Minnesota Twins sells bespoke 1991 World Sequence merchandise to draw followers

Jorge Polanco # 11 of the Minnesota Twins scores a triple against the Chicago White Sox in the eighth inning of the game at Target Field on August 11, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the White Sox 1-0.

David Berding | Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins consider it an energy moment designed to keep fans busy with their product in a bad year while celebrating one of the better times in franchise history.

And it’s similar to a McDonald’s promotion too.

The Twins are capitalizing on the 1991 World Series team’s 30th anniversary by selling a limited number of custom products at an upcoming home game. Items include retro backpacks that cost $ 150. The promotion is limited to purchases made in the stadium. The Twins and Major League Baseball hope this will fuel club engagement in a lost season.

“It borrows from something old and has a new feel to it, so that the younger generation, who are hard to reach, are interested in getting into the ballpark,” said Heather Hinkel, Twins vice president of brand marketing CNBC.

With the McDonald’s approach

The 1991 Twins, led by outfielder Kirby Puckett and pitcher Jack Morris, won a seven-game World Series against the Atlanta Braves on October 27, 1991. It was the franchise’s second World Series in the Minnesota era.

But in 2021, the Twins are 17 games away from first place in the MLB’s AL Central Division. So the competition for a third title this year is a long shot. However, with 81 home games for sale, the club needs ways to get fans to keep attending games at Target Field.

Minnesota Twins outfielder Kirby Puckett # 34 leads the celebrations after winning World Series game seven against the Atlanta Braves at the Metrodome on October 27, 1991 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Focus on sport | Getty Images

It can help to bet that a marketing concept modeled after one from McDonald’s can help.

The fast food empire used the name, image, and likeness of hip hop star Travis Scott to drive sales and engagement around bespoke meals. And Scott became the first entertainer to appear on the McDonald’s menu since NBA icon Michael Jordan (McJordan food) in 1992. Scott also created vintage promotional merchandise.

The Twins mimicked the move locally, working with entertainer and Minnesota-born DJ Skee to design items related to the 1991 championship promotion. Skee, whose real name is Scott Keeney, played in the 1991 World Series games and has a personal bond with the MLB moment.

“It’s a way for us to speak not only to our avid Twins fans, but also to younger fans who are a little more relaxed,” said Hinkel of the partnership with Keeney.

The twins used Winning Streak Sports and Canada-based Herschel Supply Co. to make the custom items. This includes 150 heritage banners, dynasty banners, and pennants between $ 45 and $ 75. The team will also sell 110 backpacks for $ 150 each. It is estimated that the twins will bring in around $ 50,000 should items sell out.

“We’re always interested in sales and want to be sold out, but I think we see the big picture – we created excitement and drove people into the stadium,” replied Hinkel. “Were we able to drive engagement around a product launch?”

Source: The Minnesota Twins

Like McDonald’s with Scott, the twins gave Keeney complete control of the ad design and used his social media followers to generate interest in the game. The Twins expect more than 25,000 fans (capacity approx. 39,500) for Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

“They use social commerce,” said Chris Lencheski, CEO of Winning Streak Sports. “It’s different from e-commerce because social commerce is exactly what McDonald’s did with Travis Scott.

“We have already done enough with the season ticket subscription basis alone; There will be interest. And DJ Skee – his social media followers (Fluid Fan) may not have anything to do with the Twins, they just like who he is or what “he stands for it and they want that because he’s a part of it,” added Lenchesky added.

Lencheski, a professor of sports economics at Columbia University, said the grant took advantage of the scarcity of 1991 World Series items and the collector’s area that was active that year, particularly baseball items.

In 2021, a rare Babe Ruth baseball card sold for a record $ 6 million and a 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card for $ 5.2 million. Keeney was part of the action too. He paid $ 1.1 million for MLB star Mike Trout’s rookie card.

“The collector’s market is exploding,” said Lencheski. “And it’s not just sports cards and NFTs, it’s pretty much anything you can collect and cross in music and sports entertainment and have some level of collectibility.”

If the promotion is effective, Lencheski predicts that more MLB teams could use the concept to increase stadium supply and generate late-season revenue in a bad year.

Meka White Morris, Chief Revenue Officer of the Minnesota Twins

Source: The Minnesota Twins

Quick check for business

The NFL season is just around the corner, leaving the Twins with less than a month to take advantage of their local market with more offerings like this one. With the team near the bottom of the table, fans could start to sign out. The Vikings will also attract attention and spending from consumers.

Former Oakland Athletics Executive Vice President Andy Dolich said non-playoff MLB teams have been using discounted tickets and post-game fireworks to draw in viewers for the past few weeks.

“Late season promotions are extremely valuable as long as they are strategic,” said Dolich. “If you put out just one promotion, fans – just like anything else they buy – will tell if it’s valuable.”

“And you have to look at the risk-return ratio,” added Lencheski. “You’re taking a game where right now every available seat that doesn’t sell has a greater economic risk profile than negative entertainers – that’s a healthy risk.”

The Twins have an average of around 14,500 fans this season, which is 19th in MLB attendance. The latest figure tied to the team’s annual revenue is about $ 111 million, according to Forbes. The corporate partners added in 2021 account for 25% of total sponsorship accounts, and companies like Geico, Ecolab, and 3M Co. have made agreements with the team this year.

On August 5, the twins named Meka White Morris as chief revenue officer. Morris, a former Tappit manager, has worked for teams like the Raiders, Charlotte Hornets, and Cleveland Cavaliers.

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