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Major League Baseball introduces the MLB Fan Cave, an unprecedented fan engagement experience03/30/2011 9:30 AM ET
Major League Baseball today introduced the MLB Fan Cave (@MLBFanCave on Twitter), a first of its kind immersive fan experience that will take place in a vibrant location in New York City hosting the winner of the MLB dream job, who was chosen from a pool of nearly 10,000 applicants.
Starting on Opening Day, the winner, Mike O'Hara, will inhabit the Fan Cave every day for the entire 2011 MLB season along with his Wingman, Ryan Wagner, and will watch all 2,430 regular season games plus every Postseason game while chronicling their experiences and sharing their viewpoints on baseball and pop culture through Facebook, Twitter, a blog on MLB.com, custom videos and regular appearances on MLB Network.
The MLB Fan Cave, located at the corner of 4th and Broadway in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, will play host to interactive fan activities; regular visits from MLB players, baseball personalities and celebrities; parties; musical performances; and other events throughout the baseball season. With 32 14-foot windows, O'Hara and Wagner's every move and all of the events at the MLB Fan Cave will be visible to fans out on the street as well as fans online.
The concept was created by MLB, its new marketing and advertising agency of record Hill Holliday, and production company Endemol USA. Endemol USA will produce a web series, that will be distributed on MLB.com (www.MLBFanCave.com) and sharable through social media, which will chronicle the activities and events at the MLB Fan Cave, as well as O'Hara and Wagner's daily interactions. Bobby Maurer (The Tom Green Show) will serve as Executive Producer. MLBFanCave.com will be live today with some introductory photos and video and will officially launch on baseball's Opening Day, March 31.
The MLB Fan Cave was designed and created in consultation with one of the leading designers on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Paul DiMeo. The MLB Fan Cave is a 15,000 square foot space which will be fully equipped with an array of state-of-the-art media and entertainment technologies.
The centerpieces of O'Hara's unprecedented attempt at baseball consumption will be 15 Sony BRAVIA LCD HDTV televisions (three 60" screens surrounded by a dozen 32" TVs) that will broadcast every MLB game. In addition to the windows allowing fans to look in, the MLB Fan Cave will feature interactive elements for fans at street level and will be open to the public for free on certain days throughout the season. The MLB Fan Cave schedule of events will be available on MLBFanCave.com and special content will be available on MLB At Bat.
In addition to the televisions, the MLB Fan Cave will have numerous baseball-inspired elements including a Pepsi Porch modeled after the Pepsi Porches that are featured in three MLB ballparks. A list of MLB Fan Cave features is below.
"The MLB Fan Cave will give fans a creative new way to experience Major League Baseball," said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. "This is going to be a real-time experience which brings to life how people consume entertainment in 2011 with baseball at the center of it all. The MLB Fan Cave will be a convergence of baseball with pop culture, social media, technology, celebrity, entertainment, music and art."
O'Hara (@mikeyoh21 on Twitter), was born in Yonkers, N.Y. and is relocating to Manhattan from Los Angeles, where he has pursued a career in entertainment while performing as lead singer in a punk band, The Mighty Regis, named after Regis Philbin. O'Hara graduated from Syracuse University and decided to move to Los Angeles instead of pursuing a law degree. He has guest starred on multiple television shows, including Parks & Recreation, The Foxx/Crocket Show and the Jo Koy Show, and has been a guest star/writer for MTV's Punk'd and Short Circuitz and NBC's The Real Wedding Crashers, among others. His band was part of the 2010 Vans Warped Tour lineup and has been featured on FuseTV and Live! With Regis & Kelly.
Wagner (@rwags614 on Twitter) will serve as O'Hara's Wingman at the Fan Cave throughout the season. A Baltimore native, Wagner was most recently acting in a touring production of The Wizard of Oz (as Dorothy's uncle as well as the understudy for the Cowardly Lion). Wagner has seen almost every MLB stadium and has a degree in sports broadcasting from the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland. In 2009, he left his acting career to take an internship at Fox Sports 1370 AM in Baltimore, where he covered the Orioles and conducted pre- and post-game interviews.
Fans will have the opportunity to interact with O'Hara and Wagner on Facebook, Twitter and at the public Fan Cave events. The MLB Fan Cave will feature a wide variety of activities and technologies that will provide visitors and fans with an eclectic, multi-faceted entertainment experience that includes:
A manual scoreboard atop the entrance on Broadway that will be updated daily to reflect how many MLB games O'Hara has watched along with how many he still has to go.
A performance window on Broadway that will be host to a variety of live acts for fans.
Screens facing the street that will display for fans real-time highlights and photos from the day's games as well as a digital ticker broadcasting real-time tweets from O'Hara, Wagner and others.
An 18-foot statue depicting Willie Mays' famous catch in an artistic silhouetted form.
The windows will feature clings that contain QR codes that fans will be able to scan using their smart phones taking them to various areas of MLBFanCave.com.
A Music Section that will include a DJ booth, graffiti wall and window displays that will include music playlists of current Major Leaguers.
A Steiner Sports Collectibles area that will house obscure relics from baseball history including a can of bug spray used on Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain during the infamous "Midge Game" in Cleveland during the 2007 Postseason. The MLB Fan Cave will regularly schedule times for fans to bring in baseball collectibles to have them appraised by Steiner Sports Collectibles founder Brandon Steiner.
A Personal Style Section that will be highlighted by a barber chair and tattoo chair where fans, by appointment only, will have the opportunity to receive haircuts and get inked by special guest barbers and tattoo artists, respectively. Directly across from the chairs is a closet featuring the latest New Era caps, authentic MLB jerseys by Majestic Athletic and fashionable MLB apparel.
A Pepsi Café styled after a 1950's diner for O'Hara and Wagner to dine in during their stay.
A Budweiser Game Room that will include a billiards table, shuffle board and other bar games.
A pitching alley with a radar gun for visitors to test their pitching speed.
A Fantasy Baseball Corner where O'Hara and Wagner will stay up-to-date with their fantasy teams.
An artistic display of home plates for celebrity MLB Fan Cave guests to sign their names. There will also be an area for visitors to leave mementos during their visit.
A Google Earth-style map will hang near the TVs with oversized versions of the 30 ballparks. While games are in-progress, the fields playing host to those games will be illuminated.
Six Sony PlayStation 3 consoles featuring both Sony's MLB '11 The Show and Major League Baseball 2K11 from 2K Sports.
One of the first events at the MLB Fan Cave will be The MLB 2K 11 Perfect Game Challenge on Friday, April 1, where gamers will have the chance to compete to win $1 million if they are the first person to throw a perfect game while playing this season's MLB 2K11.
O'Hara and Wagner were selected for the MLB dream job through a process that included a video submission, writing samples, interviews on-camera with MLB Network talent, and interviews with MLB executives.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.