Highlights of the new features of the MLB Fan Cave - both inside the physical location at 4th Street and Broadway in New York City as well as new ideas and programming concepts - include:
- "Cave Crashers": For the first time, all 30 MLB Clubs will give one fan the opportunity to "crash" the MLB Fan Cave at select times during the season. Throughout the year, each club will run a promotion via social media to choose one lucky fan to win the chance to visit the MLB Fan Cave for a two-day experience while their team is in New York. In most cases, fans will meet a player from their favorite team, watch games with the Cave Dwellers and see their team play at either Yankee Stadium or Citi Field.
- Mission Control powered by MLB.TV: A 20-foot long control panel featuring 30 screens providing a window into every MLB ballpark and a massive amount of data, Mission Control powered by MLB.TV will allow for live video chats between fans and Fan Cave visitors, provide information about each park including weather elements like wind speed and direction, tally a variety of league-wide stats throughout the year, provide video of ballpark activity and offer a glimpse into who is talking about the team on social media at any given moment, all while all 2,430 MLB games are streamed live from MLB.TV. Mission Control is a completely custom project from BREAKFAST, a Brooklyn-based firm that specializes in digital experiences to bridge the gap between the online and real world. A video demonstration of Mission Control can be accessed here.
- Cave Art: A new art gallery will showcase a collection of unique pieces of artwork from a rotating selection of artists featured throughout the year, curated by Kerri Lisa of Bravo's "Gallery Girls." The first artist featured is Thierry Guetta (a.k.a. "Mr. Brainwash"), a Los Angeles-based pop artist who is one of the most prolific and talked-about artists today. Designer of theh cover of Madonna's greatest hits compilation, Mr. Brainwash's collection will include a piece featuring Jackie Robinson.
- MLB Fan Cave University: The MLB Fan Cave will host a series of interactive educational experiences throughout the year with some of the most intriguing and innovative people in a variety of fields.
"The MLB Fan Cave has far exceeded our expectations these past two years, but in order for it to continue reaching new heights it is critical that we keep infusing it with new ideas and fresh concepts," said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. "Between Mission Control, the art gallery, a more robust concert series, more engagement with all 30 Clubs and all the other new twists, we feel confident that this year will be the best yet for the MLB Fan Cave, entertaining fans through social media and reaching new audiences in an entirely unique way."
The MLB Fan Cave returns for a third season in 2013 following a year of tremendous growth in social media activity, fan engagement and video content, as well as a highly successful concert series featuring top musical acts. With more than 1.2 million combined followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the MLB Fan Cave has built a large community of baseball fans, an audience whose average age is 20 years younger than the average baseball fan. A unique event space at 4th Street and Broadway in New York City's Greenwich Village, the MLB Fan Cave mixes baseball with music, popular culture, media, interactive technology and art.
Last week, MLB revealed the nine "Cave Dwellers" - Daniel Farris, Marcus Hall, Alex Justice, Nick Mendillo, Travis Miller, Mina Park, Aaron Roberts, April Whitzman and Ben Wietmarschen - who will begin the season in the MLB Fan Cave, watch every single MLB game each day, chronicle their experience via social media while creating videos with MLB players and celebrities, and compete with each other along the way for the right to stay in the Fan Cave through the World Series (bios here).
The MLB Fan Cave will host a continuous series of player appearances throughout the season, with players participating in a video web series designed to showcase their personalities and interests in an entertaining way. More than a dozen MLB stars - including Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera, Luke Gregerson, Craig Kimbrel, Evan Longoria, Andrew McCutchen, David Ortiz, David Price, Sergio Romo, James Shields, Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Verlander - have confirmed they will visit the MLB Fan cave this season. Production at the MLB Fan Cave will again be done by executive producers Todd Pellegrino and Peter Iannuccilli of New Wave Entertainment, an LA and NY based production and talent management company, with content made available to fans through social media channels and on MLBFanCave.com.
In addition, the MLBFanCave.com Concert Series will build on its huge success in 2012 to continue the long tradition of music at the Fan Cave's location, which is the former home of the iconic Tower Records in New York City's Greenwich Village area. Beginning with the Opening Day performance by Afrojack, all musical performances will once again be free and open to fans, with highlights appearing on MLBFanCave.com. The MLBFanCave.com Concert Series to date has featured top artists including Nas, Jason Aldean, The Fray, OneRepublic, Far East Movement, The Avett Brothers, Ziggy Marley, LMFAO, Neon Trees, Daughtry and many more (footage from these and other concerts available here). More information on how fans can attend these and other concerts will be available on MLBFanCave.com.
More than 400 celebrity visitors including nearly 200 current MLB players as well as musicians, actors, former players and others have visited the MLB Fan Cave since its launch in 2011, participating in more than 500 online videos for fans to share via social media.
Some of the biggest stars in baseball, including Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, R.A. Dickey, Bryce Harper, Ryan Howard, Derek Jeter, Adam Jones, Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, David Ortiz, David Price, CC Sabathia, Chase Utley, Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and David Wright have visited the MLB Fan Cave, while celebrity guests have included Kevin James, Kate Upton, Jesse Eisenberg, Nick Offerman, Craig Robinson, Charlie Sheen and Eric Stonestreet. Some of the most popular recent MLB Fan Cave videos have included Miguel Cabrera and Adam Jones starring in a parody of Rihanna's "Diamonds" video, Andrew McCutchen impersonating Tom Cruise's greatest hits, Bronson Arroyo and Aroldis Chapman singing a new version of "Red Hooded Sweatshirt," Justin Verlander surprising a special young fan, Ryan Dempster and Derek Holland performing dueling Harry Caray impersonations, and pranks involving David Price and James Shields, Cameron Maybin, and Buck Showalter, Jim Johnson and Darren O'Day.
The MLB Fan Cave will also be the remote studio home for a number of national television and radio shows throughout the season, beginning with the Opening Day on-site broadcast by ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning. Throughout the season, the MLB Fan Cave and the Cave Dwellers will contribute via social media and make weekly appearances on the MLB Player Poll, a show by MLB Productions airing Saturdays during the regular season on FOX.
Supported by MLB Advanced Media, the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball and industry standard bearer for technology in digital media, the Cave Dwellers will participate in season-long contests through MLB.com's original programming and interactive games, where they will join millions of baseball fans playing fantasy baseball games and other activities.
The MLB Fan Cave has won numerous industry awards and honors, including Best in Experiential Marketing at the 2012 Sports Business Awards, the Grand Prize for Best Digital PR & Social Media Campaign at the 2013 Ragan's PR Daily Digital PR & Social Media Awards, the Bronze Lion for Branded Entertainment & Content at the 2012 Cannes Lions Festival, Best Use of Social Media in Sports at the 2012 Cynopsis Awards and Best Use of Social Media in Sports at the 2012 Shorty Awards.
The MLB Fan Cave features products and services provided by nearly 50 companies, led by Pepsi, Budweiser, Scotts, T-Mobile and MLB Authentic Collection licensees New Era and Majestic.