I’ll be honest, I knew most of the people on the list and I thought the new media people were drunk at the time or I knew someone from the inside (to be fair, most know me wearing a costume at Nats Park). One day later, I got an invite, from the Nationals, to attend their party in two weeks. I was discussing with my friends what type of party would of be. I (and others) was think it might be a tasting party trying out the new ballpark food offerings at Nats Park. Some suggested it was a focus group party. It was neither.
On the day of the party, after meeting up with my friends at a bar, we headed out to Nationals Park. We met Kyle outside the players parking lot. He was asking people for their names, except me, because he knows me from wearing the gnome outfit…and my email address. We entered to the Nationals garage on ground floor and was escorting us to somewhere. I assume we were going to the Lexus Presidents Club for a big buffet. Instead, we were outside the Nationals clubhouse and signing a waiver before entering.
When everyone entered to the clubhouse, the first thing we saw was an appetizer section and a bar, then the biggest surprise of the event: each invitee gets their own personalized jersey with the tenth anniversary patch on the sleeve.
In the first half of the event, I was meerkatting to capture the event who weren’t able to come. I was called out and had to stop live-streaming midway through the event (they’re lucky I was not periscoping since the app was released two days after the event and I could save the recording.).
- The Nationals will hold one of these clubhouse social events (or something similar) again this season. Fire up your social media skills.
- Bob Carpenter has an iPhone and iPad, according to F.P. Santangelo. Now watch Bob hire a tech team to build his scorebook app for $1.99
- Also according to F.P., Dan Kolko has moved to Arlington, VA. Yep, he’ll fit right in.
Here are a few pics and videos I took:
— InsideThaDugout (@InsideThaDugout) March 24, 2015
— Tracy Tran (@tracytran) March 24, 2015
— Tracy Tran (@tracytran) March 24, 2015
For this season, the Nats are doing a “Season of Thanks” thanking the Nationals fans for their ten years of support. I want to expand on this because during and after the party, I saw a lot people tweeting and commentating how it was unfair for the Nationals to pick the 27 (21 accepted, 6 declined for various reasons) and why they (or the others) were left off. First, the Nationals intended to be a small party. That is why it was in a clubhouse. If you have a big party, the “specialness” of the event does diminish and this was specifically for “social media influencers.” The second is the selection was subjective. There was no algorithm of how the 27 were selected. The Nats said they selected the 27 of who had the positive impact on social media in regards to the Nats. People mention how the invitees that were selected, were not as loud as they are and supported the team through good and bad times.
As I look at the list again of who got selected, most of the people did one thing from everyone else: they were building a stronger Nationals community. It is one thing to be the loudest Nationals fan, it’s another to help out and reach to various audiences. I know the invitees help raised money for veterans, for the sick, entertain the masses, and other contributing ways. In my case, I post jobs during the game so if Nats fans have any questions about their job search or about the job itself, I can forward them to the right person (and also the costumes help as well).
I will say though I wish they DM each of us and really have a secret party and let audience guess who were the 27 people. Some worried about this regime might forget the season-ticket holders like in past history, and there was some truth to that. If I were the Nats, I would give a sweet gift for the ten-year season-ticket holders like a brass ring or a Pandora charm bracelet (not the cheap ones) for their loyalty. Also, remember in our party, we had no players coming by since they were at Spring Training. For the next group, they might have players signing autographs of a blank jersey or the Tenth Anniversary poster signed by every player on the roster, on the spot, so I suspect the next big gift will beat out a customized jersey. Valerie Camillo, and her team, are trying hard to make the best fan experience for you and in one year, they have done that and they want to expand on that. You can send her suggestions through email or follow her on Twitter @vcamillo_nats.
The Nats have come a long way from having trailer park offices next to RFK Stadium, to Smiley Gonzalez, to the Natinals, to the Andy Feffer era, to today. When I think of “Season of Thanks,” The Nationals were thanking the 27 people who help entertain, give, help, and care about the fan base, alongside rooting for the Nationals (through social media). I think about this in recruiting that supporting and rooting for the company (or in this case, team) helps, but what really helps is what you can do to support the team beyond paying for tickets and cheering on the team. It’s what you do to help out or expand the fan base that matters. So do tweet and engage about the Nationals, but also share what you are doing to help out and grow the fan base. Maybe, you can be in the next #NatsClubhouseSocial.