Putting the I – in Sports Innovation
Fans visiting Lions Park are waiting in line to take pictures at the 'L ONS' photo zone, an emerging hot spot for many to visit.
It is a sunny day, and you arrive at Lion’s Park. Upon arrival, you notice a long line of people trailing around the park. You scurry over to look at what could possibly have brought hundreds of people to this one particular area. Once there, you realize that many have arrived because of the “L ONS” sign. Immediately you take out your phone and share it with all your friends eager to have been a part of this attraction.
'L ONS', where the letter “I” was omitted from LIONS, was built by the new president of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Huh Gu-yeon. He wanted something that could attract younger fans while also keeping true to the original name of the Samsung Lions.
This ingenious idea provoked enthusiastic participation from fans. From the first day of the home opening, savvy fans understood the meaning of the photo zone at once. It is so popular that people line up to take a commemorative photo. Before and after the game, he does not go home and is busy taking pictures. It has emerged as a hot place in Daegu almost immediately.
Actively reflecting and meeting the needs of “Gen Z” is a key mark of business success according to President Huh. “When you come to the baseball field, you do not just watch baseball. We have prepared a special space for the participation of Gen Z, who likes to take pictures. This is the 'L ONS' photo zone in the square in front of the ticket office of the Daegu Lions Park, the home stadium. New space this season. It is receiving a warm response from fans.”
The clever concept emphasizes that the true protagonist of professional baseball is me (I) and a fan who visited the baseball field. In the past, the main way of participating in baseball was the idea of “only needing to be good at baseball.” But this way of thinking is outdated. To attract current and future customers who consume professional baseball, and the MZ generation with various needs, to the baseball field, a change of thinking is necessary. In that sense, the 'L ONS' photo zone was a meaningful attempt made by that small change in thinking.
What other sports would you like to see more fan engagement with? Let us know!
Source: Jeong Hyun-seok from Sports Chosun (April 11, 2022)