A brief photographic look at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, with some great showcases of signange, sponsorship, and more, and some thoughts on where digital and social media supplementation could be appropriate.
Petco Park and the San Diego Padres - Stadium, Signage, Sponsors, More
First, it's hard to beat the setting for Petco Park in downtown
San Diego. Just a great pic to set the scene, with some clear
digital signage you can't miss. Should there be a hashtag, a
website, a CTA on these brand logo signs?
Because everyone loves to check out the food stands...one of
the basics, here unbranded 'Bayview Grill,' but clear branded
products on the menu. Interesting to note that the branded
items go with either their logo or their name, not both.
Also, not everything is branded that could be; e.g. hot dogs are,
burgers, peanuts, coffee not branded.
The Padres have kept the Western Metal Supply Co. building ad-
free on the exterior (though plenty interior with a
Nice shot of the Petco Park sign, the signs adorning the video
screen [with Seinfeld scene; approved use!] change periodically.
Hard to beat this postcard-ish, picturesque view of the game. Teams
should encourage and facilitate fans capturing/sharing the scene – ie
make a personal postcard using a team/sponsor App, propagate an
#AtTheBallpark hashtag on Instagram; collect best fan pics during the
year to showcase [book/album too?]
Left field bleacher view of Petco Park. Notable is combo of static
and digital/rotating signage and the LED ring exhorting fans to
stream video live from their Verizon device [no At Bat app push or
place to go for video, however].
A right field view of Petco Park. Wonder what kind of beer they sell here?
[Kidding] And Verizon dominating the boards, including prime location next to
out-of-town scores [good place for an App push or CTA].
This also offers a great view of a special Jack Daniel's seating area; a lot of
potential in “branding” sections with exclusive, sponsor-related perks
This is where hungry fans go to fill up if they purchased the “All-You-Can-Eat
Seats.” These promotional seats are a great sell, typically kept low enough
to keep traffic to get food low and demand for the seats high.
Many of the All-You-Can-Eat-Seats I have seen typically have lower class
fare [hot dogs, peanuts]; Should teams also to have 'premium' eating seats
[even one w/ a fixed, gourmet menu] and/or seats that are fed by food
sponsors/brands of the team and venue.
San Diego is well-known as a military town and the military invites young fans to see
how hard they can throw a ball at this branded “Launch Pad” here. The military LOVES
recruiting at sports events; having kid-friendly activities like this, related to the sport, is a
great, easy way to activate. Addition – Provide a way to share/capture/preserve one's
achievement at this exhibit
Nice branded merchandise area located next to the “Launch Pad.” Again, lots of
military logos (though why not also sell themed, camo Padres gear here?) Also
clear Nike logos abound, though not in-your-face Nike branding as much as it
could be. Are fans more likely to want/buy merch AT the ballpark? Sure, so give
them a reason to – ie use it or lose it discount offer.
Completing the military area of Petco Park is a fantastic model of an
aircraft carrier that attracts a lot of eyes and attention. The model is not
enhanced with any multimedia or digital elements. And there is no kiosk
in this area to browse the sponsor [military, in this case] website, social
media, sign up for more info, etc. Cheap & easy way to capture data from
Love this demo
area for fans to
view and test
these golf club
The best way to expose fans to your product
and get them interested? SHOW it off and let
fans see/use it! An underutilized tactic by
brands who instead prefer just banners,
logos, videos, and contests. Running a
contest? Have 3-5 possible product prizes
fans can check out and pick which they
would want to win. Expose your product!
Fans are uber-distracted, especially kids, with so much stimulating visuals at a
ballpark, so the need to stand out and be eye-catching is paramount! Here, local
popular BBQ chain Phil's BBQ has a giant porker [yep, they sell pork] attracting
fans and a phone # to call. Well-done, but why not have a website, text/mobile
rewards club, website, hash tag, instant reward CTA, etc. too? Fans are there,
eating your food, being exposed, grab them and start a relationship while you can!
Not a lot of commentary here, just thought it was interesting to share that
Petco Park has a stand where fans can get gelato and crepes. Should the 7th
inning stretch also signal 7th
inning specials for specialized food/drink at the
venue (not beer so late in the game, of course). Surprised baseball teams,
especially, do not have more consistent in-venue food specials, limited by
time/urgency during stipulated innings.
The area in right field of Petco Park has a lot of nice amenities and
activities, including this large screen letting fans watch the game [since
their field view is obstructed]. WHAT'S MISSING HERE? A nice TV
product attracting tons and tons of eyes and the Pads can't get an
electronics/TV brand to pay for these views y branding this TV?
The “Park at the Park” at Petco Park is kicking all game long with kids and families
playing on this baseball/wiffle ball field, clearly sponsored by State Farm, which is
extremely active in sports and MLB. Love it. Again, a digital supplement would make
sense here – a photo kiosk to share pics of the field/kids playing, a hash tag to go along
w/ State Farm's youth baseball campaign, a website/QR/social page with more info on
State Farm's support of MLB and youth baseball, etc.
