The Atlanta Braves found a way to beat Georgia’s hot summers.
Along with RaceTrac, the Braves introduced a new between-inning promotion called “Beat the Freeze.” The promotion gained national attention on June 9, when the fan participant started a premature celebration, thinking he beat The Freeze, only to get passed at the last second and fall down.
“We’re really happy [Beat the Freeze] has taken off as it has,” said Adam Zimmerman, VP of Marketing for the Braves. “That’s our aspiration with everything we do.”
The idea of doing a race came from RaceTrac, a local convenience store that has been a Braves sponsor since 2014. Over the off-season, RaceTrac representatives brainstormed ways to get involved with Sun Trust Park in its inaugural season, and thought a race would be a great way to utilize the ballpark.
“We wanted to highlight our food and drink offerings [for the summer] and came up with the idea of races inside the stadium,” said Ashleigh Womack, Director of Communications and Partnerships for RaceTrac. “Races are an engaging tactic because of the cheering crowd and fan participation.”
Womack and Terrica Bailey, a RaceTrac Partnerships Manager who works directly with Braves, presented the race idea to the team.
From there, the Braves suggested the portion because of the branding throughout RaceTrac stores that say “Unleash the Freeze.” Womack and Bailey said they thought the “The Freeze” would be perfect, relating it to when you think of food and drink during the summer.
When asked what went through his head when the idea was proposed, Zimmerman said the Braves knew RaceTrac had frozen drinks to promote for the summer and that the idea of the race and beating the heat with The Freeze made perfect sense.
Of the race itself, he said, “our job here is to create things that, first-and-foremost, our fans are going to love in and around the baseball action. When it makes sense for a sponsor, it’s great.”
“Beat the Freeze” made its debut on Opening Day and takes place once per home stand. Fan participants are randomly selected by the entertainment team to compete against The Freeze for the chance to win a $100 RaceTrac gift card.
Zimmerman thinks there will be more takers since the promotion gained national attention because, “everyone wants to race [The Freeze].”
“The Freeze”, also known as Nigel Talton, is a member of the Braves’ grounds crew and a former college track athlete.
“We knew his background from being on the grounds crew and he’s a fantastic guy. We’re very happy people can know about him and his track background and aspirations,” Zimmerman said of Talton.
Womack said they’ve seen a lot of traffic with social and media coverage since the race on June 9.
To build off the promotion, RaceTrac offered free small frozen beverages at their Georgia stores to anyone wearing Braves gear on June 16. She also said that she and Bailey are curious to see if people will start cheering more for The Freeze instead of the fan.
Moving forward, both the Braves and RaceTrac hope to continue to build off the success of “Beat the Freeze.”