We hosted our inaugural Tweetup last night. It’s like a “meetup” except it’s Twitter.com users (who “tweet”) that follow the official A’s feeds @Athletics and @ticketservices. A special Plaza Level ticket allowed early access to the Eastside Club before the evening’s game where guests were treated to question and answer sessions with A’s players and personalities, hosted by Kara (@karashotcorner), while nibbling on inclusive food and beverages.
Two of the A’s most savvy social media users, pitchers Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47) and Brad Ziegler (@bradziegler), sat down with Kara in front of the crowd to answer questions that fans tweeted us before and during the event. A few off-the-cuff highlights from the players… When asked what other position he’d play besides pitcher, Gio said he couldn’t play infield because he doesn’t like wearing a cup. Asked about their uniform choices, Brad doesn’t wear stirrups because it’s too much gold for his taste, to which Gio replied he wants to go with an all gold uniform. Brad was asked and talked about the importance of his foundation Pastime for Patriots.
After the player panel, A’s radio voice Vince Controneo (@vincebaseball), Comcast SportNet California on-air personality Kate Longworth (@KLongworthCSN), and the Twitter sensation/wife of the night’s home team starting pitcher Amanda McCarthy (@Mrs_McCarthy32) all sat down with Kara to discuss how Twitter enhances their daily lives. Vince claims he doesn’t know what he’s doing on Twitter, but clearly, as one of the few MLB broadcasters on Twitter, understands how to harness the power of social media. He uses Twitter to interact with fans and stay on top of breaking news around the league. Kate, both a reporter and A’s fan, appreciates the personal viewpoint that Twitter provides fans. She recounted a recent connection she made with an out-of-state A’s fan that coined the term “Fosse Posse” and then attended his first home game in Oakland, where he got to meet Ray Fosse. Twitter provided the platform to make these connections happen. Amanda discussed the thrill of tweeting with people and then coming face-to-face, realizing the person you’re tweeting might be seated right behind you at the ballpark.
Even Stomper (@Stomper00) rolled through the Tweetup a couple times to visit with fans, assist with the giveaway raffle, and to try and push his Twitter followers over 1,000. By the end of the game he reached his goal!
Thank you everyone that came out to the A’s first Tweetup. If you attended, we’d love to hear what you thought. Write us in the comments area below so that we can make the next Tweetup even better.
Take a walk down Tweetup memory lane with additional Tweetup with the A’s photos…
As mentioned on our @ticketservices Twitter feed, Gio Gonzalez was on last night’s Season Ticket commemorative ticket stock. Every offseason, shortly before the thick of the holiday season, a few of us in the Ticket Operations Department pour over photos, creating a theme, and assigning each photo to specific games throughout the season. We want each ticket to be unique and we hope that each ticket will be memorable. Consolidated Printing, the company that prints the tickets, then helps with the design. We recently placed Trevor Cahill on a night that he pitched, similar to Gio’s ticket last night. Boy, did Gio pitch a gem last night or what? A leadoff hit by the Marlins and then not another the rest of the night. A’s win 1-0. We called that one in December.
The Oakland A’s have long offered print at home tickets to fans purchasing online and by phone for a small per order charge. We’re pleased to report, as of yesterday, single game ticket buyers have the opportunity to print tickets at home for free. Our desire is to allow fans, especially tech savvy fans, the best ticket purchase, ticket delivery, and gate entry experience possible. When ordering single game tickets select “Print At Home” for $0. Your confirmation screen, as well as a follow up email, will contain links to print your tickets onto 8.5” x 11” paper. Be sure that the barcode on each ticket is legible. Bring your printed papers to the game and the barcodes are scanned for entry. You never have to see a ticket operations employee at the Box Office or at Will Call. But if you want to stop by and say “Hello, Go A’s!” we won’t stop you.
A helpful heads up A’s fans… parking for the weekend series vs. the San Francisco Giants will be a little different. Parking lot staff will be directing automobiles into specific rows and spaces. We do this so that we can fit as many vehicles into the parking lot as possible for these capacity crowds. On Wednesday, June 15 at 10:00 a.m. PT we sent a message to all fans with email that have tickets to these games. Here’s the information from the email:
“In order to provide as much on-site parking as possible for the sold out A’s vs. Giants series, A’s staff will be directing parking lot traffic during the June 17-19 games. Vehicles will be waved into specific rows in the parking lot. Once rows are filled, fans can tailgate in the lanes. The A’s recommend traveling to the Coliseum by BART. If arriving by vehicle, the A’s recommend early arrival. Parking is $17.”
Enjoy the A’s vs. Giants series Friday, June 17 through Sunday, June 19. Go A’s!
