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NSF "Selling it..."- Durham Bulls

07/19/2016 11:04 AM -
NSF "Selling It..."
July 20, 2016 | Volume 14, Issue 11
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Durham Bulls Athletic Park hosts Pokémon Go gamers for an opportunity to catch Pokémon on the field.
By: Emily Jurenka
Durham Bulls
Click the image above to check out the Durham Bulls official website!

Alby Abalos

Dear Faithful Readers,
As you may have seen, Pokémon Go has taken the entire country by storm and is quickly making its way around the world. From young kids to adults, anywhere you go there’s bound to be someone playing. With all the craze around the exciting new game, we thought it would be appropriate to share a story on the Durham Bulls and how they were able to use Pokémon Go to their advantage.
The Durham Bulls capitalized on the Pokémon Go movement by holding an event in their ball park, which allowed “trainers” the opportunity to catch Pokémon on their field. This event drew the attention of many Pokémon fans and generated plenty of buzz for the Bulls.
Alby Abalos
Marketing and Communications Manager

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Durham Bulls


Durham Bulls: "Pokémon Go On-Field Event"


The Durham Bulls wanted to capitalize on the Pokémon Go phenomenon and make it unique to the Bulls organization. Over the Bulls’ last home stand, staff members started noticing there were lots of Pokémon in the stadium. However, most of the Pokémon were on the field, which fans at the Bulls games could not access. The Bulls wanted to put on an event where gamers could access the field and catch the Pokémon there. While other sports teams have been incorporating the Pokémon Go craze into social media content, no team had put on any sort of Pokémon Go promotion inside an arena or stadium. The Bulls wanted to be the first to do so. 



Forum 4 Pak
Pokémon Go has been making it into national headlines recently since the app was released on July 6th in the U.S. Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based reality mobile game that was developed as part of the Pokémon franchise. The objective of the game is to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon. The app uses GPS and camera technology to make Pokémon appear throughout the real world on your mobile device’s screen.
On the evening of Sunday, July 10th the Bulls came up with the idea to host an on-field event related to Pokémon Go. The team knew there had to be a very quick turn around for this promotion and a press release was put out on Monday, July 11th for the event. The idea was to have the Pokémon Go players attending the event walking around on the field. This would enable gamers access to the Pokémon that had been out of reach from the stands. 
The conception and execution of the Pokémon Go event all took place within a 36-hour window. The Bulls modeled the Pokémon Go event after their pre-season and post-season annual fanfest events, which enabled the facilities staff to streamline the process of preparing the field.  The Bulls roped off the infield and the marketing team incorporated Pokémon-themed graphics into all of the digital reader boards. The staff determined what each department would need to work on in order to put together a successful event within a short window of time. 

Durham Bulls
Click the image above to learn more about the event!


During the planning process the Bulls decided they wanted to partner with a charity for the Pokémon Go event, and had a pre-existing relationship with Second Chance Pet Adoption Agency, an animal rescue group. All proceeds from the event went to the Second Chance Pet Adoption Agency. 


The Bulls staff was very happy with the turnout of the event. Not knowing what to expect, the Bulls set a benchmark for success of 200 attendees to the event. Instead, the event reeled in over 600 attendees in the middle of a game-less hot Summer Tuesday. The Bulls raised $3,000 for the Second Chance Pet Adoption Agency and this event was recognized across national headlines as well as generated plenty of engagement through social media. Needless to say the Bulls were successful in drawing people to their park and capitalized on the craze while on break from their home games.


The Pokémon Go event hosted by the Bulls was very successful and fans are asking the team to put on another session. There are currently no plans to do so, but this could change if the demand is great enough. Other sports organizations have been contacting the Durham Bulls to gather information on how the event was planned and executed. We may see other Pokémon Go-related events put on by additional sports teams in the near future.


For more Information, contact:
Matt Sutor, Director of Communications, Durham Bulls | 919.687.6574

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