Baseball, Nicollet Mall (the beating heart of downtown Minneapolis), and Vitilla – the Dominican Republic’s version of stickball played by Minnesota Twins stars like Nelson Cruz, Jorge Polanco, and Miguel Sano. Those were the perfect ingredients for Mall Ball, our way to let fans get up close and personal with the fresh, swagger-filled energy of the Twins.
Over the lunch hour on a beautiful July day, we surprised fans by turning a stretch of downtown’s Nicollet Mall into a pop-up Dominican-slash-baseball paradise.
Mall Ball 2019
Ten players from the American League Central Division-leading Twins, as well as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, stopped by to battle it out vitilla-style. Fans and future-fans alike were treated to ballpark fare, including La Bandera Dominicana, a Dominican-inspired dish, and live music from local bands The Blind Shake and deM atlaS. It was a true celebration of culture during a record-breaking year for the Minnesota Twins.
We kept Mall Ball under wraps to the public until the morning of, but we were able to give media a heads-up. Local personalities — from Ben and Dana at Go 96.3 to Audra Martin of FOX Sports North — stepped up to the plate to take swings, and we shared a media alert with key contacts to get in front of coverage and encourage front-row media attendance.
The Twins went on to win their division and break the MLB home run record, with fan turnout well above the Major League average. Was it all because of the amazing time fans and players had during Mall Ball? We can’t prove it, but we can’t not prove it, either.