Three-year-old Cooper Buell probably never dreamed that his adorable celebratory dance during his Little League T-ball game would lead to a meeting with two Major League ball players. But after a family member's Twitter post of Cooper's dance went viral, appearing on ESPN's SportsCenter and CBS Sports, that's exactly what happened.
Bank of America's agency Hill Holliday saw the Twitter video and invited the Buell family to Minute Maid Park for a day with the Houston Astros, capturing the experience for #MLBmemorybank, an online video series that's part of Bank of America's partnership with Major League Baseball.
On the Big League field, Buell showed off his dance moves to Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, outfielder Jake Marisnick and mascot Orbit, and his family got to spend time on the field and attend that day's Astros game.
"We've been doing a lot of real-time marketing, really trying to capitalize on moments that matter. Cooper's a huge fan of the Astros, and he was so adorable in the video. He was really excited to meet the players," said Michele Barlow, svp, enterprise marketing and channels executive at Bank of America. "It was a special day for the family and the players, and from our perspective, it was great to create a new memory for them."
The #MLBmemorybank effort started last season, with videos of fans being surprised with once-in-a-lifetime baseball experiences, including a young fan throwing out the first pitch at a San Francisco Giants game, Cardinals fans taking selfies with Ozzie Smith outside of Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and fans getting tickets to the World Series in Kansas City. This year, fans are invited to tweet their own baseball memories using the hashtag #MLBmemorybank.
Bank of America has been a partner with MLB for more than 20 years, and its MLB videos are both "planned and opportunistic," Barlow said. At the beginning of the baseball season, Bank of America's marketing team sits down with MLB representatives to figure out which upcoming games might make good video opportunities, or players who might be available to appear in videos. The effort also includes user-generated content, such as a video booth at Fenway Park in Boston that captured fans' experiences on Opening Day.
The #MLBmemorybank series has helped Bank of America drive favorability among baseball fans and has generated more positive mentions for the brand on social media, Barlow said.
"The partnership with MLB and the videos have really created a positive impact for the brand," she said. "It's about your own experiences, when your mom or dad took you to your first game. Tapping into the emotional connection, not making it about the team or the players, has really created a great bridge with consumers."