One of several walk-by merchandise stands at Petco Park with clear Majestic
branding. MLB stands atop pro sports as having the best suite of mobile
products, but, despite the league-wide licensing with Majestic, no way to peruse
and/or purchase products via mobile to buy/pick up at the game. Would a mobile
app/CTA be a good addition here? Couldn't hurt; even a discount to buy with
one's phone (fan data!).
Along the concourse, one sees this
stand to the left touting the Jr. Padres
kids club and their end-of-season trip
to Disney's California Adventure. This
is what you see; not much attracting
the attention of kids here and no digital
elements to sign up on the spot!
Hidden off in a relatively invisible
corner is this Jr. Padres center
pictured at the right, where one can
get more info, is clearer/more
attractive, and, most importantly,
has computer kiosks to check in,
sign up, and get more info on the
spot! Addition- how about an
interactive game to get kids over
there to begin with...PS/XBox/EA
Sports, then, too?
A look at the Padres Store located at Petco Park and accessible via
the main concourse circumnavigating the ballpark. Despite all the
previously seen branding (Majestic, Nike), there is an absence of
branding here. Would a digital callout – shop.mlb.com, view products
on Pinterest, etc. be enticing/engaging?
A lot of helpful escalators assist thousands
of fans reaching their seats every game,
including to the Toyota Terrace. What's
missing here? So many fans passing
through, so much empty, unused space for
sponsorship, logos, branding, content
marketing, etc. Lots of room for creativity
here (kinda like that seen at airports).
Maybe this is the norm at all ballparks nowadays, but I love seeing the city being given some
good real estate for content marketing; both to showcase the city from a touristic sense and
reinforce the marriage between the city, the ballpark, and the team. Would love to see a
website [and QR code?! Ha] that supplements this visual with more info on the city, the
history, sights to see, special deals on restaurants/attractions, etc. More ROI opportunity in
front of the right demographics. Maybe a website/CTA for tourist info, too?
One of many branded restaurants seen at Petco Park; these are becoming
more and more ubiquitous at pro sports venues and it'll be interesting to see
how these brands capture/use fan data between in-arena and storefront
customers, maximize ROI and track customer lifetime value, and how it all
affects financial models for teams' own concessions and pricing [of food/drink
There are several hot dog concession stands around Petco Park (it IS
a baseball stadium, after all]. If one looks closely enough on the menu,
they can see the small Wienerschnitzel logo, but the brand gets no
mention from the 'Friar Franks' name. But, rest assured, fans are made
well-aware who makes Petco Park's official hot dog – there is a clear
sign like the one pictured above next to several restrooms! Ha.
The official pizza of Petco Park comes from local chain Filippi's Pizza. Much
better showcase and use of brand than in the previous slide as it's clear who is
serving your pizza here. What could the brand do better at this stand? Hand
out full menus/locations, promote their website/social media, offer a storefront
coupon to redeem at restaurant, do a coupon giveaway based on an in-game
achievement (ie a leadoff home run = free appetizer], etc. Brands pay big $$
for this space and should utilize as much as possible!
Uber, recently acquired by
Google Ventures for $258
million, has a lot of these
signs up throughout the
ballpark, but there is no clear
CTA on the sign; ie QR code
to download the App, info on
where to get the App, what
the App really does, etc. Nice-
looking sign, but brands must
assume fans know NOTHING
about them and need to make
becoming a customer as
simple, clear, and easy as
possible. Uber falls short here.
Nice shot of right field at Petco Park shows Sony owning these LED boards
intermittently and the Petco Porch, which is a moniker used by broadcasters
to describe the area of seats next to the foul pole.
Speaking of which...the foul pole is a GREAT ACTIVATION; one of the best in
pro sports as the pole becomes a club shaft for a sponsor golf club. See it?
While the Padres don't do too much between innings in terms of fan
engagement, they do very well here with Verizon promoting tweet-to-screen
photos, collected by tweeting photos @Padres (Instagram integration would be
good, too). This type of promo is becoming par for the course across pro
sports. Bonus idea? Save these photos shown & exhort fans to email/text in to
request a copy of their tweeted photo being shown on the big screen. Facilitate
fan sharing of incidences like this that give them a story to brag about/tell!
Verizon also owns the real estate where in-stadium messages appear like Happy
Birthday, Congratulions..., etc. These are generally FREE to submit (I know from
personal experience...promo proposal!), so why not allow fans to tweet in these
messages earlier in the game, too, and show a few submitted via Twitter? No need to
do separate promos, encourage fans to tweet/text these in too; more activity/data
Another shot of the menu at Bayview Grill, notable to me only because they
offer Gluten Free Beer. Is this popular now? Wonder why a major beer brand
hasn't jumped on being the official gluten free beer of...yet, if this is a growing
Overall, a great night at Petco Park, including an exciting Padres win and some
great weather. As many that have spent any time in sports biz can relate, it is
impossible to attend a sports event now without noticing the promotions, the
activations, and every element of the business side, so hope you enjoyed my
annotated tour of Petco Park!
Petco Park, the Padres, and Sports
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