Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Junior Nationals Club
“I just know from personal experience as a young kid, having my first interaction with a professional sports team or a specific player is something I have remembered forever," stated Sydney Golden, Marketing and Promotions Assistant for Our Washington Nationals. "And it’s something I have remembered for my life. So, that is our main goal. We want to make sure we reach out to our younger fans, get them involved and let them know they are important to Our Organization.”
Recently, Ms. Golden and I were discussing The Junior Nats Club, a program sponsored by Our Washington Nationals, Harris Teeter Grocery Stores and Dasani Water (A Coca Cola Product). Open to children 12 Years Old and Under, membership has already reached nearly 2000 kids in number. This topic came up for discussion after Sohna and I noticed a Father with his Daughter carrying a special Junior Nationals Club Lunchbox at a recent home game at New Nationals Park.
As it turns out--The Jr. Nats Club has two memberships. One is complimentary and includes a Membership Card, an Autographed Photo of Screech, and a few special email invitations to a Meet & Greet with The Racing Presidents and Screech during the season.
And then there is the more exclusive MVP Membership.
Sydney Golden explains: "The MVP Membership for $15 gives you a whole bunch of options and great benefits. One of which is that great Lunch Box you saw. And inside the Lunch Box is a Membership Card, Autographed Photo of Screech, Stickers and best of all—a ticket booklet for Buy One/Get One Free Tickets for ALL SUNDAY HOME GAMES and 10% off at The Team Store (at New Nationals Park) on any sort of merchandise. Plus, all Kids in this particular Membership Program get a special MVP Line for ‘Kids Run The Bases’ Sundays after the Nationals play their scheduled game. This exclusive line goes onto the field first—before everyone else. So, these MVP Kids do not have to wait as long.”
“Also, these kids receive a special invitation to participate in a special (baseball) clinic on the field and all their names are included in special drawings throughout the season to be a part of ‘The Starting 9’ (When kids take the field with players for Our Washington Nationals right before a home game begins) and another to say ‘Play Ball!!’ before the start of selected games.”
Parents can sign their children up online at Nationals.com,--at New Nationals Park during every Sunday Home Game throughout the season--or by filling out and mailing in registration forms available at Harris Teeter Grocery Stores in the DC Area. The MVP Membership, including The Lunch Box, can be picked up at any Sunday Home Game at the specially marked table set up near The Kids Strike Zone. Our Washington Nationals can make special arrangements for parents who might not be able to attend an upcoming Sunday Game to pick up the Membership Kit from the team at other home games.
And just because the 2008 Baseball Season is winding down does not mean the MVP benefits of any kid joining The Junior Nationals Club are not as worthwhile for signing up right now.
“No, definitely not," says Ms. Golden. " We still have a few more on field activities planned, and the lunch box itself is something the kids really enjoy as it can be used year round. Remember, you still get the stickers and the autographed photos, the special line for Kids Run The Bases. So no, it’s not a waste of $15 and I really believe it’s a small fee for the benefits received in return. The Lunch Box by itself is a great gift. A very nice item. Obviously, the ticket discounts still are in effect for the remainder of the Sunday Home Games and ‘Kids Run The Bases’ will occur for three more home dates.”
There is one more date scheduled for Junior Nats Club Members to take the field as The Starting 9 and call out 'Play Ball'. The Buy One/Get One Coupons for Sunday Home Games are available for any price range ticket at New Nationals Park, except for Premium Seats--Presidents Club and Diamond Club.
"We are actually quite proud of that 2000 number (of Jr. Nats Members) and it’s growing all the time," concluded Ms. Golden. "We definitely make the effort to get our younger fans involved and The Nationals believe the great fan experience, especially for kids, comes from giving them the opportunity, to maybe do a Meet & Greet, have that special fan experience they will remember. This is really beneficial for them and helps The Nationals build a relationship with younger fans.”
Once a child enrolls in the Junior Nats Program, parents are encouraged to leave an email address for contact. Our Washington Nationals send out a mass email to all upcoming events, or in rare case a Meet & Greet or Kids Run The Bases Event is cancelled or the date moved. Parents can be notified. And Sydney Golden says Our Team does not use the email addresses to solicit more spam in your inbox--all email addresses for The Jr. Nats Club are only used to inform about planned activities. Membership runs on a Yearly Basis, so if you join now--your child's membership will expire on December 31st of 2008. But, Ms. Golden says Our Washington Nationals are looking into having a few events this fall for members after the conclusion of the 2008 Baseball Schedule.
2009 Membership in The Junior Nationals Club will be available around the beginning of Spring Training next February or March.
Here is the link for further information to The Junior Nationals Club.