity and intimacy follows that road map.”

Plus, it’ll just be fun.

I hope they et Costner to throw the first pitch. And they sure as hell ought to get Jones to say those magic words, live:

People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn into your driveway, not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door, as innocent as children, longing for the past. “Of course, we won’t mind if you look around,” you’ll say, “It’s only twenty dollars per person.” And they’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it, for it is money they have and peace they lack.

And they’ll walk off to the bleachers and sit in their short sleeves on a perfect afternoon. And find they have reserved seats somewhere along the baselines where they sat when they were children. And cheer their heroes. And they’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as they’d dipped themselves in magic waters.

The memories will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray.

The one constant through all the years Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.

I have goosebumps. (Wonder how I get tickets?)
KC's View: