Jonny Greco returns (by popular demand) to discuss the 5 High Level E’s of an Experience: Engage, Educate, Entertain, Enthuse and Evaluate. For this Huddle Jonny will focus on Engage and Educate.
Great group of professionals from across sports including NBA, MILB, WNBA, NHL, WWE, MLS, NFL and MLR.
Jonny Greco has been criss-crossing the country creating memorable experiences for teams like the Vegas Golden Knights, New York Knicks, Seattle Kraken, Cleveland Cavaliers and Florida Marlins. Along the way he’s produced shows for the NBA All Star, Olympics and WWE. He is a real thought leader in game presentation and I am thrilled he’s back to discuss the 5 High Level E’s of an Experience: Engage, Educate, Entertain, Enthuse and Evaluate. For this Huddle Jonny will focus on Engage and Educate.
Jonny Greco: But there have been five es, in my experience of an experience that really come to play for what we do is creating fans, building our audience, developing our own skill set as storytellers, performers, producers. And part of that is us digging in and diving into the foundation of energy. We’re all made of energy. Energy doesn’t change. It just goes to different places. So how do we take that energy and channel it to the right places for our partners, for our fans, for our players, whoever the client is? How are we channeling that in proper ways? Right? We want to achieve that ultimate home ice, home court, home field, home fan advantage, giving them this identity that they’re a part of this experience that they own and channeling that energy and volume it to them so they can feed it back to us creating that, and we’re delivering forever memories.
Sounds corny. I am corny. And I like looking back that far. I put in a few questions as we roll, and some of them are rhetorical, but some of them are just thought starters. Do you have your own fan roadmap, right? I would say in Seattle we tried, and we also had to try a lot of things because we didn’t want to be so indulgent to say, we know what you need.So it’s a lot different if you’re working for the lease where there’s been a road map for 100 years versus a new team. But trying to listen to your audience is super important. All right, I’m going to slide to the next one. This was something a great leader of mine, Tod Leiweke, brought in early on, and he said, when you’re developing a show or you have a show. Can you blindfold someone, have them walk in and say, oh, my God, it smells, sounds. Tastes like Los Angeles. I met a Lakers game. Right, Andy? It’s going to be interesting to go Clippers to Lakers, but how do you create the Sonic feel for what a Lakers show is versus what you’ve done in previous places? Right. So thinking about that and making it sort of this existential experience, that’s more than just, oh, I saw this thing. It’s like, how do we feel these things? And then something that’s always really important, too is like, who’s your client? Your client might be your boss this offseason that you’re asking a raise to like, I want a raise, and that might be the client. Right. But how do you want them to feel if I’m asking for a raise, I want them to feel excited and confident about giving me a raise.
If I want my audience to feel like we’re a pristine premium brand, then we need to build a story to support that. Right? So figuring out how you want your audience to feel allows you to have that North Star to build out to that as we roll. All right, so the five E’s. And like Cudo said, I get super excited about talking about these things. We’re going to focus on the first two. It’s slightly chronological, but it doesn’t have to be. Engage your audience. We’ll dig in further, but you think of this as like, we’re inviting people to our home, our arena, our ballpark. How we say hello to them is the engagement right? It’s not always download the app or cheer really loud. And when we hit a home run, it’s the engagement that the beer vendor does. And it’s like, hey, welcome to the game. This is all different levels of engagement, and it matters. We’re bringing people into our house. We’re inviting them into our home. That hospitality mindset is part of the engagement, and you can use that with your characters and mascot, but you can also use it with ushers and guest services.
Education. This one is huge, and you could probably talk 4 hours on this. Did you know last night. Sorry, Phoenix Kim. The Phoenix Suns lost by 40. Okay. Or did you know that we have a new partner and it’s really exciting, or did you know that the ice in hockey is a quarter of an inch? There’s all these different sort of elements because you have fans coming for their first event, fans coming to their thousands. Right. So engage, educate, and then the last three I’ll just touch on quickly, entertain. Let’s not forget we’re in the business of making smiles. It’s a Vince McMahon line. It’s true. People go to these places because they love the game. They want to be with their family. They love the concert, the music. Let’s not complicate it. Personally, my feeling is we don’t have to be so spot on and rigid with our brand where we can’t show a funny cat video because cat videos are fun. Like not taking ourselves too serious and being overly sanctimonious in our entertainment, just making sure we’re having fun. Enthusiasm. This is a big one for me personally, but bringing that energy, channeling that energy.
