SF Giants Ready For New Season: Baseball, Bobbleheads, And Bowling

The San Francisco Giants outlined a variety of celebrations, promotions and special events for the upcoming season today at their annual media open house held at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The team is continuing to embrace the image of the team as a colorful cast of characters who have a strong bond with their fans, as Tom McDonald, the team’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, announced this season’s advertising theme, “All Together, Stronger Together.”

“It really speaks to the truth of the emotional connection between Giants fans and players on the team-the players consistently talk about the emotional lift they get at the ballpark night in and night out,” said McDonald.

“They’re thriving on the energy and inspiration that our fans provide, both during the season, and in the off-season.

A series of new television commercials was presented, some humorous, such as one featuring pitcher Sergio Romo and catcher Buster Posey appearing in a Spanish-language soap opera. Others focused on the connections between the team and their fans. All of them strove to be optimistic about this year’s chances in the pennant races after the Giants failed to make the playoffs last season.

McDonald also spoke to the importance of social media in the relationship between fans and the team. According to numbers released by the Giants, they have two million followers on Facebook, 560,000 followers on Twitter, and 310,000 followers on Instagram.

“Our fans are engaged on a lot of amazing channels to distribute content that we generate, and that our fans generate,” McDonald said. “Many of [our players] are also connected on social media, they’re open to showing a more personal side of their personalities.”

Promotions for the upcoming year will include a variety of bobble head giveaways, featuring the likenesses of Hunter Pence and broadcaster Duane Kuiper, among others, a Hello Kitty Giants plush, a “Farewell To The ‘Stick Night,” and a “Pixar Day at the Park.”

The Giants, who won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, will also pay tribute to a championship team of the past, with a 1954 World Series ring replica giveaway on April 26.

New improvements and additions to AT&T Park were also announced, including The Gotham Club, a private, speakeasy-style social club with several locations around the ballpark offering up different amenities. The name is not the only nod to the Giants’ early years, when the team got their start as the New York Gothams in 1883.

The décor and entertainment selections reflect Hall of Fame manager John McGraw’s penchant for the games of pool and bowling, as a two-lane bowling alley and vintage-style billiards table are now located in the Oracle Suite Level.

A new organic garden, which according to the Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter “is designed to be a showcase for sustainability and wellness,” will be located below the main scoreboard in center field and is expected to be completed by mid-May.

“Fans will have access to come picnic and sit amongst the garden, they can pick herbs-the garden is going to produce a diverse, edible bounty of foods,” added Slaughter.

The San Francisco Giants start the 2014 season on the road in Arizona versus the Diamondbacks on March 31, and come home to celebrate Opening Day on April 8 in San Francisco, again facing off against the Diamondbacks.

Sean McCourt, Bay City News

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