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PODCAST – Nate VanderWal, Colorado Rockies

Listen to this month’s live podcast featuring Nate VanderWal, Director of Corporate Partnerships at the Colorado Rockies.

I think that everyone is identifying now that the fan experience is more than just the two or three hours that a fan is in your venue. Capitalizing on and extending the footprint around your arena or stadium has become crucial. It boils down to how you collaborate with your city and engage with local businesses. 

– Nate VanderWal

More about Nate VanderWal
Nate has been with the team for 13 years and is responsible for all corporate partnership development and supporting activations. He is also in charge of activating neighboring McGregor Square mixed-use facility adjacent to Coors Field. He attended Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI for golf and majored in marketing.

The Colorado Rockies teamed up with Arrow Electronics to bring fans a cool new interactive experience with our Home Run Challenge Game.

Watch the Video Podcast

PODCAST Transcript – Nate VanderWal
Hi everyone, this is James Giglio, CEO of MVP Interactive, and welcome to the MVP podcast. (···0.6s) Our podcast will bring insight to a range of topics involving technology, consumer engagement, experiential marketing, and general business related subjects. This show will host not only our great roster of clients from the professional sports world, along with Fortune 500 brands and agencies, but other entrepreneurs and startups. (···0.6s) We hope our podcast brings value. And thank you for listening. For general inquiries or topic requests, please email MVP podcast@mvpinteractive.com, and please subscribe to our YouTube page and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and SoundCloud with account name MVP Interactive.  

(···13.1s) Right? Well, welcome everyone. Thank you for joining another MVP Interactive webinar. However, we’re (···0.5s) changing it up a little bit.  

We’re gonna do this format in a bit of a live podcast with a very special guest and client, Nate Vanderwal, who’s the Director of Corporate Partnerships for the Colorado Rockies. Nate has been with the team for 13 years and is responsible for all corporate partnership development and supporting activations. He’s also involved with activating neighboring McGregor Square, which is a mixed use facility adjacent to co field. Nate, welcome to the MVP Live podcast, the inaugural. (···0.6s) Thanks, James.  

Great to join you. (···0.7s) Awesome. Well, I think, we’re just gonna get right into it. People are flowing into the room here, and so, we’ll get through our set of questions and if there’s any time for, for any questions, we can, have those, those, listeners join in. And so, so it’s not often that, someone of your background or, essentially career path has, has been with a club for well over a decade. You know, we, we understand that you were quite the golfer in college, and so talk to us how you, you sort of landed at the Rockies and what your journey’s been over the last few years here.  

(···0.8s) Yeah, sure. quite the golfer in college. I’ll have to clarify. That’s, that’s a (···0.8s) appreciate that I, I can’t claim that that’s an, an accurate statement, but, yeah, I, I did, I grew up in Michigan. I went to Ferris State University. it’s a D two school in north central Michigan for golf. and by the time I got outta college, I was ready to get outta Michigan and, and moved to Denver, packed up what I could in the car, and, started a career in the golf business.  

I was a traditional golf pro, you know, teaching lessons, running tournaments, just day-to-Day operations at Castle Pines Golf in the south side of Denver here. (···0.9s) And did that for about five years. I was ready to learn something different, was always fascinated with the sports marketing sponsorship (···0.5s) world, and (···1.2s) just kind of dumb lucked my way into a position with the Rockies and the partnerships team.  

Even though I didn’t have a whole lot of experience in that industry, it, (···0.5s) it, it intrigued me and, you know, got my foot in the door here (···0.6s) at 20th and Blake in (···0.6s) 11, and I’ve been on our partnerships team ever since. primarily started out just (···1.0s) on a hit and a pavement, trying to sell sponsorships, and have kind of evolved over the years into, kind of overseeing all of our business development and, supporting activation.  

And to your point, yeah, it’s, it’s a long time, I think, to be with one team in this industry. But, I feel like we’ve got a really (···0.8s) awesome ownership and leadership group here where it really feels like, even though we’re working for a major league baseball team, it feels like you’re working for a (···0.6s) family owned small business.  

