Getting a freebie when you attend a sporting event is nothing new– shirts, hats, even bobble-head dolls are all pretty common these days. But it’s fair to say that most fans would be surprised to get a freebie that’s personalized for them. But if you attend a Miami Heat home game, there’s a decent chance you’ll get just that: a 3″ button personalized just for you.
A button makes a great giveaway all on its own, but staff at American Airlines Arena didn’t want to stop there. Facilities Coordinator Chad Lesny recently ordered four different button designs and explained that they “are currently being used to show our guests that we are actively listening and want to recognize them for whatever he or she may be coming to the Miami Heat home games for and celebrating.”
So what does it mean that the staff are actively listening to arena visitors? Since fans almost always attend games as part of a group, it’s not uncommon for staff members to overhear their conversations. When they hear someone remarking that that night is their very first Heat game, for instance, how far they traveled to get there or a special birthday, the staff are encouraged to personalize a button on the spot and give it to the fan. Chad said that the button-centric “Celebration Initiative, isn’t advertised anywhere, “so it’s that much more exciting for us and the guests when we are able to pull a button out, write his or her name or state/country and thank them for coming to the game.”
Once a visitor has received their special button, Chad said that the rest of the arena staff is also “encouraged to greet the guest by their name or thank them for coming to the game from the country or state they are visiting them. We want to create a fun and individualized experience that no other sports and entertainment venue has for them.”
While we love this idea of personal buttons as surprise rewards for Miami Heat fans, the bitter basketball rivalry between our two cities certainly wasn’t lost on the Beaver. So we couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to make our shipper, Brian (a die-hard Bulls fan) model the Heat buttons in action. You can see he wasn’t too thrilled, but doubtless they’re much more effective on actual Heat fans!
Looking for other clever button uses? Check out how Poetry Foundation manages crowd control with colorful cosmic buttons.