There is nothing like going to see a live Major League sporting event. The excitement of the crowds, the smell of cooking sausage and burgers, and so much more makes it simply a thrilling experience. The old song “Take Me Out To the Ball Game,” really did get it right. However we have come a long ways since the days of peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Even though those items are still found in many ball parks, we have all now moved onto too much finer delicacies like pulled pork sandwiches, fried calamari, Chinese dumplings and an entire menu of exotic food items that all usually come at very high prices.
Just like the old days, ballparks still put the fans in the seats on the big screens in between innings or quarters, pitcher changes or TV timeouts. Fans have always loved seeing themselves on the big screens. All it takes is a section of fans to notice a camera person pointing his or her camera to the crowd and the fans simply go wild. Fans jump up and down, knock each other over, and make all sorts of gestures on hopes of landing that 2 to 3 second instant burst of fame. While it may only last a few seconds, fans can boast for years that they got their faces shown of the big screen at Yankee or Met Life stadiums.
In the past, the ability to get on the big screen really just came down to the concept of luck. The majority of fans who attend games never make it to the big screen. There are just too many people in a stadium at one given time. Yet, there are certain people in each stadium that always get screen time. Those people tend to be the ones that wear the outrageous costumes or serve as unofficial team mascots. In the New Jersey Meadowlands, a retired fireman know as Fireman Ed was constantly on the big screen seen furiously rooting for the New York Jets. Fireman Ed became so popular, the New York Jets began using him to lead the J.E.T.S. Jets Jet Jets chants at all their home games. However, fame does have its cost as Fireman Ed began to get tired of the harassment from opposing team fans and eventually stopped going to the games, or at least began to hide himself in other sections of the stadium.
Just as food choices have changed, the ability to make it to the big screens has now become used by sports teams within the concepts of social media marketing. For the past few seasons, the New York Jets have been tempting fans with big screen time by asking them to utilize hashtags that point to the New York Jets on their social media accounts. It’s a brilliant idea because the team is getting fans to promote the New York Jets with the promise of big screen time. Its a promise that the New York Jets keep, as you can see the proof below. Two years ago the New York Jets would put a fan picture, the fans name, and there tweet across the entire board. My tweet was displayed on their boards in 2015. As more fans began tweeting with New York Jets hashtags, the Met Life stadium board operator began splitting the screen into multiple tweets to get more fans air time. In 2016 and 2017, the New York Jets organization began displaying fan Instagram pictures that carried hashtags #Jetsselfie or #jetsselfies.
In the past, it’s always been a matter of luck if one was to get on the big screen. However, in this modern word of smartphones and social media, it has become very easy to make it to the big screen. All you have to do is take a selfie with yourself and whoever else you would like in the pictures and attach the correct hashtag to it. One word of advice, if you want to get displayed on a scoreboard at a New York Jets game, make sure the picture you attach to your tweet or Instagram account has you wearing New York Jets apparel. They don’t put opposing team fans on their scoreboard. It is after all, all about promotion.