And there’s a lot of people that have been here for, two decades plus, and there’s, there’s even a lot of leadership that have been here since day one in the early nineties. So it’s a (···0.8s) kind of a, a culture that (···0.8s) fosters loyalty and kind of working your way up through the ranks here. So it’s been a great experience. Yeah, that’s a great story. And, here’s the 13 more. Yeah, we’re gonna, we’re gonna see you on that, GM list soon, hopefully here. But, so you mentioned 2000, 2011 actually, and, you know, that’s a little before our time, but I remember about 10 years when we were getting started, when we were talking about fan experience and sponsorship activation.  

technology in those terms were very different, right? And so when we were (···0.5s) potentially pitching clients or speaking with clients in terms of, you know, cre creating these immersive fan experiences, you know, it wasn’t quite on their radar quite yet. Right. You know, where it was more the technology was from a facility standpoint, whether wifi systems were being built or new jumbotrons were being installed.  

I mean, for 13 years you’ve seen the evolution of, what corporate sponsorship is, and then activation. Maybe walk us through, you know, the last 10 years of what you had witnessed and have been a part of from brand activations or sponsored activations or even, you know, what the club has been doing, whether they were analog or technically driven. Yeah, (···1.6s) yeah, it certainly has changed quite a bit.  

I think, you know, specifically as it relates to our working relationship here, we, you know, we used to have, a very analog, what I would call, non-tech integrated fan interactive experience. We had (···0.6s) like this sort of dark, very non pleasing to the eye corner of the ballpark where we had like these old school, pitching and hitting cages that really had no tech integration.  

It was almost like the old school carnival games. And (···0.6s) we kind of realized that we needed to (···0.5s) give that area a bit of a facelift, and that’s where we all started working together. And you guys, came to us with that, home on challenge game where we’re still incorporating baseball skill and a hitting skill, but it’s, it’s more gamified and it’s more tech driven with leaderboards and a virtual version of course field where fans and, kids can sort of experience baseball activity, but with tech integrated.  

So I think that was, (···0.9s) that was a good enhancement to the ballpark. And then, (···0.8s) you know, to your broader question, just, overall enhancements. I mean, since, since I’ve been here, we’ve done a full LED ribbon board (···0.5s) makeover. We have, a brand new video board as of a couple years ago. you know, you mentioned the wifi experience.  

we’ve got unique to baseball is a, the, the ballpark app. So, it’s a, it’s an app across all 30 ballparks, but kind of enhances the fan experience with ticketing and way finding. And so yeah, it’s definitely evolved a lot in my time here. (···1.0s) Yeah. And so if you think back to your early days of actually selling sponsorship and now being on the frontline of activating, have you seen the messaging or the needs or demands of the sponsors themselves to integrate, immersive technology or where, where are their interests or what kind of conversations are you having with the particular brands when it, when it comes to inventory or, you know, trying to bring on a new sponsor in terms of using your, your assets as a, a valuable draw?  

Yeah, I think, you know, even just 10 or 12 years ago when I was starting, it was (···1.1s) a little bit more traditional and old school where you could sell some signage and a print publication and some radio and call it a sponsorship and move on.  

And we still have maybe a few of those, but (···0.7s) it’s definitely evolved into more of a evolved, brands want fans to interact with their brand. So, (···0.5s) you know, it starts off with, with the brand exposure, but then, (···0.9s) you know, from everything from experiencing a brand, like, you know, using some type of tech or an immersive experience or QR codes or driving someone to a landing page or some type of promotion, it’s just, (···1.0s) it’s changed from a, a more passive sponsorship model to a more, active and call to action and, and (···0.7s) really using sponsorship to change behavior and make (···0.9s) consumers (···0.9s) both interact and make decisions on, you (···0.5s) know, subscribing or purchasing that good or service that that sponsor offers.  

So, you know, (···0.6s) it’s changed quite a bit.  

