Screenvision Brings Live Events to Movie Houses

Watch the Mets Game on the Big Screen, Catch a Pepsi T-Shirt

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Take me out to the ball game. Take me out to the Ziegfeld? It may not have the same ring, but cinema advertising company Screenvision is hoping that baseball games at movie theaters and other similar events will be a home run.
Cinema advertising agency Screenvision hosts 'Mets at the Movies' with the New York Mets at the famed Ziegfeld Theater. (From l.) Matthew Kearney, president -CEO, Screenvision; Dave Newman, senior VP-marketing and communications, N.Y. Mets; and Mr. Met.
Cinema advertising agency Screenvision hosts 'Mets at the Movies' with the New York Mets at the famed Ziegfeld Theater. (From l.) Matthew Kearney, president -CEO, Screenvision; Dave Newman, senior VP-marketing and communications, N.Y. Mets; and Mr. Met. Credit: Joe Vericker

Screenvision, a cinema advertising company, has created a new alternate content programming branch for its company to bring different forms of entertainment to movie theaters. The first event, spotlighting the New York Mets baseball team, was held last night at the Ziegfeld Theater, in conjunction with Clearview Cinemas. While the team is playing in Philadelphia, fans could purchase $10 movie tickets to watch the game on the movie screen.

1,100 in attendance
To publicize the event, planners relied on Screenvision Pre-Shows, Sports New York, the team's cable channel, and Mets.com. The event attracted 1,100 people. "Tonight is a demonstration of the power of our partnership with Clearview and the power of the Mets," said Matthew Kearney, president-CEO, Screenvision.

The company has tried similar tactics before, such as airing Saturday-morning shows aimed at children. The idea is to increase revenue at theaters through ticket sales on days and at times when people do not usually go to the movies. David Wengrod, previously of Moe Green/Fangoria Entertainment, was hired as VP of the new branch.

The event also tried to simulate a stadium experience with some added perks. Mr. Met, the team mascot, walked through the theater, team paraphernalia was sold, concessions including beer were available all night, and traditions like the seventh-inning stretch were maintained. There were also live in-house Q&A sessions with former Mets players and SNY commentators.

Incorporating sponsors
Mets sponsors were incorporated into the event, which included a Pepsi T-shirt toss and a Delta Air Line Voucher lucky seat winner. Clearview's beverage contract is also with Pepsi. While there were no extra advertisements last night, the idea has not been ruled out. Mr. Kearney said another benefit of the event is that it "creates opportunity for brands to promote their wares."

Events like the Mets at the Movies are made possible because of Screenvision's digital network, which allows live shows to be projected in real time instead of through film. Mr. Kearney said the company has introduced digital projection in 7,500 of its movie screen in the last 12 to 18 months. The company hopes to be able to host a variety of events in several advertising markets and with other movie theater partners, such as Loews Cineplex, Starlight Cinemas and Mann Theaters, among others.

"There's something for every market. Certain concerts will work better in certain areas. Certain events will work better in certain markets than others, but across our digital network, there is something," said Darryl Schaffer, exec VP-exhibitor relations for Screenvision.

Boost for Clearview
The Mets viewed the event as a way to hold on to its fan base and supporters. For its part, Clearview took in extra revenue and packed a theater on a night when many people are not usually out at the movies.

Fans and sports enthusiasts attending the event also received two tickets to a Mets game at Shea Stadium next month, SNY trading cards, a gift from Screenvision and other giveaways. Screenview intends to have more alternate content programming in the near future. It has not yet said if it will do more Mets games, but it is looking into other ideas, such as concerts.
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