Of the successful projects you’ve worked on, which is your favorite, and what steps led to making it a success?”
One of my favorite projects that I have worked on was designing an immersive retail experience flagship store for Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays.
My agency, Shikatani Lacroix, has intimate knowledge of the Blue Jays brand. We have worked closely with the MLB and the Toronto Blue Jays over the years on designing the first retail shop located in the Rogers Centre Stadium and a brand refresh across the stadium and corporate spaces. We developed a strategy to create a new retail experience that was not just about the merchandise. The goal was to expand and showcase more fashionable and everyday items while highlighting the exclusive products only available at the Jays Shop. The flagship store needed to feature innovative digital experiences that would immerse customers in all things Blue Jays and baseball and deliver a store that is not just about shopping, but a destination for Jays fans outside of Rogers Centre.
The defined objectives for this new retail experience were to create an emotional and innovative experience unlike any other in team sports retail. We came up with a concept called “Celebrate the Fan.” It is a journey into the past, present and future of the Jays. It is a shop that provides authentic and exclusive merchandise in a retail experience that immerses the consumer in all things baseball and Blue Jays.
Guests are greeted with a dynamic and eye-catching digital entranceway and are then led through the store on an interactive journey including a digital hat wall and expansive digital signage. Digital screens around the store featured live game feeds, video connection between store and stadium, promotional messaging and memorable moments from the team’s history. Touchscreen kiosks allowed customers to customize their jersey. Mobile communications and geo-fencing tying back to the MLB apps allow customers to extend the full fan experience.
Our Process consisted of a three-part approach – Define, Design & Deliver
We conducted a competitive analysis and market research that identified the following opportunities:
- The Jays Stadium Shop needed to capture merchandise dominance to entice and drive revenues with headgear representing the greatest opportunity for incremental sales.
- Branded experiences needed to provide a strong degree of scale as sales peaked prior to the game, during the game’s seventh-inning stretch, and following the end of the game.
- Signs and merchandising needed to have a high degree of flexibility as merchandise styles and offerings change from year to year.
- Sales of sports memorabilia were strong amongst tourists and visitors to Toronto, an appeal well beyond the stadium experience
- New Eaton Centre Flagship store needed to leverage the greatest in innovative digital signing to support the leadership role of the team.
- Store and brand experiences need to leverage the new identity and branding of the team.
Shikatani Lacroix and the Blue Jays worked closely to develop a strategy for the new store, creating a space that was not just about the merchandise. The goal was to expand and showcase more fashionable and everyday wearable items while also highlighting the exclusive products only available at the Jays Shop.
The experience also needed to communicate the patriotic message of the Toronto Blue Jays as Canada’s only baseball club. In addition to offering authentic team merchandise, official memorabilia and the latest fashion apparel, the flagship store features innovative and indelible digital design solutions. Guests are greeted with a dynamic and eye-catching digital entranceway and are then led through the store on an interactive journey including an animated hat wall and expansive digital signage.
Blue Jays fans had another win to celebrate with the opening of the brand new flagship Jays Shop in Toronto’s Eaton Centre the summer of 2014. This store replaced the original store Shikatani Lacroix had designed in the Sears main level located by the North Entrance. The original location had gained great success, exceeding all sales targets, irrespective of the team’s success on the field.
The new Jays Shop provides an immersive and all-encompassing experience that is not just about shopping, but a destination for Jays fans outside of Rogers Centre. The grand opening was a huge success with thousands visiting. There where crowds lined up to check out the new store and meet the Blue Jays players. The store staff shared with us that opening week sales were terrific, and they believe this great trend will continue in the months to come. There has been a truly overwhelming appreciation of the new store and digital experiences, not only from staff and the media, but more importantly from the fans. The Toronto Blue Jays shared they are grateful and proud of the experience SLD provided.
You can check out the full case study here: https://www.sld.com/our-work/case-study/the-toronto-blue-jays-mlb-brand-engagement-and-digital-experience/