Theme nights define the fan experience at Minor League Baseball games, providing fun, affordable entertainment for the local community.
Some teams may include three themes in a season. The Reno Aces recently checked off that number in a weekend, pulling off three different fan promotions and video display looks over Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedules. The game-day production team incorporated their main video display and ribbon display into the theme as a focal point to set the scene for fans.
The Aces chose three different themes to entertain fans over the entire weekend: Reno Rodeo (May 31st), Halfway to Halloween (June 1st) and Military Appreciation (June 2nd).
THURSDAY: Reno Rodeo
On the display for the home team, they overlaid cowboy hats and other rodeo props on the Reno Aces players. In the stadium, they had a bull roping on-field promotion with someone in a bull mascot costume.
FRIDAY: Halfway to Halloween
On the display, they overlaid Halloween costumes on the home players’ headshots. In the stadium, they hosted a costume contest for the fans and provided Halloween-themed concessions options such as Frankenslices, Poltergeist Pizza and Tombstone Tots.
SATURDAY: Military Appreciation
On the display, they showed camo-themed display layouts and included a segment where they recognized military members who couldn’t be there in person. In the stadium, they recognized military personnel on the field before the game and had a USA-themed fireworks show.
The themes were decided by their marketing department in the offseason and when it got closer to the scheduled dates, the operations team brainstormed how they wanted to show the themes on the display.
Content creation lasted about a week for all three themes with a few rounds of trial and error to figure out how the different layouts would show up on the board. For the design process, the approach was to start off with the headshot itself since it was the focal point and then design around that.
One challenge the team ran into when designing the content was creating a cohesive look with the display being segmented into 6 zones, also accounting for a static sponsorship that they have to design around on the top part of the board. They achieved this by segmenting their content into parts sized for each of the different zones, allowing each piece of the content to land correctly to create a singular cohesive look when shown on the display.
Once the operations team had the content created, the team turned their focus to getting the content up on the display with their pregame set up. One thing that was easy about executing the show was triggering the content to show up on the main display and the ribbons at the same time. “We can make everything in one button. I prefer a clean workspace, so it’s nice to be able to have one button that triggers the display and ribbon layouts to come up,” said Ali Nerini, one of the graphic designers for the Reno Aces.
The fans have had a couple favorites so far this season: Halfway to Halloween and Star Wars night. After testing out a few new tricks with display content, the production team for the Reno Aces got a few ideas for future theme nights and are ready for future jam-packed theme weekends. On trying new things with your display, Reno Aces Game Entertainment and Production Manager Al King says, “Just go for it! Try out some things and you may be surprised how much you can do with your display.”
Check out all of Reno Aces’ theme night designs so far this season.
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