Now I know what you are already thinking. What the heck is a Deckstravaganza? Deckstravaganza, similar to a lavish event or extravaganza, is the largest social media event of the year put on by the Minnesota Twins baseball team.
On Monday morning, I was minding my own P’s and Q’s (what does that even mean?) when I received a direct message on Twitter from the Minnesota Twins. Having been a life-long Twins fan and avid fan of baseball, I quickly read the direct message, which was an invitation to Deckstravaganza, which highlights social media influencers of the Twins’ brand and community and allows networking opportunities with the Twins social media staff and other fans.
Apparently there was an application for Deckstravaganza, which I found out about via a Twitter search, but it is always nice to be invited to an event that you didn’t have to apply for. In the later email I received, it was mentioned that I could bring a guest, but thankfully the Minnesota Twins allowed me to not only bring Mrs. Product Poet, but Mini-Product Poet as well (our 11 year-old lad).
Normally I don’t attend these types of events, because I like my anonymity and often times the hosting organization wants to know who you really are and hey, I don’t blame them. Yet if a brand or organization really delves into my tweets or Instagram photos, you could get a pretty clear understanding of what type of person I am in real life. Thankfully, the Minnesota Twins didn’t ask for my real name, though I would have most likely given it to them for this event had I been pressed.
We arrived to the most amazing ballpark in America, Target Field at approximately 5:30pm. I always chuckle when I have to check-in for an event with my pen-name, but there it was on the guest list. The security guard looked at me quizzically, but he let us through security and we were on to the Minnesota Twins’ third-floor administrative offices for Deckstravaganza, which was hosted on the Minnesota Twins’ private deck in left-field. Ah, now you get it. Deck plus extravaganza, equals Deckstravaganza.
The receptionist greeting us off of the elevator was incredibly kind and was also very curious about who I was, as well as she thought it was so cute to have Mrs. Product Poet and Mini-Product Poet on her official guest list. Two quick lefts and a right and we were now standing on the Minnesota Twins deck. Again, not knowing what to expect for Deckstravaganza, I checked in with the Minnesota Twins social media team and noticed a “scoreboard” of sorts in front of me. I was instructed that we could earn tickets for a drawing at the end of the evening for retweets on Twitter and likes of pictures on Instagram. We could also earn bonus tickets for every time a post had 10, 25 or 50 retweets or like.
Deep down, not knowing who my fellow social media Deckstravaganza participants, I was a little bit nervous about whether or not I would be able to compete with these social media pundits. Granted, with over 152,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 10,000 followers on Instagram, a quick review of my competitors “handles” and I had a pretty good inkling I would be fine. As the game rolled on, most of us started tweeting and ‘gramming and several of us used other forms of social media, such as Facebook, Snapchat and Periscope. Given that I couldn’t earn any tickets for prizes for those aforementioned networks, I simply stuck with Twitter, Instagram and Vine (since Vine could be tweeted).
With a larger follower base than my fellow social media influencers, I was able to garner a fair amount of retweets and photo likes and one time my youngest lad came back from a bathroom break and he overheard the Minnesota Twins’ social media team say, “The Product Poet is killing it.” I was leading pretty heavily in the point score, but I knew at the end of the night, no matter what, I still couldn’t win anything. Perhaps my fate would have been like the Minnesota Timberwolves team, which for many years had the most amount of ping pong balls in the the NBA Draft Lottery, only to come up short with the top pick (until this year, whew!).
As the game wore on, I also found that perhaps many of my competitors tonight could be discouraged by seeing me so far ahead in the point score, so I decided to pull back on my tweeting or photo taking, but I didn’t tweet nearly as much as some of the other participants, it all came down to my content, rhyming or an occasional haiku. That is what I just love to do.
Leading up to this night, I had interacted with a few of the participants, but given people don’t really know what I look like, many of the other attendees came up to me saying they had read my work and were a fan of my writings. That was an additional bonus for me, somewhat like a rockstar or celebrity.
By the end of the night, the game was over, but we all walked away winners. Even when it came time for the drawing for the prizes, I knew that I had more tickets in the baseball helmet than anyone else, but then I was Timberwolved. I didn’t win the big prize, a signed autographed bat from the rookie sensation Miguel Sano. All I could do was chuckle, as I wasn’t going to take this lottery too seriously. The next ticket drawn, again was the same person who one the Sano bat. Now I was really laughing as what were the odds that could have happened? Since she wasn’t eligible to win again until everyone else won a prize, the next ticket that was selected was mine.
I had the option of choosing an autographed baseball from manager and Hall of Famer, Paul Molitor or perhaps a future Hall of Famer, in rookie Byron Buxton. Naturally, I took the Hall of Fame player and now manager, Paul Molitor. For the rest of the lottery, I did’t have my ticket pulled again, but that’s okay as everyone received a very cool item and a Minnesota Twins’ social media tee-shirt. As I write this recap, I’m proudly wearing my tee-shirt from my hometown team, the Minnesota Twins.
Deckstravaganza was a lot of fun and I was so thankful that I was able to bring my spouse and son. You see, sometimes they don’t understand why it is I do what I do with social media, but even Mrs. Product Poet said something to me on our way home from Target Field last night. She said she learned that she was married to a celebrity. In this day and age, where we many of us our focused on ourselves and selfies, it’s comforting to know that me as a social media celebrity can keep my anonymity.