YOUR ENTERTAINMENT THINK-TANK
Last week we talked to Jim Pfander. In our conversation, he mentioned that Akron holds weekly meetings throughout the offseason to discuss game entertainment and promotions. As part of the meetings they have played “Scattegories” to get the creative juices flowing. I love this idea!! Play games, get creative, steal from wherever you can find inspiration, and run with the ideas that you enjoyed most.
Recently I have fallen in love with three games that can be easily recreated as between inning contests. The first two are perfect with the use of a videoboard but the third doesn't require a videoboard at all.
GAME #1: "HOT BUTTON"
"Hot Button" is a fast tip-of-the-tongue game inspired by Hot Hands from The Ellen DeGeneres Show. (This app has become a guilty pleasure of mine.)
Here's how it works: Your fan contestant will see a picture up on your videoboard and have 3 seconds to identify the person, place or object. They earn points for each answer they get correct in the 3 second time frame. The fan is playing for a prize but your entire crowd is engaged and participating by yelling out the answers to help the contestant. Great use of your videoboard as well and not too hard to find graphics to upload.
IDEAS FOR CATEGORIES:
• People: Athletes (Current & past players on your team of course mixed with the Big League team and perhaps other sports), Famous people (mix in mascots for fun), Musicians, Movie stars, 90’s stars
• Logos: Use sponsors, brands you sell in team store and concession stands
• Places: local, around the world, or just US
• Foods: Concession items, snacks, desserts, fruits/ vegetables
• Retro / Old School: Could separate these or mix: Past Players, logos, Items (record player, walk man…PS. If your interns don’t know what the items are, you know you have a good intern class.)
• Cartoon characters
• Princesses: Real and Disney
• Household items
• Sports/ activities
• Actions: Making bed, Throwing a ball
GAME #2: "LOOK UP!"
This game is inspired by Ellen's Heads Up! There's a physical board game or you can download the Heads Up app. (It will be the best dollar you’ve spent). Here is how I envision this working in Baseball. Pick 2 fans and put them on top of your dugout. One will face the videoboard and the other will face the crowd. They will essentially be playing charades. The fan facing the stands will guess the words shown on the videoboard based on their friend’s clues before the timer runs out! Again, there are many categories that you can create or simply steal from the game.
Check out the video to help you visualize how you might execute this using your videoboard.
GAME #3: "5 SECOND SHOWDOWN"
No, I’m not encouraging a contest where fans eat off of the ground at the stadium! This one is also inspired by Ellen and her game 5 Second Rule.
Here’s how it will work: Pick 2 fans to play against each other OR pick a contestant to do the contest live and then show a recording of how a player answered. You ask simple questions and give them 5 seconds to answer (Timer set with buzzer sound for excitement). The contestants get tongue-tied, silly answers come flying out and laughter is sure to follow. If you have a videoboard this would be great time to focus the camera on the contestant as they struggle to answer super easy questions on the spot.
IDEAS FOR CATEGORIES:
• Things You Do in a car
• Things You watch on tv
• Things You do on your phone
• Brands of cars
• Brands of motorcycles
• Icecream flavors
• Primary colors
• Famous people that go by one name
• Things you buy at the grocery store
• Major League Baseball teams
• NFL Teams
• NHL Teams
• NBA Team
• Colleges in Your State/ or other state
• Dangerous animals
• Fuzzy animals
• Places you go regularly
• States along the coast
• States in the middle
• States that start with the letter M
• Things you find in the kitchen
• Things you find in your garage
• Things that make you laugh
• Disney movies
• Things you do at the beach
• Things you find in the ocean
• Type of flowers
• Things that are red
• Things you trip over
• Things you shouldn’t play catch with
• Things people are allergic too
• Things that you can’t find
• Things you do to get a job
• Things you find in a library
• Things you return
• Things you are thankful for
• Things that are delivered
• Things you give as gifts
• Things you shouldn’t juggle
• Things to wish for
• Things you’d buy if you were rich
• Things you’ll do when you retire
• Favorite drinks
• Types of berries
• Things that are relaxing
• Track and field events
• Olympic events
• Children’s book titles
• Disney Princesses
So, do you try these before a meeting like Akron? Do you play while you stuff pocket schedule boxes? I don’t know but I encourage you to find some time to try these and other games! The next step is taking what you enjoyed the most and practice using microphones and the videoboard. Check out the timing for one thing. How long do 5 second challenges take with intros, outros, buzzers and added laughter?? You might also decide to tweak and use pre-recorded footage like I mentioned with players. Perhaps you’ll have a character that is always the challenger in “5 second rule” or always the one acting out the charades. AND if you decide to do a bunch of ideas like this perhaps it leads to a new “Game Show Host” character at your ballpark?