The untreated wooden deck that adorned the left field bleachers at Progressive Field last season has been removed. As a result, its former inhabitants – bloggers and social media aficionados alike – have been relocated.
As the team announced a week before Opening Day, the Tribe Social Deck is now the Indians Social Suite as the 10-12 invitees have been upgraded to a suite directly above the Tribe dugout along the third base line. If you’re looking for it from the stands, it’s the suite with the giant blue Indians Social Suite sign hanging off of the railing – the team is certainly not shy about their full-court press on social media. Just down the hall from the stadium pressbox, the Social Suite is a place where fans can tweet, upload photos, update Facebook status and exchange general game-long discussions via smartphone, laptop, or tablet – the latter two items not being allowed in the stadium in the hands of typical fans in most MLB stadiums.
Many things from last season are still a part of the team-supplied social media experience. Team PR members Rob Campbell and Curtis Danburg are front and center, ensuring that their clients are having the best experience possible. Suite users are given the day’s game notes, still have access to their own WiFi access and a television is near by in the event that a must-see replay is aired. But instead of playing roulette with the Cleveland weather, the suite not only allows users to have the option to watch the game from inside, but also separate seating near the television as well as private facilities rather than the typical public versions.
The Suite is located near the Ontario Street elevator, providing users with quick access to a bevy of food and drink providers (more on this later today). Like the rest of Progressive Field suites, users of the social media version have the opportunity to pre-order food and drinks from the event staff that can subsequently be delivered at the expense of the user.
For those that attend a game outside of the suite, but still want to be a part of the team’s Social Media initiative, a “Tweet Your Seat” campaign allows Twitter users to do just that. During the middle of the first inning, the first person in house to tweet Campbell (@TribeTalk) with his or her seat location receives a free upgrade.
Sure, the suite experience is not for everyone. A lot of fans prefer to be closer to the action or in a standard seat; baseball in its purist form. But the fact of the matter is that the Tribe Social Suite provides attendants with a better view of the game and an ever-increasing list of amenities. Where most social media endeavors focus on the technological, non-intrapersonal aspects of the medium, by bringing users together in the cozy confines of a suite, the Indians are not only furthering their goals by being the league’s most social media-friendly team, but they are allowing users to be more “social” than “media.”
Photos via Scott Sargent/WFNY