Fenway Park is a great place for kids who love baseball. I am fortunate enough to have a six-year-old who is obsessed with baseball. He even insisted that we leave his friend’s birthday party
early on Sunday because we had tickets to see the Red Sox take on the Angels. Although he did wait until after cake was served. I guess cake takes precedence over obsession.
After a one run homer from Albert Pujols of the Angels, I told him that he saw a potential Hall of Famer hit a home run, and although the Sox were down by a run, his face lit up. It was the David Ortiz three-run homer that put him over the moon though (“I saw my first Ortiz home run!” he shouted). After the Red Sox took the lead, my son kept announcing each pitch, the count, the pitcher’s ERA and the batting average of each hitter.
We were seated near a couple of families where the children were not engaged (although they were very cute in their Red Sox gear). The kids were mostly too young to follow the game, much less care that Josh Hamilton of the Angels was in front of us in right field, or that Jacoby Ellsbury stole a base or had a stand up triple. The two kids in front of us spent more time looking behind them than watching the game. You must be having a pretty bad time to find me more interesting than the baseball game. Their dad tried to keep them placated – he went to get ice cream, which went mostly uneaten and melted in the hot sun creating a sticky mess. He spent the rest of his time documenting his trip to Fenway on Facebook.
The kids were bored and restless – despite an exciting game – because they were far too young to be interested or care. To their credit, the parents gave up after the fifth inning and left. You can’t blame the parents for wanting a fun day together in an iconic baseball stadium…but they did fail to understand their main constituency: their own children.
In a way, your children are not unlike your customers. If you deliver an experience that they are not interested in – no matter how great (four Red Sox home runs!) – then you are left with a lot of complaining and a sticky mess. Unlike your children, your customers can just leave you for someone else.
My son stayed until the very end and announced the game until the end because he loves baseball. He says he wants to be an umpire/DH when he grows up, but he has broadcast announcer DNA. If he didn’t like baseball, we would not have been at Fenway Park and would have found another experience to share.