In 2022, MLB reported that attendance was down by 6%. Baseball skepticism is high and young fans think baseball is slow. In fact, for the first time since MLB was founded 146 years ago, the league instituted a pitch clock to speed up the games. To change perceptions of the game, the San Francisco Giants tapped nice&frank, a new creative agency launched seven months ago by ex-Goodby Silverstein & Partners execs Laura Petruccelli and Graham North.
nice&frank got honest with the Giants about unspoken truths surrounding their team and baseball as a whole. They started with a two-day Frankshop – a workshop designed to uncover the most uncomfortable truths about a brand with decision makers in the room, to align the brand on a braver way forward. After six weeks of one-on-one interviews with the brand team, qualitative research, cultural deep-dives and creative territory explorations, they huddled in the ballpark, threw away their phones, and went deep.
The result was encouraging the Giants to lean into healthy skepticism surrounding baseball instead of ignoring it. The more you know about the game, the more you love it, so we should stop apologizing for what baseball isn’t and start celebrating all the details that make it what it is. To add to that, Oracle Park is seen as the best ballpark in the league, but many don’t know about all the things that make it special. There’s truly nothing like it, so who better to shine a light on these nuances, than the fans themselves?
The integrated campaign and brand platform, running across TV, social, OOH, radio and more, is called ‘Nothing like it’ and is centered around the perspective of fans. The :60 hero spot is voiced by longtime Giants fan and Bay Area rapper, IamSu! It kicks off with a statement we’ve heard many times before: “Baseball is boring?”
Each of the spots begin with a different sleeping fan in the ballpark, a bold and provocative way to open the conversation. Each film unpacks the nuances of the game, inviting fans to look closer, using close ups and animation to highlight details you would otherwise miss.
Surrounding the film components, the Giants are launching an activation on GIPHY inviting fans to use GIF stickers to put players in wildly unexpected places. Since a baseball field is a natural green screen, nice&frank cut out the Giants’ most epic plays from 2022 and turned them into moments fans could use to create content themselves. Fans can join in and GIF a player for the chance to not only win tickets to the Home Opener, but get their moment made into a digital OOH poster that will run across San Francisco. New players will be added throughout the season and a collection of the best moments will show up in the spots.
Knowing that every person who loves baseball has a friend who doesn’t, nice&frank also developed the Skeptickets program, which encourages baseball fans to tag a baseball skeptic to get a free ticket and invite their friends to see the game through their eyes. TikTok creators will lead the Skeptickets program, a place where the “is baseball boring?” debate already runs deep.
“It was important for us to develop a strategy that appeals to the next generation of fans without alienating the current one. nice&frank helped us face this challenge, by collecting the honest truth of what fans were thinking. The end result is that there’s nothing like the beauty and nuances of the game of baseball or the unique experience at Oracle Park.” Mario Alioto, EVP, Business Operations of SFG
“The truth is anyone who loves baseball, has a friend who doesn’t. We wanted to lean into this tension instead of ignoring it. Launching with a spot that starts with “Baseball is boring” and a TikTok ticket activation called Skeptickets, we’re giving fans the tools to bring their skeptical friends inside baseball for the first time.” Laura Petruccelli, CCO, nice&frank
“We know younger people are key to bringing in new fans to the Giants experience. Part of that is co-creating part of the Giants brand with them. This inspired our GIPHY idea along with our Skeptickets program so we could make every detail, every moment, meme-able or share-able in someway” says Drew Forrest, director of culture & strategy at nice&frank.
“There’s nothing harder for a brand to do than to take an honest look in the mirror,” says Graham North, Chief Strategy Officer at nice&frank, “But also no bigger opportunity than to face those truths head-on. By acknowledging that skeptical fans think baseball is boring, we were able to light a fire under existing fans, while inviting in new fans to rethink a game and a team they’d written off prematurely.”
“I’ve been watching the Giants my whole life. The chance to stand up for my team, to explain why this game is anything but boring especially at Oracle Park, is an honor. There are people who just don’t get it, but hopefully this campaign helps them see the game in a new light. There’s truly nothing like it” Iamsu!, Bay Area rapper and longtime Giants fan.
You must be logged in to post a comment Login