The National Pastime
Baseball has been part of American society for generations. The national pastime is a staple in the country’s history, but its future may depend on its ability to change.
As a rare sport without a clock, baseball’s leisurely pace of play seems to be in direct contrast with consumer preferences for immediacy today. Technology has sped up the world, and never have people so easily and quickly been able to access the content they desire, wherever they are.
The Role of Technology
Improvements to television broadcasts have also made going to the park not as necessary as it had been previously, leading to a significant issue for baseball teams across the U.S.
However, technology can help the game if utilized well. Across America’s heartland, teams are using digital signage to re-engage a new generation of fans. The Toledo Mud Hens and Akron Rubber Ducks, clubs in the minor leagues of professional baseball, have implemented new screens in their ballparks to add to the fan experience. Pro AV solutions are now connecting supporters with their favorite players and organizations, rekindling the connection between team and town.
“The next-gen fan is always evolving in the sense that they’re empowered to actually choose. So, for us, it’s how can we get in the attention game? Because attention is limited with all these consumption options,” Cory Bernstine, Assistant Director, Marketing Strategy and Research for Minor League Baseball said. “We see the game changing, where it’s much more than a baseball game.”
Evolving With The Community
Providing a new source of entertainment to complement the action on the field has kept fans stimulated and given people a reason to return to the ballpark. For the sport to remain a community pillar in cities and towns across the country, it will have to continue to use the technologies of today.
“Baseball is a survivor, it’s not a passing fad. It’s made it through some tough times. It made it through the great depression, it made it through World War II, and it’s still there, it’s always there.” Toledo, Ohio Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said. “It endures, it’s a part of who we are.”
Teams like the Mud Hens and Rubber Ducks who are already using the latest available technology to improve the fan experience will ensure that the game does in fact continue to endure.