The Los Angeles Dodgers sold 6,800 Pride Night package tickets for the team’s annual event last Friday. The team estimated that 8,000 people were actually in attendance specifically because of the Pride Night, based on the secondary ticket-market sales.
That is the most tickets ever sold by a team for a single Pride Night. The Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals and other teams often sell a couple or several thousand, but none have reached 6,800 Pride tickets sold.
The Dodgers have created one of the hallmark Pride Nights — if not the single premier LGBT event — in Major League Baseball, so it’s not a surprise that the LGBT community would respond so positively.
Dodgers Executive Vice-President & Chief Marketing Officer Lon Rosen said it’s all about making the relationship between the team and the community genuine.
“People from across sports have asked us what has made our LGBT Night resonate and grow so much over the past five years and I think the answer is pretty simple. We practice what we preach….they aren’t just words when we say the Dodgers organization embraces diversity, inclusion and equality for ALL.
“We are fortunate in that [ Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Broadcasting] Erik Braverman and others throughout the organization have a long-standing relationship with the LGBT community and have been able to use their relationships and connections with community leaders and social leaders to make our relationship with the LGBT community more that just a one night promotion. The Dodgers are genuinely committed to supporting the LGBT community year-round, as we do with so many other communities in Southern California.
“At the end of the day though, the real reason the attendance grows every year is because of the fan experience. Erik and his team work hard to program the night in way that entertains and connects with all fans. As I said, our fans our diverse in every way possible. The one thing everyone can agree on is their love for the Dodgers.”
Rosen is exactly right. The Dodgers’ relationship with the LGBT community is not relegated to one day, but extends throughout the year. Outside of Pride Night, the Dodgers are working with local LGBT organizations to offer resources, guidance and support 52 weeks a year.
Having a high-level executive like Braverman, who came out publicly a couple years ago, certainly helps make those community relationships run deep.
The Dodgers, with Braverman’s guidance and the work of producer Andrew Sync, make their Pride Night a full embrace of the LGBT community. One way that showed up Friday night was the featuring of six same-sex couples on the in-game Kiss Cam; That was half of the couples shown on the big screen. While other teams show zero or one same-sex couples during their Pride Nights, the Dodgers displaying a half-dozen reflects the team’s complete embrace of the community.
In addition to the Kiss Cam, gay and transgender choruses sang the National Anthem (watch the video below), LGBT people threw out the opening pitch, more members of the community dominated the pre-game entertainment, Varsity Gay League played a kickball game in the outfield before the game, the team created T-shirts with the Dodgers logo in rainbow colors (and they were everywhere at the game), “Pride Night” was mentioned during in-game announcements, and signs about Pride Night were posted in the stadium.
That’s a pretty complete experience for the LGBT community.
As Rosen said... THAT (and being in a city of millions of people) is how you sell nearly 7,000 tickets to Pride Night.