We’re, we’re, we’re seeing, and I don’t know if it’s, true to some of the sponsorships that you’re, you’re working with or have been involved in, is that a lot of the sort of national or league-wide sponsors are putting somewhat pressure from a creative standpoint on the team or the property themselves to kind of come up with creative and innovative ideas. Do you, are you seeing that particular trend with a certain set of, sponsors or just in general on how, you know, there’s this sort of, moniker rolling around the sports, industry of like teams thinking and acting like agencies, right?  

For, for that (···0.6s) specific purpose. do you have any involvement or is are the Rockies under that kind of philosophy as well? (···0.8s) Yeah, I think (···1.5s) you’re right in the sense that across the board, I think that that is an expectation. I think from, from what I’ve acknowledged here in Denver, our team is so lean here, that we haven’t, we’re probably not on the leading edge of that, whereas some teams have, (···0.6s) you know, certainly created positions and even new departments in the last couple of years, to do exactly what you’ve mentioned, James.  

But, I think that’s an area of opportunity for the Rockies moving forward is to kind of keep pace with our peers in the industry and identifying that trend, changing what companies are looking for, but also how fans look to consume their sports experience.  

Sure, sure. Well, speaking of the evolution, right, and, and thinking how properties and, and clubs are operating within their communities, one of the biggest trends that we’ve seen over the last decade is (···0.8s) ownership groups really valuing the assets of their, their club as a focal point to build around mixed use lifestyle centers, right? Where gone are the days of, you know, we have this stadium, we stimulated the downtown area or this particular city, in the country.  

And, you know, the (···0.6s) core focus is the game on the field now. I think more and more the industry is valuing, you know, this Disney like experience where you can provide families vacations or, you know, anchored trips around the ballpark because you have, you know, these mixed use lifestyle and, and real estate developments. And so (···0.5s) your bio mentions activating McGregor Square, and from my understanding, that’s a fairly new complex within downtown Denver.  

Correct. And maybe you can educate us on that. (···0.6s) Yeah, Yeah, absolutely. It, it opened in, in 21 actually kind of (···0.7s) fully opened when we hosted the Allstar game in 21. It was scheduled to open in 20, opening day 2000, which as we all know, there were other plans at that point in time, in the world, spring of 2020. So kind of unfortunate timing, but the Allstar game kind of helped us unveil that.  

But (···1.0s) to your, to your question, I think, yeah, that (···0.8s) everybody’s identifying now that the experience is more than just the two or three hours that a fan is in your venue. And I think (···1.3s) capitalizing and, taking advantage of, (···0.5s) of having an arena or a stadium is now extending to that footprint around your venue. (···0.7s) And I think it really comes down to, (···1.6s) you know, how you work with your city and how the local, businesses in your city we’re lucky here in Denver.  

you know, downtown Denver is thriving, it’s growing. It’s been in the top five fastest growing cities here for the last seven or eight years. And, (···0.8s) you know, it’s just, it’s changing and it’s, it’s been, it’s been that way, (···0.8s) you know, for (···0.6s) at least the 10 or 12 years that I’ve been here. And so what happened here in next to Coors Field is we have operated what was called the West Block, which was just a surface level parking lot, full city block.  

we just use it for parking, but it literally is in the shadows on the west side of Coors Field, perfect location. and so our owner, kind of partnered with some other, business partners and (···0.8s) funded this project called McGregor Square. McGregor comes from the last name of our former club president who passed away unexpectedly in 2010, who was a, you know, very well respected leader here, and was actually his vision (···0.5s) back, you know, pre 2010 of creating something like this in lower downtown.  

but they, they created this, this mixed use development where there’s three 12 story buildings. There’s a 165 key kind of boutique (···0.7s) baseball themed hotel. There’s a a hundred unit upscale condo, private residence building, and then there’s a, office building.  

And then on the first two floors of all three of those buildings, there’s retail bar, restaurant. And then in the middle is the plaza where we’ve got, a gigantic outdoor jumbo trauma. We can do (···0.6s) watch parties and host, (···0.5s) you know, three, 4,000 people for movie nights or concerts or watch parties. We’ve had our neighbors with the abs and nuggets, both (···0.6s) have good runs into the, the playoffs the last couple of years.  

