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Concerts, fireworks to highlight Saturday games

markotsay7

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http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/news/articl...sp&c_id=fla

MIAMI -- South Florida has long been considered an "event-driven" market.

With that in mind, Marlins management huddled in the offseason to devise a marketing strategy designed to transform attending Major League Baseball games into must-see entertainment.

One major initiative that is being unveiled in the 2007 Marlins' regular season is "Super Saturdays." Traditionally the biggest attendance draw of the week for Florida, the club now is ramping up the entertainment value for fans heading to Dolphin Stadium that night.

"We're going to fish where the fish are biting, and that's Saturday nights," said Sean Flynn, the team's vice president of marketing. "Saturday nights we know are the strongest nights. We felt if we threw more resources on Saturday night that we would grow that number."

So for the 13 Saturday night home games this season, postgame festivities will include musical attractions and fireworks displays.

The Marlins marketing strategy promises to be on the cutting edge of professional sports teams enhancing their game-day experiences.

Beginning on April 7, after the Marlins-Phillies game, finalists from the American Idol TV show will be appearing on a stage that will be set up on the field. About 15 minutes after the final out, some of the "American Idol Favorites" on hand will be Nadia Turner, Anthony Fedorov and Ace Young.

The list of Saturday night entertainers already lined up are Cheap Trick, Kansas, El Gran Combo, Disco Fever, Jo Dee Messina and Joan Jett.

Booking popular entertainers falls under the umbrella of the team's 2007 tag line: "You've got to be here."

The Marlins finished last in the Major Leagues in attendance a year ago, despite having a team that finished 78-84 and was in Wild Card contention into mid-September. To re-energize the fan base, the team is seeking to maximize its resources to lure in the casual fan.

"It's really a strong call to action for fans because we know they are out there," Flynn said. "We know they are watching, we know they're listening, we know they're reading, and we know they're going online. We know fans are out there. We want them to experience our brand and our product the best possible way, and that's live at the stadium."

With a talented young roster, the Marlins fully expect to contend again this season.

"We know we've got a great product on the field," Flynn said. "Those guys are all coming back. We wanted to bring some more elements into the mix, and make the game experience more compelling. We're trying to make it as interesting as possible, to make somebody turn off the television and make them come to the game and watch it live."

The "Super Saturday" plan is a starting point to boost attendance. At the recent FanFest, the team received a positive reaction to the Saturday night plan.

Tickets to all Marlins home games are available at floridamarlins.com

"We created the concept of Super Saturdays," Flynn said. "We wanted to make sure that Dolphin Stadium for a Marlins game on summer nights in South Florida was the place to be. So you've got to be here on Saturday nights.

"If somebody is looking for an entertainment option, to come out to the stadium and experience Marlins baseball, we've "event-ized" this night. From the minute you come into the parking lot, until you leave, we're changing the way you experience a baseball game."

As part of creating a festival atmosphere, Gate H is being used as a gathering area. The team is dressing up that gate, and calling it the "Strike Zone at Gate H."

The Strike Zone will have refreshments, live music and special guests. Another first is parking lot giveaways, something the team hasn't done before.

Typically, the gates open 90 minutes before the first pitch. But at Gate H, the gate will open two hours before start time.

The Strike Zone will have celebrity appearances, marching bands, performances by the Marlins Mermaids and visits from Billy the Marlin. Current players and team alumni will stop by occasionally. A big screen TV will be set up that will show sports highlights.

Essentially, the team is building a sports bar theme that hasn't existed at the stadium before.

"We're going to create what we don't have here, and that's the neighborhood bar, the neighborhood restaurant, the gathering spot," Flynn said. "We're giving people a reason to come down earlier."

During Saturday games, there will be an emcee to coordinate the night's events.

Afterward, the musical acts will take the stage.

"The postgame, that's kind of where the meat and potatoes are," Flynn said. "We're going to have a postgame concert and fireworks after every Saturday game. All this is included in your ticket.

"It will be a full concert. The time will depend on which act it is. The concert can be anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour and 15 minutes. That will be followed immediately with a fireworks spectacular."

A change from last year is Saturday night games will be at 7:05 p.m. ET, instead of 6:05 p.m. The switch was made to meet guidelines of the league's national FOX television games.

Another time change is Friday. Rather than begin at 7:35 p.m., all Friday home games are 7:05 p.m.. Now, every night game is slated for 7:05 p.m., while Sunday remains 1:05 p.m.

Friday nights won't be as dressed up as Saturday, but that night will have various themes. Some of the ideas being tossed around for Fridays are "Bark at the Park," "Disco Night" and maybe even a "Christmas in July" promotion.

A weeknight game that will receive special attention is June 14 when the Cleveland Indians are at Dolphin Stadium for an Interleague series. Since this is the 10th anniversary of the 1997 World Series, the Marlins will wear championship anniversary patches on their uniforms all year.

The Marlins beat the Indians in seven games in 1997.

For that Thursday, June 14 game, the Marlins will wear replica jerseys to the uniforms worn in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series.

"We will be repositioning ourselves as an entertainment property," Flynn said. "Baseball is our core product. Baseball is the core of what we do. But we're an entertainment property. We're building events."


Having the 25 games for 99 dollars Fri/Sat package, I'm excited about the concerts, especially the Cheap Trick and Kansas concerts.

But I'd like to see them spend money on like...a center fielder or something.
 

pierremvp1

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That's some smart marketing. Good work, marketing department.
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Cheap Trick is also an appropriate group to play.
 

markotsay7

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Cheap Trick is also an appropriate group to play.
Not gonna lie, I LOLed
 

BroncoBob27

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kansas will be fun to see

Seeing that not all Saturday's have been filled I was wondering what other groups will come in. Molly Hatchet? The new Skynyrd? Gotta be more "state fair" type groups for the obvious reasons. Top one would be top named groups don't do after game 45 minute concerts for anybody. And there is nothing wrong with that. Good to see Sean Flynn is actually doing his job and not making some outrageous comments on how attendance figures work out per county. I like the concepts the team is employing here. Even if I won't be staying late or arriving earlier every Saturday. So far Cheap Trick, Kansas, and Joan Jett keeps me in my seat.
 

MarlinFan10

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Kansas and a baseball game is definatly worth the price of admission for a game. I'm there. Decent idea by the team, but the best way to boost attendance is to have an actual stadium and some better known players.
 

MiRi

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I am looking forward to the American Idol finalists. Actually, the only one I really care for on that list is Ace Young... and maybe Nadia Turner.

I am also looking forward to the Disco concert & Joan Jett. Should be fun!
 

FishFanPR

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El Gran Combo is awesome as well...they're probably the best salsa band around!
 

miamibaseball

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my wife want to see the game with concert of Nadia Turner i going to both fri and sat game
 

DcFishFan

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fireworks to highlight Saturday games

They're going to bring back Girardi to sit in the owner's box?

kansas will be fun to see

Florida Marlins' 2003 roster: "Dust In the Wind"

Florida Marlins' 2006 roster: "Carry On Wayward Son"
 

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