The St. Louis Cardinals have launched the Cardinals High School Video Challenge, a unique youth engagement initiative that offers local St. Louis Metropolitan area high school students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete for the chance to create a video with the team at the students' school that features both Fredbird and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.
"We hope the Cardinals High School Video Challenge sparks the imagination and creativity of our young fans, while also showcasing the amazing power of teamwork," said Ron Watermon, Vice President of Communications. "We want students to have fun while learning, and show off their school spirit and passion for the St. Louis Cardinals using a technology that is literally transforming how we connect with one another."
The St. Louis Cardinals worked with EducationPlus, the school district cooperative for the metro area, to develop the Cardinals High School Video Challenge to not only promote the team and local high schools, but more importantly leverage communication technology to promote learning, particularly the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design and Math) curriculum.
"We're thrilled that the St. Louis Cardinals are working with educators in our member districts to get students engaged and excited about learning and baseball," said Dr. Don Senti, Executive Director of EducationPlus. "This video challenge provides hands-on learning opportunities for students and gives them a chance to demonstrate what they've learned in a unique format."
The video challenge is open to high school students (grades 9-12) enrolled in public or private high schools within the Metropolitan St. Louis area. To participate, students must work in teams and be sponsored by a teacher from their high school. There is no limit to the number of student teams from a single high school.
Students are being asked to develop an original video no longer than four minutes in length that promotes the St. Louis Cardinals and the students' high school, includes a STEAM connection and must include roles for both Fredbird and Ozzie Smith. Students also have the option to include a role for the Rally Squirrel if they so desire.
Students interested in participating in the challenge have until February 26, 2016 to assemble their team, write a script, produce a rough cut of their video using someone from the school standing in for Ozzie and Fredbird, and have a teacher submit the video and script to the Cardinals on behalf of the student team. All of the student video submissions will be showcased on cardinals.com/studentvideochallenge.
A team of judges comprised of Cardinals front office staff and employees of EducationPlus will select challenge finalists. Fans will be able to vote online for their favorite student produced rough cut video in order to determine the winner. The winner will be announced on Opening Day in St. Louis (Monday, April 11th). The Cardinals will come to the winning high school in late April with Ozzie, Fredbird, and a front office production crew to work directly with the students to produce the final feature video.
The final feature video will be showcased on cardinals.com and the team's various social platforms (Facebook, YouTube etc.), as well as shared in park during an on-field red carpet premiere prior to a game in May. Students interested in participating in the challenge may learn more at cardinals.com/studentvideochallenge.
The Cardinals High School Video Challenge is one of several #CardsFanFlix fan engagement initiatives the team has undertaken recently to encourage fans to create videos that celebrate the St. Louis Cardinals. Last season, hundreds of fans collectively participated in the various #CardsFanFlix video engagement promotions which included the Ultimate Fan Video Contest, the Take Me Out to the Ballgame Music Video contest, the 2015 All-Star Video the Vote promotion, the Ultimate Fan Broadcaster Contest, the Greatest Postseason Moments Contest, the #12inStL Fan Video Rally, and the team's season-long celebration of Red Schoendienst's incredible 70+ years in major league baseball, #LoveRed2.
Through the #CardsFanFlix fan engagement initiative, the St. Louis Cardinals hope to tap into the increasing trend of user-generated video content made possible by advances with mobile technology and social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Vine, Instagram and Twitter have all seen dramatic increases in video content in recent years. YouTube estimates that approximately 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. The St. Louis Cardinals are planning a variety of youth-focused fan engagement initiatives in the coming months to build upon MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's league-wide effort to inspire more youth interest in baseball.