So in the spring while we’re also hosting baseball games, there’s been a lot of community engagement bringing people together to celebrate watching, other events together. (···0.5s) I can’t imagine what that scene is like, you know, because Denver is a great outdoor city, right? The weather’s generally very good, (···0.8s) unpredictable, but (···0.7s) very good. when you have three clubs running at the same time, beautiful weather with microbrew that you have there, I I can only imagine what the scene is.  

do you see as opportunities for activations there when, when bigger events are happening, when you have hundreds to thousands of people there? Yeah, we’re kind of treating it as an extension of course field now. And (···1.2s) what’s what’s really been nice is we’re, we’re activating it as a year round property, so we’re, you know, be able to engage with, (···0.9s) with fans and, even tourist visitors that are coming year round now.  

And like in the wintertime, we’re just about to open, one of two outdoor skating rinks in downtown Denver. (···1.0s) And, you know, they’ll do themed parties and different things throughout the year. So for the first time ever, ’cause we don’t do any off season programming at Coors Field in the wintertime. so for the first time ever, we’ve now got an opportunity to (···0.9s) work with partners and engage with fans year round, whether it’s football, watch parties on the weekend, or, you know, the skating rink, or people coming downtown to the bars and restaurants.  

And so it’s just an extra touch point where we can offer new partnerships on some of the either (···0.6s) activations or on the LED totems or video board that we have, next door. Yeah. Now, do you see that potentially that (···0.6s) sort of off-season activation or, activating the, the stadium itself could be more of a possibility, whether it’s the Winter Classic or maybe some of the collegiate games that, that are happening, within ballparks now?  

(···0.7s) Yeah, I think, you know, we did, we hosted in 2016 the NHL Stadium series, and we had a college game before that, and that’s kind of more of a once every 10 year thing, but I think it did, I (···1.4s) think it did sort of a legitimize our venue (···0.7s) to have the infrastructure to (···0.6s) host any type of event. So like when the All Star game was here, (···0.6s) you know, they were able to host some ancillary, hospitality type events next door.  

And now having a hotel that we’re partnered with, being able to host guests, no, no matter what time of year, it has sort of, (···0.6s) I feel like put us on the map for more than just a baseball venue. sure. So it’s, it’s been a great addition. Yeah. Yeah. And so as, as much as Denver is growing and, and I absolutely know as a visitor of Denver, (···0.6s) how rapidly it’s growing.  

And I, I remember, working at the MLS all-star game probably seven years ago, and the locals were groaning about the influx of out of towners. so it is a growing city, however, it has very much of a, a community feel to it has that relationship with local businesses or, you know, sponsorship really stayed within the culture of the club. You know, what’s your, what’s the club’s strategy when it comes to sponsors? Do you like to maintain that local feel, or is it a blend?  

(···1.1s) Yeah, I mean, we’re probably 75% local partnerships. (···0.5s) Our market, I feel like, not that it’s (···0.6s) irrelevant, but I mean, it’s definitely, we’re not on the coast. It’s a flyover fly through market. we do have a lot of businesses headquartered here, but it’s, (···1.1s) I would say, our bread and butter and our focus is really on to, to your point, local businesses.  

And although our territory by square, square mileage, if you’ll, is the largest in all of major League baseball, covering seven states, and just the territory that we take up, it is, (···0.8s) it is definitely a, (···0.6s) a local, maybe you could say, regional, priority for us. and it’s, it’s basically just due to the fact that, you know, we’re not an la Chicago, New York, type of market.  

So it, it really is the kind of feels like your, your hometown team. (···1.1s) Yeah, for sure. Although I will say, you know, granted that we’ve been clients for five or six seasons now, although you have a local sponsor, arrow Electronics, they are one of the, top earning revenue companies in the country, right? And so you, you do have that, that that balance of having such a, a local company but presents such a big, influence on, on the city. Absolutely. It’s actually been a, a kind of a priority for (···0.7s) both our local visit, Denver and Denver downtown partnership of, you know, everybody knows about Colorado as a great place to come and visit and vacation and (···0.5s) 300 days of sunshine and skiing in the mountains, 90 minutes from here and all the outdoor activity that you can do here.  