Jonny Greco: Now, this could be enthusiasm for a partner, right? Trigger promotions. Actually, it was at a Clippers game, and I think a few NBA teams do this now. They generated enthusiasm by in the fourth quarter. If the visiting team misses two free throws in a row, everyone gets Andy helped me out. Was it a Chick Fil A sandwich or something?
Andy Kinsel: Yeah, you’re dead on.
Jonny Greco: That was really. Well, you should be a host. You are channeling energy. You’re including a partner, and you’re creating home court advantage. It’s the trifecta of a really good promotion. Right. So I just love it. But also, when you talk about enthusiasm, it’s at WrestleMania, WWE Access, which is kind of their Fan Zone, making sure you’re buying that WrestleMania gear because they have the newest gear that’s fresh. It’s renewing partnerships, it’s renewing season ticket members even when your team finished in last place. How are you generating that enthusiasm in all things that you do? And then the final one? And this is a really important one because no one does this anymore, in my opinion. We don’t watch film, we don’t slow down and breathe. We like and scroll and click and doom scroll, but we’re not really sitting and breathing and taking a walk or having a formalized or informalized evaluation process. We have surveys, we have some other things. But how are we really evaluating ourselves as creators? How are we evaluating, again, partnership elements, things like that. But game to game to make sure we can just get a little bit better, especially a lot of the people on this call who I know you guys do a hell of a job already.
So how do you get just a little better? You’re not trying to get a 20% jump from game 36 to 37, but how do you find that 1% when you can so five? I’ll pause just for a second. If anyone has questions, thoughts, wants to jump in. Otherwise, I will keep rocking. I’ll give you a three count.
Andy Kinsel: I was just going to say I really like the entertainment dues aspect of it, because when you talked about the Chick Fil A moment, there’s so many things that we can do when our team is losing that creates that excitement. And I can think back to the Cavs days, especially when we have the Chalupa. We could be down by 30 points. But if we scored 100 points, that entire arena is ecstatic. And it’s the same thing with the Chick Fil A promotion, because that fourth quarter moment is so pivotal. And if there’s something that we can activate and yeah, especially in a losing, if your team is just not performing, what’s the best way we can get our fans.
Jonny Greco: Andy, I like to call it sort of like score agnostic energy. If you’re up by 30, man, the crowd’s jacked up.
This is easy.
We could play anything we want. Gloria for the St. Louis Blues, works because you’re winning, right? You can lean into that when you score a goal. A goal song is generally going to create energy because people are already happy. And I’ll pull the group right now. And Anton, I’ll look at you first, but who has an example of a moment that you have that whether you’re winning or losing, it’s kind of pretty good. And people may stick around because they could win a Chick Fil A sandwich in the fourth quarter, even if they’re losing by a lot. I’ll ask you, Anton, first, if you have one off the top of your head, but I’d also just pull the group for a couple of days. If anyone has an example of something that works, even if you’re getting your butt handed to you.
Anton Wright: Yeah, I’ll go with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And obviously the huge history the leads have. And we play a song, the Hockey Song by Stomping Tom. And that’s something we do every single game. It doesn’t matter at the same time in the second period. And every fan knows that song. They grew up, their parents knew that song. And now them as kids come to the games, the kids know the song, and it doesn’t matter if we’re down five one, you’re going to get a lot of laughter, singing, and that ritual of that great community inside of our arena every time we play that song.
Jonny Greco: That’s awesome. It’s something you can winning or losing, it work. Crowd is excited about it, and it gets passed generationally a little bit as well.
Anton Wright: Exactly.
Jonny Greco: Thank you for sharing that, Anton. That makes us better immediately. All right, cool.
