Cincinnati Reds
Strategy - Identity

Baseball grounds us as it unites us.

Hyperquake teamed up with our beloved Cincinnati Reds to help them connect with a new generation of fans and create an evolved brand character beyond the Big Red Machine.

The Challenge – Beyond Winning & Weather.

The fan you see today is the not the fan you will see tomorrow. The Cincinnati Reds understand this. Winning and weather are two things the front office of MLB’s oldest franchise cannot control. After that first pitch is thrown, the entire organization has to continue bringing fans to the ballpark, whether the team wins or loses. Win or lose, rain or shine, just like the players themselves, the front office still has a job to do.

Since 1876, the Reds have defined the word “tradition.” From the Crosley Brothers to the Castellini Family, this franchise has epitomized what it means to be professional, and what it will mean to be successful years from now. A brand that is rich in history and success, The Cincinnati Reds recognized an opportunity to improve the way they engage the community and their fans. The executive staff and members of the ownership group reached out to Hyperquake to capitalize on our history of engaging people on a meaningful, more human level.

Humble Champions.

The Reds franchise has uniquely positioned itself to pay homage to the tradition of baseball and the roots it has in Cincinnati, while creating an engaging future with fans who won’t grow up with the same heritage and perspective that their parents and grandparents did. The Reds and their fans make the club successful together, as one. There are a lot of things the Cincinnati Reds brand can be for their fans, but trying to be everything to everybody means losing what it is that makes them authentic – focusing on what is most important to their fans, what is most differentiated from entertainment options, and what is most compelling to the organization. Delivering a first class experience to the right fans at the right time, meant leveraging Hyperquake to be a provocative catalyst for future success. Our objectives were simple: increase ticket sales and solidify the fan’s commitment to the organization.

80 chances a year to eclipse 2 million fans is not enough.

Today’s sports fan is constantly evolving and the landscape in which professional sports teams exist today is far removed from where it was just a decade ago, and even more removed from where it will be a decade from now. But one thing remains constant: a fan’s commitment and desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Loyal Cincinnati Reds fans, those committed to upholding the values and rich heritage of the ball club, will always maintain an unwavering commitment to their team and the community they love. So how do you expand beyond those most loyal of fans? How do you engage fans the way you engage consumers? Fans desperately want more than just winning and good weather. They want entertainment. But above all else, they want an authentic experience.

Our approach.

With a collaborative approach with their front office, we spent quite a bit of time with fans of all types, in and out of the ballpark, and deployed a values-based segmentation study to understand the underlying motivators of behavior with both engaged and unengaged fans. Using both qualitative and quantitative research, we probed consumers’ demographics, entertainment choices, lifestyles and values in an effort to understand why they choose to attend games. The result was a six segment model that groups fans together based on values and needs.

This provided a strong foundation for our equity choices. Segmentation is only powerful if it’s embraced by an organization as a whole, and people know what to do with it, so Hyperquake worked with the executive staff to immerse this into the culture of the organization, a dedicated lens that everyone looks through as decisions are made across the board. Inspired by old baseball cards that have stats and stories on the back, we brought our key fans to life as baseball cards, each with bios and stats, along with new ways to reach them and activate Reds brand for them, on a personal level. We brought the core values and character of the brand to life visually as well, inspiring the internal teams with provocative concepts that explore how the brand can come to life for specific audiences in market.

Results.

As everyone began to understand the motivations and values of Reds fans in and outside the Cincinnati community, a powerful shift occurred within the organization, creating compelling connections with the people who ultimately drive the success of its team – the fans. By focusing on fans with different lifestyles, who all expect something different from their ballpark experiences, our work has helped the Reds evolve with purpose, and allowed the brand to not only embrace their historic heritage, but move forward with a future vision and key principles to engage future generations of fans.

“We must be responsive and relevant to today’s fans, and Hyperquake’s work was very instrumental in making sure we do just that. We learned it was equally important to connect as it was to sell a ticket. I have one of the best brands in the world, but being able to understand buyers is their wheelhouse. I was so impressed with the way Hyperquake approached manifesting our brand.”

- Karen Forgus, Cincinnati Reds Senior Vice President of Business Operations

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