How the Boston Red Sox Capitalized on a Cultural Phenomenon

How the Boston Red Sox Capitalized on a Cultural Phenomenon

January 9, 2024

The Challenge

With the season winding down, the Boston Red Sox were looking for an exciting and newsworthy way to keep fans engaged and bring new visitors through the historic gates of Fenway Park. Theme nights are a tried-and-true technique for achieving this: you get a cross-pollination effect with an already established fan base, piggybacking off its existence to funnel some new fans into your own database. And in the summer of 2023, there was no fan base more rabid than Barbie’s. The film took the world and box office by storm, and after some rapid-fire brainstorming, the Red Sox decided to put together a Barbie Theme Night to capitalize on the zeitgeist.

The Solution

After extensive liaising with both Warner Brothers and Mattel, the Red Sox were able to put together a Barbie Night at the newly minted (Ken)way Park. The entire plan came together in just 45 days from inception to game day; unsurprisingly, there were a lot of hoops to jump through to make the event something that all parties were happy with, and FEVO was instrumental in allowing the Red Sox to quickly create dynamic offers that lived on their usual ticket-sales pages. But more importantly was the capacity to quickly amplify or alter offers as aspects of the theme night changed based on feedback from Barbie’s rightsholders. The ability to keep the sales page nimble before launching was key. 

The Execution

A comprehensive marketing strategy across various Red Sox departments utilized organic social media, targeted emails and paid advertisements, all amplified through native FEVO integrations on the Red Sox’ official website. 

Tickets to the game also included a choice of one of two Barbie x Red Sox themed shirts integrated into the FEVO buy flow, where fans were prompted to include a shirt selection, size and shipping address thanks to FEVO’s Custom Fields feature.

Additional in-stadium activations added to the experience and included:

  • Entertainment like DJs, dance parties, glitter face painters and more
  • Photo opportunities and cosplayers to enhance the thematic experience.
  • Bar activations with signature cocktails  

The unique experience with included perks and activations led to an unprecedented number of new fans into the Red Sox’ database and the highest percentage of women attending the game all year!

Key Takeaways

  • Agility and quick turnaround: The ability to quickly set up and modify offers was crucial in capitalizing on current trends and keeping the event relevant
  • Utilizing networks and collaborations: Partnering with Warner Brothers and Mattel significantly enhanced the event's appeal
  • Organizational collaboration: Close coordination between ticketing, marketing and operations teams was key to the event’s success
  • Enhancing via on-site engagement: The variety of activations encouraged ticket sales and ensured actual attendance, reducing the no-show rate
How the Boston Red Sox Capitalized on a Cultural Phenomenon