During my time in baseball, I was responsible for the audio in the park. I was the guy who played all the music before and during the game, all the sound effects and cheers in between. A common practice was labeling certain events with audio. While with the Padres, the at-bat song for a player was all the rage; it was a brand builder for a player. In 1998 we introduced “Hells Bells” as the music when closer Trevor Hoffman entered the game. Within a matter of months, it became one of the most recognizable sports/audio branding moments. It led to a slew of other closers utilizing a song to come into a game, including Joe Nathan, closer for the Minnesota Twins, using “Stand Up and Shout” from the film Rock Star.
I made sure that every single time the Padres (and in later years the River Cats) hit a home run, the exact same song was played as the batter rounded the bases: Land Of 1,000 Dances by Wilson Pickett.
...There are certain moments in our lives that have a very specific soundtrack. Like a visual brand, the audio identifies the event. Every time you hear that song, or that sound effect, nostalgia hits you like a kick in the shin, reminding you of everything about that event.
...There are several parts of a game that have a soundtrack: foul balls, cheers, player intros. . .and home runs. The reason a home run has a single audio identifier is to associate the audio with something great. This has two benefits to it. First, the crowd associates the song with the event. So whether you’re in the stands, at the concession, or in the restroom, when you hear the song, you know exactly what has happened. Second, the song becomes nostalgic outside the sporting event. To this day, I cannot hear Land of 1,000 Dances or Hell’s Bells without mentally drifting back to warm summer nights at the ballpark. I make sure I have something cold on those warm summer nights. Then I drift. . . To this day, eight years since I have worked a Padres baseball game, I can still recount the events of a game based on audio alone...
Read the entire post...
Jun 28, 2010
On music, baseball, and branding
Here's a really interesting blog post about music and branding in baseball: "What My First Kiss Taught Me About Branding". Some highlights: