My Minor League
Selling more hotdogs with in-game fantasy sports
My Minor League offers a state of the art stadium experience connecting fans more intimately to the baseball on the field.
Fans draft a personal team of players upon entering the park. Offensive performance translates to coins which are redeemable throughout the stadium.
Deals for late inning concessions are advertised through the app helping teams bolster an important revenue stream.
Stakeholder interviews Experience Strategy UX/UI Prototyping Presentation
Baseball games are long and the average attention span is shrinking. Minor League teams have trouble keeping fans in their seats for more than a few innings resulting in missed concessions and merchandise sales.
Fantasy sports have proven successful at incentivizing fans to tune in to games they otherwise have no interest in. Introducing a fantasy component to the in-stadium experience may offer fans reasons stay for more innings and, therefore, spend more on merchandise and concessions.
My Minor League offers daily fantasy competitions and an arcade style currency to increase fan engagement and concessions spend. Fans draft players from both dugouts and earn points for their performance. Successful managers have their names broadcast over the loudspeaker, displayed on the scoreboard, and earn coins to spend throughout the stadium.
Rewarding fans through player performance
When a player hits a single, they earn their 'owners' a point. When they hit a double, they earn their 'owners' two points and so on.
Push notifications remind owners when a player is on deck, so they never miss a moment to celebrate.
Socializing the stadium-wide competition
Owners with the most points have their names broadcast throughout the stadium and celebrated on social media.
Badges & Trophies
Winners of home series earn points and trophies to add to their collection encouraging more frequent trips to the park.
Increasing spend through contained currency
Points translate to MiLB Coins which are charged to an account. The currency can be used to buy hot dogs, beer, and cotton candy. Late inning promotions are advertised through the app.
We met with the management staff for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants., which offered us a glimpse into the business end of the ballpark.
We then bought general admission tickets to a Friday night game and documented the existing fan experience. We noted key friction points ranging from finding cash for parking, to sitting through long stretches of scoreless baseball. Additionally, we observed the attendance demographics to get a sense of when unique sub-audiences left the stadium and why.
Without a stake in either team, most fans receive few moments to authentically celebrate.
Fans view Minor League parks as a social venue and, being highly influenced by group dynamics, will gauge the group's interest level to determine when its time to leave.
Fans pay for concessions when they believe they are staying for another inning or two even if there is a better alternative outside the stadium.
We identified three unique segments of fans: Socialites, Home Team Faithful, and Adults with Children. Socialites were attending games in great numbers but leaving by the 6th or 7th inning.
1. Socialites: The stadium offers these fans a space to socialize and the game itself comes secondary. Beer is their concession purchase of choice and their spend and length of stay are determined by group dynamics.
2. Home Team Faithful: Few and far between, these fans brand themselves with team apparel, and while they are more likely to stay for nine innings, they are the least likely to purchase concessions.
3. Adults with children: An adult or two accompany a group of children to the ballpark and spend a great deal on concessions as a way to quell their antsy crew. They typically leave early when "enough is enough".
Personas helped us design around core values and preferences that influence a Socialite's behavior. Ultimately Socialites choose to leave games after gauging low levels of energy and interest from their friends.
Design an in-stadium experience that rewards fans for staying longer by integrating the social atmosphere with the events on the field.
Using the persona as a guide, we brainstormed ways in which we could integrate the social experience with events on the field to increase engagement. Fans used their phones often throughout the game, so we wanted to take advantage of the existing behavior.
WIREFRAMES + ARCHITECTURE
We sketched rough wireframes before creating ones with greater levels of fidelity. The information architecture of the app helped us prioritize which user flow to prototype.
I created assets in Sketch and settled on a set of UI guidelines.
With the green light, I transferred assets to Principle to prototype the app for our pitch to the Flying Squirrels staff.
Representatives from the Flying Squirrels front office met us at the stadium to hear our proposal. They were thrilled by our research and insights but were predictably skeptical of the costs of building the application. They believed the audience segmentation was spot on and asked for our research.