We’ve encouraged you to follow the A’s on social media before, but for the first time new followers will directly result in a decreased ticket price. Yesterday at midnight we recorded the number of followers that the @Athletics Twitter feed. It was 18,118. Over the next week, every 100 new followers will reduce the price of 4th of July Field Level tickets by $1. Get the full scoop.
For example, if 600+ new followers (or 18,718+ total followers) are signed up to follow the @Athletics feed, then the price of the $26 Field Level ticket will drop $6 to a new cost of $20.
“Follow & Save” ends Monday, June 20 at 10am PT. By 11am that morning we’ll provide the online coupon code for redemption of the new July 4 game ticket price. It’s a “Follow Friday” every day this week at @Athletics y’all!
Back again for its second season is the ability to return and exchange season tickets online. The A’s Ticket Services Office pioneered this practice last season, and we’ve heard other teams are adopting this feature beginning this season. It’s good to be a trendsetter.
We make the ticket exchange process as painless as possible for you. The online form fields you complete gives us the information we need to then process your request. If a return, we put the credit back on your account for use later this season. If an exchange, we print and deliver the new tickets. Your original ticket barcode is cancelled for the rest of eternity.
Read more information at oaklandathletics.com/exchange. Only submit a ticket if you’re serious about returning or exchanging it. No backsies!
The A’s already offer the best ticket exchange policy in professional sports. While you’re more than welcome to mail tickets or visit us in the Ticket Serivces Office to complete exchanges, we’ve added additional value to your Season Ticket Holder experience with online ticket exchanges.
Happy Opening Night A’s Fans!
We begin the 2011 A’s baseball season tonight with a home game against the Seattle Mariners. 7:05pm folks. OK, we’ve noticed that the trend is to say “Happy Opening Day.” But since we play a night game we’re going with the facts.
Looking around the Tickets Sales and Ticket Operations Departments we notice a lot of experienced faces… and graying hair (or receding hair!). A highly educated, work-a-holic bunch of people, our familiarity with each other shows how much we enjoy working in Major League Baseball. It prompted the question: What number A’s Home Opener is this?
The newest of the bunch are Lauren, Andrew, and Faizan, this being each their second Opening Night. Lauren and Andrew, both Ticket Services Representatives, are not short on experience. Lauren previously worked for the San Diego Padres and Andrew for the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. Faizan, a burnt orange Texas grad, is our Database Administrator and enjoys the temperate weather of a California Opening Night. John, a Ticket Services Rep, is celebrating the start of his fourth season, but just his third Opening Night. He joined the A’s in May of 2008. If you’re a brand new or long returning Season Ticket Holder there’s no doubt you’ve talked with or met all three of these terrific Ticket Services Reps.
Looking at nearly a half decade are Jason, Premium Seating Services Assistance, and Catherine, Ticket Services Manager, with this being their fourth Opening Night. Over the half decade hump with six Opening Nights are Moti, Premium Seating Services Manager, and Anuj, Ticket Operations Coordinator. Also at six Opening Nights today is Anthony, Box Office Supervisor, who is actually missing the action. We’re sure he’s got his hands full as Anthony’s wife gave birth to a baby girl earlier this week. We’ll give Anthony a pass this year.
The over-a-decade bunch (yikes!) is jam packed. Susie, Brian, David, and Travis are all enjoying their tenth Opening Night today. As Bill King would exclaim, “Holy Toledo!” Susie, Director of Premium Seating Services, met her husband, Matt, at the A’s who he himself is at number seventeen today. Brian, Director of Ticket Sales, made the move from Boston to the Bay Area just over ten years ago and is finally a full-fledged A’s fan. David, Ticket Operations Manager, is officially entering his eleventh season. Travis, Digital Ticketing Operations Manager, remembers that only a few years before he joined the A’s computers were just entering the workplace. How times have changed.
Josh, Director of Ticket Operations, is at Opening Night number eleven today. Straight from the mean dirt roads of farmland Ohio, Josh grew up an A’s fan watching Rickey, Hendu, Mac, and Stew as a kid. But Josh isn’t the department’s longest tenured Opening Night employee. That distinction belongs to Steve, Executive Director of Ticket Sales & Operations. Steve, celebrating his fourteenth Opening Night, predicts continued excellent service to all A’s fans and a winning 2011 season. We all do actually. Some of our best times have been crowded around a small radio in a Box Office listening to King call the “walk off bunt” and jumping up and down with fellow employees waving home Mark Kotsay in Minnesota. It’s the beginning of another baseball season tonight. Play Ball!
I don’t care much about autographs. An A’s employee for almost 9 full years, I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of current and former baseball players, such as Lenny Dykstra in a restroom, Mudcat Grant’s chauffeur at a golf tournament. More recently I ran across actors like Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. I didn’t ask for their autographs, they didn’t ask for mine. One day last Spring Training, however, I did ask for an autograph. Hall of Fame Cubs pitcher Ferguson Jenkins visited Phoenix Municipal Stadium to draw awareness and raise funds for his charitable foundation. He’s been to Phoenix Muni multiple times the past couple years. He brings with him former baseball players. On March 27, 2010 he brought Bob Feller.
