In the sports world, the days of passively watching an event from the stands are over. Today's venues offer numerous ways to entertain fans beyond the action on the field, catering to an audience that wants to actively engage with its Instagrammable surroundings.
Increasingly, the business world is following suit. Corporate event planners are getting more and more creative, coming up with fresh ways to ensure that gatherings are not just another day at the office.
It has been a natural fit, then, for companies looking to host memorable events in New York City to turn to one of the most iconic venues in all of sports, Yankee Stadium. In addition to being the home of the 27-time world champion New York Yankees, Yankee Stadium has become a vibrant location for corporate events that attendees talk about long after the day is done.
"We are seeing a trend toward smaller, more intimate events that place importance on the experience and emotions of the guests," said Emily Hamel, Yankees vice president of events and brand experiences. "With that in mind, we curate unique and impactful experiences for our clients."
One such event took place on a sunny afternoon earlier this year while the Yankees were playing on the road. As a thank you to its employees, a company held an outing at Yankee Stadium that was unlike anything it had ever done before.
After a private tour of Monument Park and the New York Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America, guests relaxed in the stadium's Delta SKY360° Suite. With Yankee Stadium all to themselves, they sat on the outdoor patio enjoying a drink from the bar or posing for pictures with the stadium's 100-foot-wide center field video board displaying their company's name in the background. Inside the lounge, they chose from an array of lunch options prepared by the stadium's chefs. And they had the opportunity to put on white gloves and hold authentic pieces of Yankees memorabilia, from Babe Ruth's and Mickey Mantle's bats to Derek Jeter's and Aaron Judge's jerseys—part of the museum's Hands On History program.
But the biggest highlight of the afternoon came as small groups of 10 to 15 people were ushered into an elevator and taken to the basement level of the stadium. Walking along the same hallway used by big leaguers, they were led down a corridor where they were soon greeted by two familiar faces: Yankees legends Chris Chambliss and Ron Guidry.
Chambliss, whose bat from his 1976 American League pennant-winning home run is on display in the Yankees Museum, handed a bat and a helmet to the first person he saw and invited her to hop into the batting cage. As a Yankees coach began throwing pitches her way, Guidry, the 1978 AL Cy Young Award winner, offered tips. Coworkers, eager for their chance to take some hacks, shouted words of encouragement.
It was a teambuilding exercise at its best, pure fun that ended in high-fives and stories to tell the kids at dinner. As far as corporate events go, it was an experience that only the biggest name in sports could provide.
"Life is about making memories, and we are fortunate to play a part in creating some great ones for our guests," Hamel said.
For more information about hosting an event at Yankee Stadium, visit yankees.com/events or call 646.977.8400.
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