Pirates Prize Wheel goes virtual

Pirates Prize Wheel goes virtual

Pirates Prize Wheel goes virtual
Everyone loves free stuff, right?

For the past four seasons, Pirates fans in attendance at PNC Park have had the opportunity to spin the Pirates Prize Wheel in an attempt to win Pirates merchandise, tickets and ticket discount offers.

All for a price that fits everyone's budget -- free.

The Prize Wheel has become incredibly popular with Pirates fans at PNC Park, as seemingly everyone stops to take their turn to spin the wheel and have their chance at one of several great prizes. Since the Prize Wheel was introduced, almost 300,000 visitors have taken their turn and tried their luck at the PNC Park game. The wheel averages a total of over 1,200 visitors per game.

The original concept in 2009 was to create a fun way to show the team's appreciation and reward fans for attending a game.

The Prize Wheel has grown into much more than that now, as the team has worked to include added benefits for those fans that sign up to spin the wheel.

The Pirates have also created a site where fans can spin a virtual wheel. While participants can still line up in the three locations around the ballpark to spin the wheel, now Pirates fans can spin the wheel at home via my-pirates.com.

All fans need to spin the wheel at home is a Pirates Rally Pass -- a special code obtained by signing up to play the Prize Wheel at a Pirates home game, entering the Text-to-Win Sweepstakes during any Pirates home game or entering the Box Office Sweepstakes (pamphlets available at PNC Park ticket windows).

The Rally Pass code is unique to every fan and can be used for a variety of benefits, including a shorter wait time to play the Prize Wheel during a game, entry into the Text-to-Win sweepstakes during games and access to my-pirates.com.

The Rally Passes can also be used to sign in at PirateFest, the team's annual winter expo and fan gathering in Pittsburgh. In fact, in 2011, fans were able to sign in using their Rally Pass to become eligible for door prizes and the daily grand prize at the expo.

On the my-pirates.com site, fans are asked to enter their Rally Pass code on the home page and are then eligible to spin the virtual prize wheel once a month for prizes such as Pirates hats, T-shirts and tickets. There is also an opportunity to click the ticket discount wheel for up to $10 off the price of select tickets for the remainder of the season.

"The Prize Wheel has become a hit at PNC over the last few years and we are excited to expand on the values of the game and add an online element," said Pirates executive vice president and chief marketing officer Lou DePaoli.

Also new for 2012, the Pirates increased the quality of the Rally Passes (from business card stock to a hard plastic credit card size) and added a matching key chain to make the cards more durable and easier to carry. The club also installed gazebos under the Bleachers and on the Riverwalk, which removed the need for a redemption station. This allowed for all prizes to be claimed directly at the wheels, a major convenience improvement.

During the 2012 season, the team has launched a fully digital version of the prize wheel on the club level. Using a touch screen monitor, players can scan their own Rally Pass and spin the digital wheel that is displayed on a big screen for all to see.

The Prize Wheel is just one of the many special interactive fan elements at PNC Park, and yet another added benefit for Pirates fans coming down to what is widely regarded as one of the best ballparks in Major League Baseball.