Hey there fellow MLB-heads, this is John Trupin, VP of Innovation and Fan Engagement for Major League Baseball. We here in the beautiful homeland of Secaucus have been blown away by the positive feedback on our new “Cheer at the Ballpark” feature, integrated into our website and the MLB App, allowing fans to log in and press buttons to impact the actual crowd noise in stadiums with cheers, claps, and boos.
The reviews are in and they are GREAT.
“This is actually kind of neat! Wait you don’t actually create boos, you just make it quieter? What the f-” - Levi, of “Tampa Bay Rays Fans 4 Increased Stadium Security” on Facebook
“Honestly, this is the best thing Darren Rovell has tweeted in years.” - @Jensen227891 on Instagram
New innovation from Major League Baseball will allow fans to cheer or boo in their app, ballpark staff can then match that up with the volume in the stadium. pic.twitter.com/YxqKTR7lYt— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 20, 2020
Our goal is to respond to fans and make this feature the closest thing to an in-ballpark experience. With that in mind, our first patch incorporates a number of augmented reality functions to make every fan feel like they’re at their favorite ballpark. (Except for Rangers fans, who will never experience the new Rangers stadium because a new one will be built before quarantine ends.)
Our alpha release covered two of the most important sensory features of a baseball game: touch and sound. But we know the true ballpark experience is so much more.
That’s why we’ve introduced our new Swipe-N-Sniff technology (patent pending). This latest update contains dozens of options to delight your olfactory system to make you feel like you’re at the ballpark. To activate it, simply tap the Swipe-N-Sniff tab and allow it access to your location and health data. Then, choose one of your favorite ballpark scents, including “Hot Dog on the Grill”, “Popcorn”, or “Fresh-Cut Grass”, and put that Fruit Ninja training to good use! An image of your chosen scent will appear on the screen, and you’ll be prompted to swipe back and forth across the screen as fast as you can to generate the scent. As you swipe, your chosen odor will waft up from your mobile device, filling the room with the ambiance of summer!
Premium update: For MLB Premium users (just $4.99 for the first Zodiac cycle of use, $12.99 in subsequent periods), the app offers an array of park and team-specific odors. Mariners fans can enjoy the singular scent of garlic fries, Cubs fans can pretend they can discern the unique smell of ivy, and Athletics fans can experience their park’s unique eau de-STILL PENDING FDA APPROVAL-.
Augmented Reality Authentic Fan Experience
The enthusiasm has been overwhelming among clubs worldwide for programs placing cardboard cutouts of fans in seats to help people feel a part of the action. Still, sitting at home in quarantine can feel isolating, undercutting the communal appeal of attending a game with your fellow human beings. To combat this, we’re proud to introduce our Augmented Reality “Authentic Fan Experience” packages, now available in Bleacher, Field, Loge, and Suite tiers. All packages are best experienced with virtual reality hardware like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or, if you must, Nintendo Labo. Alternatively, you can get Google Cardboard, strap your phone to your face, and hope it doesn’t melt into your eyes.
Bleacher - The Bleacher package is our base experience, giving an ambient, surround sound sensation to the crowd noise you’re helping pipe in. For added realism, we’ve recorded hundreds of individual fans and classic ballpark sounds which will be randomly arrayed in auditory proximity to lock in the realism. Hear the call of a nearby vendor, the discussion from a group of nearby teens on which of them should try to buy beers, and dozens of uniquely poor first dates! Additionally, we’ve expanded our staff to include 24-hour live feeds to five highly-trained individuals: Louie, Timmy, Stu, Lorraine, and The Gooch. Your broadcast will feature a direct, one-way link to at least three of them, offering outdated takes on their beloved Yankees and/or Red Sox exclusively. Rest assured, to ensure maximum accessibility for our Fans Of A Certain Age, their volume will be unadjustably set to the maximum setting for the game’s duration.
Field - All the amenities of the Bleacher package are available to you, with a few added bonuses. The sounds of the field itself will be closer, and you’ll experience a more appropriate family-focused vibe from your crowd sounds. Kids receiving their first foul ball, the occasional plop of a spilled ice cream cone, and at least one guy trying to start the wave. Louie and The Gooch are there still, too, but now they’re wearing button-down shirts. You’ll only have their audio, but trust us, you’ll be able to tell the difference.
Loge - Is your favorite park experience an opportunity for business and pleasure to meet? We dim the ambient sounds with this package, and pipe in a customizable office setting. After months out of the office, many fans will be thrilled to hear the sounds of quarterly reports, fax machines, and everything else our marketing team of 22-29 year olds could think of to replicate a classic office environment. Strain to split your attention between the game and a surprisingly important midday meeting with full Zoom integration! The Gooch is still there, and now he’s your boss.
Suite - You can’t afford this, don’t even worry about it.
The phrase “micro-transactions” sends a shiver down the spine of many of our customers. These pesky, bite-size payments can be deviously well-integrated into many apps and games. They create headaches for inexperienced users, parents, and even the tech-savvy-but-clumsy-thumbed! That’s why, in response to user complaints, we’ve chosen to remove any small charges for optional features and replaced them with large, mandatory charges to replicate the exorbitant pricing of your favorite afternoon at the ballpark. These “macro-transactions” will occur automatically, with a small notification on your device’s home screen. They’ll be customized to your favorite team, with labels like “Dodger Dog”, “Jeff Luhnow’s Legal Fees”, and “Parking Near Uwajimaya” to add civic pride to every bank statement.
We hope you will enjoy these new updates, and look forward to your feedback. Happy Opening Day Eve!
Note: We are aware of the glitch wherein “Louie Louie” plays at max volume at 9:15 PM PST on all devices, and are working with our tech team to resolve it in our next patch.