Major League Baseball/ MLB Film, Digital MLB FAN CAVE by Hill Holliday


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Industry Sports Teams & Events
Media Film, Digital, Interactive & Mobile
Market United States
Agency Hill Holliday
Editor Liz Colanto
Released June 2012


Cannes Lions 2012
Branded content & entertaiment lions Best use or integration of experiential events Silver

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Branded Entertainment
Category: Best use or integration of experiential events
Product/Service: MLB FAN CAVE
Type of Entry: Branded Entertainment
Category: Best use or integration of experiential events
Product/Service: MLB FAN CAVE
Entrant Company: HILL HOLLIDAY Boston, USA
DM/Advertising Agency: HILL HOLLIDAY Boston, USA

Chief Creative Officer: Lance Jensen (Hill Holliday)
Group Creative Director/Copywriter: Tim Cawley (Hill Holliday)
Group Creative Director/Art Director: Kevin Daley (Hill Holliday)
Designer: (PROD4ever)
Production Company: (Endemol)
Editor: Liz Colanto (Hill Holliday)
Digital Production Company: (MLB Advanced Media)
Digital Producer: Paul Pantzer (Hill Holliday)
Account Director: Jennifer Akins (Hill Holliday)
Account Executive: Sarah Waskiewicz (Hill Holliday)
Director Of Branded Entertainment: John Dukakis (Hill Holliday)
Content Strategy: Tyler Hissey (Hill Holliday)

Describe the campaign/entry
The branded entertainment category, and specifically branded content, is growing each year in the United States. Clients are beginning to allocate significant resources, financial and otherwise, into branded content, which is becoming an integral part of many major brands' marketing mix. The MLB Fan Cave, a content hub for MLB that seamlessly integrates sponsors into the content and OOH experience, is an example of a successful branded entertainment programme that led to a direct ROI for the client. There are no restrictions or regulations.


Major League Baseball came to us looking for an initiative that would showcase its tremendous assets and resources by proactively engaging fans and consumers. Our primary target market was that of non-, casual and regional baseball fans in the 18-34 demographic. Captivating and engaging this demo is pivotal to the long-term health of the MLB brand to help MLB remain relevant among young consumer. Therefore, we set out to create a 2-way conversation with these consumers to with the goal of facilitating a long-term relationship between them and MLB.
The 3 primary objectives of the campaign were to help MLB attract a younger audience, convert team fans into league fans, and bridge new audiences to the MLB brand. Above all else, our goal was to inspire more baseball consumption. To accomplish these goals, we conceived a marketing initiative to highlight the epic nature of MLB—storylines, plot twists, and a sprawling cast of characters—and allowed for the creation of a vast portfolio of topical and shareable baseball content, the first-ever MLB Fan Cave.
The Fan Cave allows MLB to showcase the accessibility of baseball as a modern day entertainment property and reposition the brand within the context of the new world of social media. Essentially, the Fan Cave was MLB’s headfirst slide into social media, allowing the brand to promote content in the places where young consumers spent their time.
Located in the Old Tower Records Building at 4th and Broadway, the Fan Cave physical location is the dream destination for watching baseball and home to Superfan Mike O'Hara and his Wingman, Ryan Wagner. Mike and Ryan watched every single MLB game of the 2011 season and starred in online sketch videos featuring celebrities and MLB stars. They documented their experiences online and interacted with fans on Facebook and Twitter.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective.

The entire programme is built to promote the consumption and sharing of content. Fans can view the action in the Fan Cave while Mike and Ryan are watching games or interacting with players and celebrities. There are several outdoor interactive features including QR Codes that take fans to the Fan Cave website to see content produced based on players and celebrity visits. For example, when David Ortiz of the Red Sox paid a visit to the cave, a video filmed of him interacting with fans in NY generated over 325,000 views in 48 hours after being posted.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible.

Over the course of the season, the MLB Fan Cave produced more than 150 online videos featuring more than 85 current and former MLB players and other celebrities who have visited. Several of these videos have accumulated over 50,000 views on the site and YouTube.
In addition to watching every MLB game of the season, Mike and Ryan communicated with fans daily through Twitter and Facebook. The campaign yielded 100m+ impressions since launch. Fans have also shown to be extremely engaged—with a large percentage of our fans visiting our Facebook page at least once a week while these same fans have also shared site and social content—helping to yield 20% more visits to the website. The Fan Cave social community across Facebook and Twitter truly has turned into a forum for MLB fans to talk baseball and the audience of over 100K are also frequent sharers of Fan Cave content. This base of highly engaged followers represents the new, younger audience Major League Baseball is looking to reach:
- Younger than avid baseball fans - 28 YO vs 45 YO
- Greater disposable income - $80K HHI vs $68K HHI
- Predominantly male - 80%M vs 64%M