The Braves said their get-out-the-vote campaign will extend to Bally Sports’ telecasts of games, billboards in Atlanta and initiatives around Truist Park, including Hollywood Walk of Fame-like floor graphics and movie poster giveaways to the first 5,000 fans through the gates at each game of the Braves-Pirates series Thursday through Sunday.
“We commit to putting a lot of muscle behind the All-Star game vote and making sure our great players are recognized to the best of our ability,” said Adam Zimmerman, the Braves’ senior vice president of marketing and content. “We commit to it because our guys deserve it. ... Getting them into the All-star game is something we can influence.”
The game will be played July 19 at Dodger Stadium, baseball’s first All-Star game there since 1980.
“When you think about Los Angeles, you think about the movie industry,” Zimmerman said. “That was the core creative idea (behind the campaign): What would it look like if our players starred in their own feature films?”
The Braves’ in-house creative team took it from there.
“The movie posters we created are tied into the personalities and interests of our players,” said Insung Kim, the Braves’ senior creative director. For example, “Austin Riley is an avid bow hunter, so we made up a movie called ‘The Bowman’ about this adventurer out in the woods with his bow and arrow.
“The creative team and the marketing team sat in the conference room for about an hour and went down the list of all the position players that we want Braves fans to vote for,” Kim said. “We were throwing out different ideas and making up movie titles. It was a fun brainstorming session.”
Among other “movie” titles they came up with: “Big Bear Adventure” starring left fielder/designated hitter Marcell Ozuna; “Kids from Curacao” co-starring Albies and relief pitcher Kenley Jansen; and “Daddy d’Aytrip” co-starring catcher Travis d’Arnaud and outfielder Adam Duvall.
The poster for “Daddy d’Aytrip” features photos of d’Arnaud and Duvall on the field with their kids and anoints d’Arnaud as a “best actor” nominee – a nod, Kim said, to the acting job d’Arnaud did when he fell to the ground after being hit in the left arm by a 52-mph pitch from a Washington Nationals position player in a game early this season.
The poster for “Clutch” features Acuna’s affinity for cars and his “100 mph 100% of the time” style of play.
According to MLB, All-Star voting will open at 11:59 a.m. Wednesday (pushed back a day from an originally scheduled launch Tuesday). The online fan vote will determine the eight position-player starters and the designated hitter on the American League and National League teams.
Voting will be divided into two phases. The first phase will run until June 30, with the top overall vote-getter in each league clinching a starting spot at his position and the two leading vote-getters at each of the other eight positions advancing to the second and final phase of voting July 5-8.
Each MLB team nominated one player at each position for the ballot earlier this year, and many teams typically wage aggressive campaigns on behalf of their candidates.
The Braves’ effort “will get our baseball content into non-traditional baseball channels,” Zimmerman said.
Amy Tunick, chief marketing officer of National CineMedia, the cinema advertising network placing the Braves’ ads in theaters, said the team’s “playful Hollywood-themed” campaign is “exactly the kind of creative that NCM loves to bring onto the big screen.”
“Cinema is the perfect media for impactful creative storytelling,” she said in a statement, “and with summer blockbusters attracting audiences of all ages, there is truly no better place to connect and engage with baseball fans than at the movies.”
Kim, the Braves’ creative director who also had a key role in designing the team’s popular World Series rings, envisions movie-goers entering theaters to see, say, “Top Gun: Maverick” and noticing the Braves’ posters. “They’ll see Ronald Acuna in ‘Clutch’ and may do a double-take and go, ‘Is Ronald Acuna really in a movie?’ Then they’ll start to get it and see ‘vote Braves.’
“We had a lot of fun with it,” Kim said of the campaign. “I hope the players and the fans enjoy it, too.”