But up until recently, I think has been an afterthought of relocating business. But I think they, they put together some incentives, for relocations.  

And now I think it’s, it’s not really a secret anymore that it’s a great place to visit, but it’s also a great place to relocate your employees and just the quality of life here. So I think hopefully, you know, that will continue to be a trend here. Yeah. You know, and that, that’s pretty interesting. And it brings up my my next question. you know, given that the, the Rockies are really a young (···0.8s) organization at 30 years, I mean, it’s a, it’s an expansion team. It (···0.8s) very much as you mentioned, somewhat of a transient city, prior to, you know, I’d say the last 15 or 20 years or so.  

But, the club has been able to see pretty, pretty strong fandom and, and selling out seasons year after year. And, the club performing fairly well. you know, a 30-year-old institution seems young, but a (···0.5s) 28-year-old facility by today’s standards seems old, right. However, when you walk through the gates there, you’ve been able to really capture the (···0.6s) integrity and nostalgia of what a baseball park looks like, but keep it sort of to date, you know, by today’s standard, so over the almost 30 years now.  

So talk to us a little bit, and you mentioned some of the renovations you’ve made, but, talk to us about that progress because that’s, that’s really an interesting feat because we, you know, we are in and out of stadiums all the time, and there’s, you know, facilities that are even 20 years old that seem, (···0.8s) you know, like they were built in the seventies versus, you know, your, your Building.  

Yeah. So I think a lot goes into that. so I’ll have a couple of answers for you on that, but I, I’m biased obviously, but I do feel like first field is the best (···0.6s) ballpark in baseball. just the setting of it, the location, you know, the views of the mountains, the weather, (···0.6s) we’ve got a lot going for us here. but to your point, I can’t imagine, I know the books, the ball, 30 teams, I can’t imagine another team that invests more capital back into the ballpark than, than the Rockies.  

So we have, (···0.6s) it’s the third oldest ballpark in the National League, which always blows people away. Wow. Yeah. But yeah, behind, behind Wrigley and Dodgers Stadium, scores field, and that’s because everybody’s had these new ballparks, (···0.6s) but it still feels like a modern ballpark here. And, you know, we’re constantly, our ballpark ops team’s constantly reinvesting into the, (···0.7s) the ballpark, whether it’s the scoreboard, the, the LED ribbons, the replacing of seats.  

We just renovated the entire suite level last off season, creating new destinations. So it’s been, what, about nine years since we built a rooftop, which is, (···0.7s) you know, 35,000 square feet, two story outdoor, lower downtown ballpark bar destination that’s, inside CO’s field. So it’s a very social (···0.8s) setting.  

I think, (···1.0s) you know, (···0.7s) reinventing the ballpark while keeping (···0.6s) the things that make it popular and, and make it fun to go see a a ball game is, has been important. And I think back to your comment about, you know, the culture of people being here a long time, it’s kind of like anybody taking care of their house, right? If you know you’re gonna be there a while, you’re gonna take care of it. (···0.8s) And I think both from an individual perspective of the people that work here and keep the lights on, like they take a lot of pride in, in upkeeping the ballpark.  

And also, you know, we have a lot of stadiums and venues have to move, I think over time, maybe before the venue’s even ready to be moved outta, but just because of a location standpoint, maybe (···0.6s) getting to a safer area or a better traffic area, but we literally could not be in a better location. So, you (···0.8s) know, you, you don’t really have a choice. You gotta, you gotta take good care of, of what you have.  

And (···0.5s) it certainly is, in my opinion, the best experience in baseball. Yeah, it’s great. And I, Nate, this is unplanned, but I’m so happy that you made that analogy about the house because that is one of the responses to some of the objections that I hear from other facilities of like, well, you know, I don’t know if we need to integrate this, or, there’s not much, there’s not a real demand or, you know, the org we have, we’ve sold out tickets for, for four years, you know, down the line. We don’t really need to do anything. But I literally use the same analogy in terms of taking pride and ownership of the facility and giving fans something new, whether it’s technically driven or, you know, amenity driven or operationally something new.  

