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Branded Entertainment
Experiential/Live Events


Entrant: VML, Kansas City
MLB Urban Youth Academy - "Relay the Way"

Corporate Name of Sponsoring Client: MLB Urban Youth Academy

Media Company: VML, Kansas City

PR / Marketing Company: VML, Kansas City

PR / Marketing Executive: Bill Patterson

Agency: VML, Kansas City

Global Chief Creative Officer: Debbi Vandeven

Executive Creative Directors: John Godsey/Tony Snethen

Group Creative Directors: Derek Clark/Glen Scott

Copywriter: Robert Abasolo

Art Directors: Jeff Schroer/Jaclyn Co/Zac Greason

Brand Strategist: Ian Davidson

Social Media Strategist: Laura Brand

Technical Developer: Matt Belll

Technical Director: Nathan Welch

Director, Baseball Administration / The Kansas City Royals: Kyle Vena

President / CBIZ: Carolyn Watley

Special Asst. for Public Affairs / Office of Mayor Sly James, City of Kansas City:
    Hilary Stuver

Senior Account Manager: Chadwick Andrews

Senior Copywriter: Ryan Simpson

Chief Technology Officer: Jeff Geheb

Non-Profit Companies: The Kansas City Sports Commission, Kansas City/
    The Kansas City Royals, Kansas City/MLB Urban Youth Academy, Kansas City/
    Sandlot Goods, Kansas City

Description of the Project:
To support Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Academy, we tapped into the most anticipated moment of the year for baseball fans–the Opening Day first pitch. Taking over the streets of an entire city, we invited everyone to join the world’s longest Opening Day first pitch. We called it “Relay the Way.” On the day the local Major League Baseball team opened its season, fans lined up by the thousands to relay the ceremonial first pitch, person-to-person, over 9.5 miles through the very neighborhoods the academy would serve. For more than five hours, fans caught and threw the ball all the way to the stadium where it was then used to begin the reigning championship team’s season. Youth ballplayers finished the relay on the field at the stadium in front of a national television audience where it crossed home plate and into baseball history.