[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvfhmabHRv8[/youtube]

Single game tickets for the Minnesota Twins went on sale this past weekend, and it looks like the Twins are on track to break the 3-million attendance level this year. From the Star Tribune:

“We haven’t reached the heights of 2010 or 2011, but demand is still really good,” said Kevin Smith, the Twins’ Executive Director of Public Affairs, who added the team has already sold approximately 2.3 million tickets for 2012, including season tickets. The Twins drew a shade under 3.2 million fans last year after being just over 3.2 million in the opening season of 2010.

Last week the Minnesota chapter of the American Marketing Association hosted “This is Twins Territory” an event with Patrick Klinger, Vice President of Marketing for the Minnesota Twins, and Charlie Callahan, Executive Creative Director at Periscope, tell the Twins Territory campaign story. Here is a recap post, by Ashley Haugen from the MNAMA Blog, with a few key takeaways from the presentation:

The Situation

In 2005 there was low attendance at MN Twins baseball games. In fact, there was declining attendance despite on-field success. Not exactly the best way to “root root for the home team.” Fans also had little hope for a new ballpark, and so were continually faced with watching games in the Metrodome, the 2ndworst stadium sports facility as ranked by ESPN. The goals were to reignite the fan base, restore a sense of pride in the baseball team and in our state and bring these multi-million dollar players down to a relatable level with fans.

The Key Takeaways

1. Get Attention And Be Authentic

  • Advertising and creative collateral were used to bring the message of the MN Twins to the masses. Street banners, bus stop signage, television advertisements and radio spots were all used as creative collateral to gain exposure for the Twins.
  • The crux of the campaign was making the MN Twins, and essentially the sport of baseball, a true “Minnesota” thing. Television ads focused on uniting the great state of Minnesota around a team that was and is uniquely ours.
  • Care was taken to make sure tickets and packaging excited, delighted and inspired fans. Creative collateral was designed to give ticket holders a sense of pride.

2. Branding: Give Them Something To Love

  • The new tagline for the campaign would be “This is Twins Territory.” Appealing to the psychology of a united force, television ads and radio spots often pitted Minnesota against rival teams, with Minnesota trumping competitors. Poking fun at rivals and playing up the “Minnesota-factor” of each player, encouraged fans to defend their home team, which developed a sense of unity in the process. Fans became to embody the message, “This is your state, this is your team, and this is Twins territory.”

3. Take Advantage Of Your Success And Don’t Back Off

  • One of the unique challenges originally faced was creating buzz for a stadium not yet built. How do you attract ticket holders to a future stadium and keep them coming to current games? Answer: Keep positive momentum going. The campaign used increasing fan excitement to encourage new stadium awareness and ticket sales. Their advice? Don’t back off when you’re on top, keep asking yourself, “where can we go from here?”

Ashley Haugen is a PR associate at Axiom Marketing Communications.