The Toronto Blue Jays swing for the fences

The 'Hustle and Heart 2.0' campaign will introduce the young Jays lineup to the city, and seeks to build on its social media success last season.

The Toronto Blue Jays are hoping for a grand slam by upgrading their end-of-season ad campaign from last year to rally fans to the ticket booths for this season.

The ‘Hustle and Heart 2.0′ campaign starts Friday, when tickets go on sale, with a big push through to opening day on April 1. The buy will be concentrated where the target, 25- to 35-year-old males, are expected to see it, Anthony Partipilo, VP, marketing and merchandising, Toronto Blue Jays, tells MiC.

‘Baseball enthusiasts tend to be higher income, so they tend to be very heavy online, they’re heavy out-of-home, they’re heavy radio, so that’s what our media campaign will been focusing on.’

The ads will appear on TV across Rogers properties, with two ads being broadcast from Feb. 18 to April 1 and then six new versions appearing through the rest of the season. Radio ads will be playing across multiple stations in the Greater Toronto Area.

Online, there will be site takeovers and banner placements on a large number of sites, including,,,, and Facebook. There will also be an emphasis on Google AdWords and Google search. The online ads will run through the season, with a larger presence up until opening day and another spike between May and the end of June, when there are some key series and special events.

In print, the Jays will be doing wraps on the Toronto Sun and Toronto Star, and have ads running in all the local dailies, including free papers Metro, 24 Hours and T.O.night. A 20-page insert introducing the players will be inside the Toronto Star the Saturday before opening day.

OOH activations will include digital screens across the city, as well as Go Transit posters with free pocket-sized season calendars and subway door wraps.

OMD’s Toronto office handled the media buy. The creative for print and digital was done in-house, with TV work done by Project 10 in Toronto, with help from Loopmedia, also in Toronto.

The baseball club is also building on last year’s social media successes. Tweeting Tuesdays will be back, and will be bigger, says Partipilo. Last year, the initiative included opportunities for fans to throw out the first pitch if they correctly answered a Jays-related question pre-game via Twitter.

There were also in-game interactions with the video board, prizes awarded in-seat and a fifth inning tweet-up in a specified section where all participants got free T-shirts.

‘Baseball’s a social game,’ Partipilo says. ‘From our research we’ve discovered that fans obviously come for the game experience, and to follow their team, but baseball has a lot of peaks and valleys, and the game lends itself to being social. There’s time for them to interact and socialize, so this is just a way to get that socialization factor multiplied several times. Fans want to be engaged, they want to be involved, and this is something they like to do and it adds to the enjoyment of the game.’