The inaugural London leg of the F.I.S.T Global Series hit Chelsea FC’s home ground of Stamford Bridge at the end of June.
Opening the event was a fireside chat between presenter Sid Kohli and Boston Red Sox’s Chief Marketing Officer Adam Grossman. With the Red Sox in London for a double-header against old foe the New York Yankees naturally the first question was on Major League Baseball, and the Red Sox, hopes for their time in London.
Grossman said, “I think for us, from a baseball standpoint, there’s 12 broadcasters covering these games and then media outlets from 35 countries that are covering this game. I think it gives you some sense of the magnitude of the event for the first time. Next year the Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals, one of the classic baseball rivalries, coming back to this city. It will be a two-year project but I think the next two days are truly going to be extraordinary.”
With 81 regular season home games to a season to sell, Grossman was quizzed by an audience member how the Red Sox gets that 360-degree view of fans.
“For us it’s been more and more fundamental and crucial with each year. I think for us a lot of what we focus on is the consumer side and trying to figure out and connect the dots,” he said.
“We have roughly three million fans that come into Fenway Park, on our social channels we have over seven million and we try to figure out how we’re connecting to those fans, how we’re making sure we’re engaging them and hopefully monetising them in some way is crucial to that.”
The final question asked from the audience to Grossman: “Do you think there is a greater expectation from brands around the world to not just make money but make more of a difference to society?”
“I do think that is a big piece,” he said.
“A lot of research is showing now, and it’s instinctive as well, but people want stories. It’s not just about a two-dimensional relationship but they want to get under the hood a little bit on creating an impact. We’re really lucky at the Red Sox, our foundation is the largest in professional sports in our country and I think we’ve tried to use that not in a sales way but in an impactful way and I think because of that other brands have started to come onboard.
“With that we can provide more opportunity, if a brand that wants to do more work in socially responsible areas, we can capably help that and believe it’s important. Sports provides such an incredible platform of visibility but the impact it can have in terms of driving change from a social standpoint.”