Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Taking Things to the Next Level

Last year, I had the opportunity to be a part of history during the Major League Baseball season as on a couple of occasions I was able to land a seat in the Cleveland Indians' Social Deck. This was an area set aside for fans, bloggers, and other personalities to use social media platforms during games to spread the word about the Indians, the game, and whatever else they wanted to talk about. The Indians were the first pro sports team to have a special area set aside on a game-by-game basis for their social media community.

Fast forward one year. Much like the team on the field that sports the best record in the majors, the Indians' communications and creative services staff has upped the ante again by moving their social media community from the Social Deck in the leftfield bleachers to the Social Suite along the third base line above the Indians' dugout.

On Sunday afternoon versus the Cincinnati Reds, I had the privilege of checking out the Social Suite for the first time with my family and my friend, George Hartz, and his family. We picked up our tickets at will call courtesy of @tribetalk and quickly found our seats. As we were walking to the Social Suite, one of my daughters commented that it was like we were entering a fancy hotel. Little did we know just how right she was as we prepared to enter the Social Suite.

While the Social Deck was nice last year, there was the disadvantage of being stuck outside if the weather was inclement or extremely hot with no shade. Well, the Social Suite has nice shade and protection with the overhang, and the option to sit inside in the air conditioning was something that the kids enjoyed as well. The Social Suite is also much more conducive to in-game blogging if attendees so desire.

Well, the game moved along and the Indians dominated the Reds 12-4. In the bottom of the fifth inning, my opportunity to play in the game came when Jack Hannahan fouled a ball up to the Social Suite which I promptly snagged in mid-air (photo above). It's the third foul ball I've grabbed over the years, but the first outside the state of Colorado as the other two came at a Colorado Rockies game and a Colorado SkySox (Triple-A) game. (The ball at the SkySox game was off the bat of Alex Rodriguez.)

We enjoyed the rest of the game and the kids had a great time. It was the first MLB game for George's two boys and it was fun to watch them take it all in. The only downside is that it will be a little bit of a letdown when they go to their next game and don't have such great seats. :) Following the game, the kids all got to run the bases to cap off what was a great day (photo below).

I need to say a big thank you to Curtis Danburg, Rob Campbell, and Danielle Cherry for the great job that they are doing and for making our fun day possible. For more information on how you might score a seat in the Social Suite, check out this link and follow @tribetalk on Twitter.

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