Toronto Blue Jays Immersive Flagship Store Celebrates the Fans

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Shikatani Lacroix developed a retail brand strategy for the Toronto Blue Jays and captured its patriotic values. The flagship store launched in August 2014 and resides in CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Design work includes a vibrant digital entranceway and an immersive interactive journey including seven unique digital experiences and 16 screens.

Nominating Company: Shikatani Lacroix Design Inc, Toronto, ON, Canada
Venue: Toronto Blue Jays shop, Toronto, ON, Canada
Project: Toronto Blue Jays shop
Category: Immersive Environments

BACKGROUND
Shikatani Lacroix configured an array of digital signage for the flagship Jays Shop in CF Toronto Eaton Centre. The primary objective was to reinforce the leadership position of the Toronto Blue Jays brand and link it to its Canadian brand equity. Visitor and merchandise studies identified that Canadians from coast to coast felt a strong affinity towards the Blue Jays as a team and carrier for the Canadian flag. Therefore, the goal behind the technology was to showcase fashionable and everyday wearable items, highlighting exclusive products available only at the Jays Shop.

The store needed to capture merchandise dominance to entice and drive revenues. Shikatani Lacroix leveraged the greatest in innovative digital signing, appealing to fans beyond a stadium, by creating a branded experience that celebrates the team’s history and its contribution to MLB. The digital experience designed for the flagship store created an avenue that drives sales throughout the year.

CHALLENGES
After the 1994 MLB strike, the Blue Jays struggled to regain fan loyalty and the excitement of its glory years. Shikatani Lacroix proposed the concept “Celebrate the Fan” to provide authentic and exclusive retail experiences. It was imperative that the designs maintained consistency to leverage the new identity and branding of the team. Shikatani Lacroix ensured each uniquely created digital sign tied to the theme: A journey into the past, present and future of the Jays.

The store had to capitalize on sports memorabilia sales beyond the stadium. However, the majority of existing Jays marketing memorabilia was catered toward sports fans. When designing the retail store concept, Shikatani Lacroix creatively adapted the brands fan-targeted marketing to attract a greater audience of potential customers who appreciate a branded experience, and want fashion-forward options to choose from. Shikatani Lacroix leveraged the latest mobile and digital signage technology to appeal to mass audiences

SOLUTIONS
To appeal to a large audience, Shikatani Lacroix incorporated design work that could be appreciated by more than baseball and Blue Jays fans. The design team developed a range of innovative digital solutions at the entrance and throughout the interior. This included a multi-screen hat wall and a 10-screen digital panel featuring live game feeds and memorable moments of the team. Additionally, secondary digital signage incorporated promotes new merchandise and the mobile communications and geo-fencing tie back to MLB apps, extending the fan experience.

The aim was to increase the affinity for the brand by capitalizing on the heavy traffic and tourism found in CF Toronto Eaton Centre, creating a space that is not just about the merchandise. Customers enter through a 10-screen video wall and experience other digital signage placements, including touchscreen kiosks that allow for the customization of jerseys; a significant feature unique to the Blue Jays store!

RESULTS
The new Jays Shop provides an immersive and all-encompassing experience that is a destination for Jays fans outside of Rogers Centre. Shikatani Lacroix created an emotional and innovative experience unlike any other in team sports retail. The brand strategy behind the eye-catching digital store captures the patriotic message of Canada’s only baseball club. Game feeds and touchscreen kiosks to customize attire provide an experience based on “Celebrating the Fan.” This is evident as thousands of visitors lined up during the grand opening with media appreciation of the truly immersive Blue Jays experience. Sales exceeded expectations, particularly with ladies fashion and youth products displayed on the digital
arrangements. The average purchase per customer and transaction volume was higher than predicted, and the store continues to drive incremental sales throughout the year. With the opening of the flagship shop, Blue Jays fans have another win to celebrate thanks to the expertise of Shikatani Lacroix.

Shikatani Lacroix was nominated for a DSE 2016 APEX Award in the Immersive Environments category.

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