Hitting it Out of the Park: New App Extends Fan Experience
When our local minor league baseball team, the Fort Wayne TinCaps, came to us looking for a way to better reach out to their fans, we decided a game would be the perfect solution. The “Go Johnny Go” app allows fans to dodge baseballs and collect apples as they race Johnny back to Parkview Field. The game was a true extension of the TinCaps’ stellar fan experience sending them racing back to Parkview Field for the next ball game.
Everyone Has a Story: Get to Know Our Client
The Fort Wayne TinCaps are a minor league baseball team based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Since 2009, fans have been able to enjoy watching the TinCaps play baseball downtown at Parkview Field cheered on by their mascot, Johnny. Johnny (named after local pioneer Johnny Appleseed) is well-known for his iconic tin cap which is also featured in the TinCaps’ logo.
Out of 160 minor league baseball teams, the TinCaps are the best of the best. They’ve been recognized for the Best Ballpark Experience and the creation of the new “Go Johnny Go” app allows fans to take that incredible experience home with them.
Digging Deeper: Our Detailed Process
Michael Limmer, Vice President of Marketing for the TinCaps, came to us looking for a way to extend their brand outside of the ballpark. While the TinCaps were already developing a strong fan base during the baseball season, Mr. Limmer wanted to take it a step further to really help fans connect with the TinCaps week-long and year round. The brainstorming process took about two years but it was finally decided that a game featuring the TinCaps mascot, Johnny, would be the best option.
With the decision made, our team got to work drafting the first graphical representations of Johnny. We knew that with Johnny’s familiarity with the fans that it would be important to find an artistic rendering that would accurately reflect the TinCaps mascot in a 2D form. The final version of Johnny was the result of a lot of brainstorming, and he has been positively received and easily recognized by TinCaps’ fans of all ages.
In addition to accurately portraying the main character, Johnny, we also wanted to feature a variety of landscapes that would be recognizable to Fort Wayne natives. Because of this, Parkview field and other key downtown landmarks can be seen throughout the “Go Johnny Go” game.
One Project at a Time: Delivering Innovative Solutions
The Tincaps’ new “Go Johnny Go” app has been a huge success with fans. The custom illustration within the game really added that personal touch while convenient features like the ability to play the game without internet have made it easy for fans to stay connected with their favorite mascot from any location.
Whether it’s collecting apples for energy or dodging baseballs to avoid injury, every part of the game is directly related to the Tincaps culture that is so strong here in the Fort. Being a part of the Fort Wayne community helped Reusser Design to truly infuse the TinCaps game with the personal touches that were necessary to resonate with their local fanbase.
Finally, a custom admin for the app allows TinCaps’ staff to easily aggregate game data to tell how many people have played the game, how far Johnny has run, how many apples have been collected, and more! It’s easy to tell by the staggering statistics below that “Go Johnny Go” has been a homerun when it comes to extending the fan experience for the TinCaps, and all of us at Reusser Design have loved being a part of the journey. Go Johnny Go!
Challenge Accepted: How We Overcame Obstacles
The biggest challenge that we faced in developing the new Tincaps app was quite simply the fact that we have never done anything like it before. That made developing the game a unique and fun challenge for our team. We brought the entire team on board to brainstorm and collect inspiration - holding a game day with various gaming systems to spark ideas and enlisting the entire team in play testing the game. Keeping the whole team involved helped us to ensure that the game would be a hit with a wide variety of fans and skill levels.