So we’re going to shift over and focus a little bit more on the Engage side of things. And I have a few video examples as well. Just because it’s fun to share this shit. I was telling Cudo it’s good to talk about this stuff, but it’s also fun to watch a 45 2nd video and kind of talk about it a little bit in general. And this is a takeaway. How do you engage your audience? Think about that with great consciousness. How am I engaging my audience with how I introduce my promo team with how does our PA Announcer and say, “welcome to blah, blah, blah ballpark? I’m Jim thanks for being here”. Is that something that we do right? . Right. Do you have your PA Announcer or host introduce themselves? Sometimes people just again in Toronto, you may not need to. “Hey, guys, we’re down here and we’re going to do the Top Golf….da da dah. Well, who is it for the fan who is there for the very first time. So being thoughtful in how you build your traditions, but also honor that somebody’s not coming here for their 100th time, they might be there for their very first one. So, yeah, start answering questions.
That’s super dope. Wow, is that unanimous? Eight for eight were the votes. Okay. All right, maybe that’s not a good poll question, then. Bottom line, introduce yourself. Hey, we’re learning as we roll. Okay. Now somebody needs to be just a jerk and say, no, we don’t. Just to be provocative, say you don’t introduce. All right. So engaging audience. The next thing I’m going to share here, this is something in New York. I was there for a cup of coffee, but at the Rangers and Knicks, obviously, they’ve got all these incredible celebrities that show up all the time and they do a really nice job. But right, that one inch. How do you get a little bit better? They do a really nice job of welcoming celebrities. So traditionally what they would do is they would play a clip and then they would show the clip that Jeff Harris was in. It’s like, oh, my God, that’s a cool scene.
And then they show Jeff Harris and it’s over. Pretty cool. The problem I recognized was if they would play a movie clip, like where they’re playing a Top Gun clip right now. And it’s like, oh, my God, Tom Cruise is here. But they were just playing the clip to energize the crowd. It was confusing for the fans. So there was one element that they could add to that, which we did add, and it was super cool. It leans into the New York world, we called it the NY Celebrities, and we just put that on the front end. We just literally said, NY celebrity, welcome. And now we play the clip and now we know this person’s here. So I’ll share this clip of what we did. Again, not super complicated, but it was just a granular element. And as we think of engaging with celebrities, a lot of times, maybe you get a video recording. A lot of times you get them to just wave and it’s awkward. And unfortunately, and I’ve been this video director who stays on too long and it’s like.
Get off the shot.
Get off the shot. He’s got nothing to do. So what we said was and this isn’t even a good one, but it’s an example of what you can do. Give Larry David a foam puck that he signs and then throws into the crowd. Give the New York giant who’s there a New York Nick’s colored football that he signs on camera and throws into the crowd. So here’s an example of something again, average example, but a different way to put a spin on how to engage celebrities. You’re also educating them on the celebrity and I will shut up and roll. I’m not quite sure you know where the Scone is, Mocha Joe. Oh, I know what a Scone is. Do you have a looser definition of Scone than I do? I don’t think it’s really open to interpretation, though. You want the Scone or not? Yeah, I’ll keep the Scone slash Muffin. So you’re going to keep this going?
Members and participants on the call get the full presentation from Jonny, including dozens of clever examples, best practices and insights.
Related Links from the Presentation:
- Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull
- Yes, and Book –
- Start with Why Book
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
Who are your players?
Epic Self Intro busting with personality and bravo
Columbus Blue Jackets Draw a Player
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) January 27, 2020
- Coyotes Rank Halloween Candy
- Padres – Fav Part of Opening Day
- Regina Pats – Lie Detectors
- Florida Panthers – Players on the Hot Seat
- Seattle Kraken – The Barista will take your order now
- Saint Paul Saints – Bullpen Series
- Washington Football Team – Keep it simple, player personality – photos over video
- Austin Gilgronis – Dating Tips
- Detroit Pistons – Music Pre-game Opportunity – “I like the same music” from High Five – Detroit Pistons
- Baserball 101 from Hardford Yard Goats
These calls happen twice a month for our Gameops.com Plus Members and select clients. To get involved with this exclusive group and have have access to the full archived videos check out Gameops.com Plus. Currently we offer a one month trial.