Because you’re asking these families and folks to become season ticket holders, right? You know, you have to find a draw. You, you can’t guarantee the performance of the club on field, right? And so being able to use that as a call to action to draw people in, I think is really important. So I’m, that was, that was, I’m so happy that you had that selfishly because that’s something that we, (···0.8s) we feel for sure.  

Yeah, and I think the other thing that goes into it, honestly, is (···0.7s) the way we’re unique from a lot of other venues, like they’re in Philly, right? You’ve got generations of generations that have grown up Philly fans. Sure. And so I think in a lot of, a lot of cities, you go to the ballpark to go watch your team and you are (···0.8s) engaged in every pitch (···0.7s) and every game. Like you check the box score if your team won or lost. Yep. Denver is such a unique city that a majority of us here that reside here, we’re not born and raised here.  

I’m from Michigan. you know, I’m, I’m raising a family here now, so my kids are natives and with a team only being here 30 years, like it hasn’t been that long that those of us raising kids here are finally raising kids that are gonna grow up rooting for Colorado teams. So (···0.5s) any given night here at Coors Field, we’re (···0.7s) 50 to 60% (···0.7s) opposing team fans. And so (···1.5s) it’s as much about entertainment and providing a world class venue for (···0.7s) people to come and enjoy a night as it is people coming to, to watch their game, or watch their team play.  

So, (···0.6s) not that we don’t have a lot of passionate, loyal Rockies fans, which we do and will continue to grow and hopefully it’ll be more purple in the ballpark than Dodger Blue or whatever it is, team that we’re hosting. But it has been more important for us (···0.7s) to provide a world-class venue, ’cause it’s a little bit more than just watching your home team play than I would say in a lot of other markets and a lot of other teams.  

Yeah, for sure. So we, we have a couple of minutes open here, so I want to just make sure that, some of our guests or listeners have an opportunity to ask some questions. So I’m just gonna take a peek at the, the chat here. (···0.5s) And, we have a message from Cindy McMaster and it says, hi Nate. I found that smaller market teams, not New York or or LA, seem to be more nimble and or flexible when it comes to their brand partnerships and sponsorships.  

What can you share that the Rockies are doing or have done that’s been a little more unique or different or innovative and have found brands are interesting in doing or trying new things or new tech with sponsorship things? Great question, Cindy. (···0.8s) Yeah, that is a great question. I think, so smaller market teams, which we’re, (···1.6s) I think that maybe resonates because oftentimes the smaller market teams, there’s just less hurdles to clear in terms of (···0.7s) typically we’re run a little bit differently and there’s, you know, there’s less, less departments, less people to, to work through.  

so I do feel like that is true. as I mentioned earlier, I feel like we, maybe we haven’t been as good on being on the leading edge in this, as other markets have been.  

but in terms of how it relates to us here (···0.8s) in Denver, I think (···0.5s) the one thing that’s unique about baseball is, you (···0.6s) know, digital and social marketing runs through our league office, major league baseball, advanced media, (···0.8s) and I think (···1.3s) over the years we’ve become a little bit better and a little bit more nimble on, you know, maybe not tech so much, but (···0.9s) non-traditional forms of, of partnership activation and, (···0.7s) you know, integrating our email database or social media handles.  

and just trying to, (···0.6s) like what I mentioned earlier, trying to cultivate a fan base that, (···0.7s) you know, maybe their, their number one team is the team that they grew up reading rooting for, but then they moved here.  

(···0.5s) And so we’re kind of having to (···1.1s) not only activate sponsorships in a different way, but to (···1.3s) cultivate fans by using, and you know, like what Cindy mentioned here, tech or new things with sponsorships is (···1.5s) maybe providing like some unique content on social media and just trying to find a way for somebody like me who grew up with Tiger Spain but lives in Colorado. So I’m gonna always follow my hometown team, but like (···0.7s) the Rockies are doing some really cool, innovative things for me to get to better get to know some of the players better, or, get out to the ballpark and, you know, experience the game in a different way and slowly kind of, (···0.9s) I think transition people that maybe have historically followed another team, but try to make them adopt the Rockies as their hometown team.  