I wasn’t a sports fan when young. Then, in my teens, I became an A’s fan. Baseball has the greatest history of all American sports. For over a hundred years, thousands of men have taken the field. There’s equally as many stories, some more unique than others. Bob Feller was a unique story. Making his debut for the Cleveland Indians at 17-years-old, he pitched his entire 18-season career with the Indians, which was interrupted by three years of military service. Most astounding to me, he was enshrined in Cooperstown on his first ballot in 1962. For 48 years he lived as an active member of the Hall of Fame.
We were honored to accommodate when Jenkins’ group asked if Feller could throw the ceremonial first pitch. At 91 Feller was unable to walk the stairs to the field. Our stadium operations coordinator offered to drive him around the ballpark and onto the field through the outfield fence. As Feller took the mound he was announced by an exuberant Mark Andrews. To cheers, Feller tipped his cap and fired a strike to home. I would not have believed a man of 91 could do such a thing. In good shape, sharp mind, and kind spirits, Feller talked a bit with guests and staff on field, recorded a short radio interview, and headed off the field on the cart that brought him on. Amazingly, our vintage stadium gate usher, Chet, 90-years-young himself, was at Bob Feller’s 1940 Opening Day no-hitter (his first of three career no-hitters). Chet recounted the events of April 16 in Chicago with Feller, agreeing on the batting order and how the outs were recorded. Chet attended that game rooting for the White Sox. Chet departed the ballpark in 1940 with a lifelong respect for Bob Feller.
As that afternoon’s Spring Training game continued I reflected on Feller’s contributions to the game of baseball. How much he enhanced the game and how much baseball meant to him. I fetched a clean baseball and troubled Bob Feller, with a donation, for an autograph. Sitting in my office, just over my shoulder, it’s the only autograph I keep on display.
Travis LoDolce, Digital Ticketing Operations Manager & Spring Training Operations Manager
(Photos copyright Travis LoDolce)
Miss us? Yeah, we’ve been quiet for a little while. Maybe you thought we took the offseason to lay on a beach in the southern hemisphere. We wish. Many fans often ask what we do during the offseason, assuming we take some time off or work a second job. Nah, we’re full time, year round – and the offseason is when it gets busy! Seriously. The regular season runs so smoothly for us all because of the time we put in during these winter months. Like any event, the setup is the hard part. You ace a test by studying, not sitting down day of and taking it.
Two major projects have engulfed us this offseason. First, we upgraded our ticket interface. Initially, you won’t notice a different when purchasing tickets online or over the phone. Eventually you’ll find advanced improvements to the single game ticket purchase flow. Internally, we’re experiencing a complete change. Our updated Tickets.com web-based software is shiny and new with all sorts of bells and whistles. It’s an adjustment period from our previous system, but it’s great to advance forward.
The second project is the 2011 E-Brochure. We live in the geographical capital of online communication. It’s only natural that we steer away from the printed brochure and move toward majority online communications. Working with Channel 1 Media, an industry leader in online professional sports brochures, we created what we hope is an informative and fun e-brochure where A’s Season Ticket Holders can obtain renewal information and all fans can learn about the schedule, ticket/suite/premium seating options, and promotional item information. Members of the A’s Ticket Operations staff, MLB.com, and Channel 1 Media put a lot of time and effort into the piece. We think it turned out great. You can find a version of it at oaklandathletics.com/2011. If you’re a Season Ticket Holder you’ve already received your email with a personalized URL (and a one page postal mailing directing you of the same web address). We’d love to know what you think of the e-brochure. Feel free to post a comment.
As always, whether it’s the offseason or the middle of a 10 game homestand, we’re here to help you. A’s Ticket Services staff can be reached at (510) 568-5600 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop us a line if it moves you.
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays here in the Ticket Services office. Between all the candy, great costumes, candy, and the tricks (did I mention candy?) it’s hard to not have a fun time. The holiday spirit prompted your esteemed service representatives to hit the music studio to film what we hope to be the next Billboard #1 smash hit. Check it out and tell us what you think!
(L ro R: Cauldron Catherine, Wolfrep John, DJ Bride of Laurenstein, “Who’s Your” Mummy Matt, and FrankAndrew.)
Jam to the song and video while you carefully carve Spooky Pumpkin Stencils with an A’s theme (kids ask your parents first).
Also, don’t forget that with Halloween comes that time of year to renew your season tickets! Keep a close eye on your email inbox and postal mail in the coming weeks for the 411 on your 2011 A’s Season Tickets!
Special thanks to JibJab.com for the music and video.