Giants unveil numerous initiatives at open house
Willie Mays' 80th birthday, old-timers game among highlights
SAN FRANCISCO -- Last year when they held their media open house at AT&T Park, the Giants had sold just 21,000 season tickets.
One year later, they've sold their entire supply of season tickets -- over 27,700 -- and have established a waiting list.
There's nothing like winning a World Series to boost ticket sales.
"It has been even beyond our expectations," Giants president Larry Baer said on Thursday during the team's 2011 open house on a rainy day at AT&T.
"We're going to be in a situation where we're going to have the ballpark full a lot. We are completely grateful and overwhelmed by the response of the fans."
The Giants, Baer said, have already sold 2.6 million total tickets, an increase of around 50 percent from a year ago, when the team had yet to win a World Series since moving to San Francisco from New York in 1958.
The Giants, by virtue of capturing that long-awaited crown, all but sell themselves. But that doesn't mean the team's marketing machine has grown silent. Far from it.
The Giants are taking full advantage of the marketing bonanza that comes with winning a World Series. Their home schedule is packed with celebrations and promotions that tie into their magical 2010 campaign.
In their April 8 home opener against St. Louis, the Giants will raise their 2010 World Series Champions flag at AT&T during a pregame ceremony. The next night, players and coaches will receive their World Series rings during another pregame ceremony.
Throughout the season, the Giants will have promotions in which they give fans all things World Series-related, from banners and caps to pennants and blankets.
Not every promotion this year, however, is directly related to last year's World Series crown. Willie Mays, for example, turns 80 on May 6, and the Giants will celebrate his birthday on the night of their home game against Colorado.
"We have a big night planned for Willie," said Mario Alioto, Giants senior vice president, revenue.
They have a big day at AT&T planned for catcher Buster Posey, who will receive his 2010 National League Rookie of the Year Award in a pregame ceremony on April 10.
The Giants have hosted plenty of player reunions, but on June 11, some of those former Giants will actually suit up for an old-timers game.
"We're still working on the lineups, but Will Clark has already said he can't wait to get in the batter's box," Alioto said.
The Giants unveiled a few additions on Thursday to their already extensive food offerings at AT&T, including: an only-in-San-Francisco, gluten-free hot dog; a Blarney Burger -- half a pound of beef topped with corned beef and Swiss cheese; and a steamed bun with a Thai vegetable salad. In other words, something for everyone.
Giants fans throughout the nation will get a behind-the-scenes look at the team, thanks to a documentary series being produced by Showtime and Major League Baseball -- The Franchise: A season with the San Francisco Giants. The tentative plan is for six, one-hour episodes, with a sneak preview on April 13 and the premiere on July 13.
Chris Tully, MLB senior vice president for broadcasting, said the series will give fans a "fly-on-the-wall perspective" of the Giants at work and away from the park.
"We're looking to chronicle some of the elements of the day-to-day routines and day-to-day lives of our subjects, whether it's players, former players, some of the front-office personnel," Tully said. "And we want to do it without unnecessarily disrupting their routines, or disrupting their lives. So it's not really what we've come to understand what a reality series to be.
"We're not artificially taking people and placing them in unfamiliar settings, and see how they react to it, because that's not authentic. This is authentic."
Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.