So, I wish I had a better case study for like the Rockies, you know, know (···0.5s) being more tech savvy or adopting more, tech examples into our sponsorship activation.  

But I, again, I think it’s a great area of opportunity for us. (···0.7s) That’s right. And you ha you already have a great partner. (···1.2s) So wi with that, why don’t we tease the 24 season here, Nate, is there anything that the fans or, the sponsorship world could look forward to, for an upcoming at at Coors Field before we we wrap up here? (···1.0s) Yeah, I think, you know, our big ballpark renovation was this past off season when we renovated our suite level.  

I think from a, from a fan experience standpoint, you know, we are, to your point, we’re (···1.1s) closing in on 30 years in our ballpark. And although we don’t have like a major renovation plan for this off season, (···0.5s) I think we’re finally, changing like the outlook and the feel of our team on the field.  

I think it’s the elephant in the room, right? Like sure here’s with the rock that works for a team that, you know, hasn’t been relevant in five or six years and coming off of a three loss season. But (···0.6s) I think we’ve finally come to terms with, this new model of, of baseball, of drafting and developing, especially in the smaller markets. So I think (···0.6s) the brand of our baseball team is going to be really fun to watch some of these young guys develop. And we’ve got some guys knocking at the door here and double and triple A that I think will be great.  

we’re gonna be part of a international series in Mexico City against the Astros in April. So we’re gonna play a couple games in Mexico, which I think is good. just from a, (···1.5s) you know, exposing fans and different markets, even internationally, kind of what the NFL has been doing over in Europe. so I think from a a team perspective, I’m excited to kind of see what the, what the team is gonna look like.  

And these rule changes, I think (···0.8s) both from the pace of play. So our, our games are 20 minutes faster now. average game is two hours and 40 minutes, which (···0.7s) in my 13 years here has never been under three hours. So I think the quality of the fan experience, not only from, you (···0.9s) know, the ballpark experience, but the product on the field, just a quicker moving game, more offense, I think the balance schedule, of every team playing every team now instead of the old inner league scheduling, is gonna be nice.  

so yeah, I think just baseball is finally (···0.8s) trending in the right direction of engaging and attracting younger fans specifically. Absolutely. Yep. so I think just the game of baseball changing is, has me really excited. Yeah. Marketable stars. (···1.3s) Yeah.  

Say, say again. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cut you off there. Like younger marketable stars, kind of like what other leagues have been doing now. Like I it’s finally like, exciting to be a baseball fan. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And you know, it’s a very institutional purist sport, right? And so I’m glad that the league is finding that balance finally to kind of innovate, think of new ways to attract new fans and, really become and loosen up to, to a degree in terms of being more forward thinking. And so, I, I agree with you as a fan, as a colleague, it’s been, awesome to work with you and your organization over the last five or six seasons, and we hope to continue that partnership and, and essentially, you know, hopefully change and integrate more technology driven sponsorship activations.  

And, so I know that we are in discussions for other things. So, I wanted to thank everyone. We’re at our time here. I wanted to thank you Nate and all of our guests. And so, any follow up, we would, certainly advise, a game out to Coors Field or check out.  

I’m excited to check out McGregor Square and check out one of those baseball themed hotel rooms. That sounds pretty neat. So, I’m hoping to, to visit you, this coming spring, Nate. And, yeah, I really appreciate your time and (···0.7s) I think we found a good format for our next webinar. So thanks again everyone. Yeah. Thanks for joining us and please let me know anybody that I can, set up to come visit Coors Field and attend a game. I love, love hosting people and, and show ’em a good night here in Denver at Course Field.  

So be sure to lemme know and we’ll, we’ll get y’all care. (···0.5s) Perfect. All right. Thanks so much. (···0.8s) Thank you. (···36.5s)  


Nate VanderWal, Director Corporate Partnerships, Colorado Rockies


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