They say, “variety is the spice of life,” and they are right. But for some reason, people get stuck trying to write the perfect script, when in fact, there isn’t any such thing as a perfect script. When writing your itinerary and script, there are many elements that can come into play that could move,
They say, “variety is the spice of life,” and they are right. But for some reason, people get stuck trying to write the perfect script, when in fact, there isn’t any such thing as a perfect script.
When writing your itinerary and script, there are many elements that can come into play that could move, change, or delete and element.
While working Washington Capitals home games, it was almost a nightly happening that something would get moved for one reason or another. Maybe it was because the teams played too long and we missed an important timeout to get an announcement read, which means it may get moved to the intermission or another period. There were also times the game dictated we Unleash the Fury to spark the crowd. Or a player’s performance garnered recognition and a short video was added to the end of a media timeout. There are many reasons elements can move.
When writing your script, make sure you add buffer space. This allows you to move things as needed. Does an on-field promotion take too long? Is the pitcher ready quicker than you expected? Did it take a little longer to set-up for the promotion than normal? There are all kinds of things that can mess up a script.
The most important part of writing your scripts are fans get tired of hearing the same thing, at the same time, every night and the effect is lost.
Talk to your sponsors and ask if it is ok that their ad or promotion be performed in a general area (first period, first three innings, etc.) so that way they get their recognition, while keeping some sort of a constant.
Why changing your script is good for the fans:
- It will keep them guessing, “what’s going to happen next”? This keeps fans on their toes as they know something is coming, and they’ll stick around to watch it, which the sponsors will like. If you know that a T-shirt toss is coming at the end of the first, and you don’t like to be in the way, you’ll leave the area.
- Sponsors have a better chance at recognition as the fans don’t know what’s coming.
- It will allow those contests that have a set inning, to get better exposure. If the fifth inning is the beer inning, it gives people something to look forward to, while also keeping them guessing. Think of it like a road trip. If you know that you’re going to stop twice along the way, and where those two stops are, it makes the trip go by faster. Then, when you stop again somewhere, people pay closer attention and the “surprises” are more memorable.
Since most teams are going to have theme nights or special appearances, don’t use these as your “change” nights. Write two or three scripts which can be used to alternate nights so it’s not the same thing every night. If you’re working in baseball and you have 7-inning doubleheaders, then you’ll want to write a script that features this too.
Note: Baseball Scripts
For baseball, we write three different 9-inning scripts, and a doubleheader script.
For the 9-inning scripts, one is used Monday-Wednesday-Friday and the other on Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday. Saturdays have their own which we can use on a different night. Since some teams have fireworks on more than one night a week, write a different script for each night. So if you shoot off fireworks on Friday and Saturday, write a script for each and then alternate the day the script is used. Fireworks nights tend to have additional safety announcements that should be announced.
For doubleheader scripts, factor in how early the doubleheader is starting compared to the regular game time. Usually, starting the game an hour earlier makes the most sense because people who may not know it’s a doubleheader, may arrive at their regular time and be upset when the game ends two innings early if you start two hours early.
To write a doubleheader script, put the on-field contests during the time when most people are going to be there, which is going to be toward the end of the first game, and the start of the second game. If you can, work a couple of games into the time between games, but not too many. Maybe one. There’s a lot going on in the production room with getting starting line-ups and everything organized for the second game that it can cause a lot of undue stress on the game operations personnel.
If you have to do some promotions during each game, then keep to this set-up, just know that you’re probably going to have to make some of your regular announcements during the game and finding a place during a long foul ball, or conference on the mound may make things a little tense. It happens.
Being prepared will help save you time. You’ve already written one script, now change a few things and you have another. It helps to do it all at once so your mind will be thinking about the various elements. If, after the first couple of games, you don’t like how some elements work, change them. Get feedback from fans and see what they like or don’t like. The key is to remember to keep some things constant, while mixing up other things to keep them guessing.