The word “binge” is having more than just a zeitgeist moment in pop culture. It is the buzzword of the era we’re living in. We use the word with television shows (The Atlantic says you’ve officially crossed over to “binge watching” after your fourth straight episode).
The word applies to avid book reading, as well. (Here are some signs of binge reading, in case you’re interested/worried).
The word used to be a negative when it came to eating. Not anymore. Binge eating is so cool that YouTubers are getting paid to blissfully devour 4,000 calories for your entertainment. It’s called “mukbang” (pronounced, “mook-bong”), and it originated in South Korea where, according to NBC’s Today, the pros make up to $9,000 a month. So now, in America, we are binging on people binging. The dreaded double-binge.
The takeaway is this. When it comes to our entertainment, we just latch onto things and don’t let go. How can you turn it into a strong promotional night? Just steer into the whole phenomenon and let it take its course:
- Create Mukbang specials at concessions stands. YouTubers tend to have themes, like “Italian feast,” with pizza, pasta, meatballs and whatever else. Your mukbang is easy. Classic ballpark/stadium/arena food. Offer one giant feast of it for one price and encourage fans to shoot their own Mukbang episodes right there at your venue. Perhaps a mukbang eat-off contest between innings/periods?
- Give away binge-worth prizes. Ticket packages so they can binge on baseball (and your team). Netflix subscriptions. iTunes and Amazon gift cards so fans can download and binge on shows that fall outside their Amazon Prime subscription. Young adult novels from these authors, who are apparently binge worthy.
- Support the night with in-game cues. Do an in-game countdown of the ten most binge-able shows ever, Buzzfeed style. Make it interactive by letting fans vote via their phones for the first part of the game. Photoshop opposing players getting gobbled up by mukbangers like this one (Ew!) for the video board. Play binge show quotes after opposing strikeouts. Like this one after a swinging strike three! Also? The Netflix tone fits pretty well there, too.
- Screen episode one of a binge-worthy show after the game. And again, get fans involved by having them vote for the show they want to see. My vote will always be for this.
Of course, no promotion is complete without the team wearing special jerseys to mark the occasion — and foster binge bidding (i.e. wars!) when the jerseys go up for auction! I’ll add one new design a day. Here are first three!