Shopper Innovation Awards: Louisville Slugger hits a home run

To launch its premium bat in the dead of winter, the brand unveiled a batting-simulator game to virtually test their swing.

Img3This story appears in the May 2015 issue of strategy.

Gold Targeting
Gold Tech Breakthrough

For the launch of Louisville Slugger’s premium bat, the Z-3000, the brand needed to find a way to generate awareness and sales in the dead of winter. The softball community is a diehard, competitive group who like to “geek out” on the newest gear. So, Louisville Slugger decided to give this niche target of slow-pitch enthusiasts the chance to compete and own the limited edition Z-3000 before the bat was available in store.

The brand and its agency Taxi introduced, which housed a social networking game that consumers could play for the chance to set the price of the new Z-3000 bat. The batting-simulator web experience connected a player’s smartphone to their browser in real-time. Players could virtually test their swing with the new Z-3000.

The website contained a video depicting the pitcher, and smartphone accelerometers were used to sense the player’s swing. The farther they hit the virtual ball, the less they paid for the bat. And the more they shared the game, the more chances they had to top the leaderboard and ultimately win a free bat.

The mobile experience succeeded in getting softball enthusiasts excited about the launch of the new Z-3000 bat. The game helped sell 23% of the limited supply of bats on launch day in stores across Canada. In addition, the brand tracked 8,434 views, 6,590 unique views, and an average of over three minutes was spent on


Advertiser: Lanctot Ltee. (Louisville Slugger)
Agency: Taxi
CCO: Frazer Jelleyman
ECD: Darren Clarke
CD: Niall Kelly
Sr. AD: Scott Johnson
Sr. CW: Chris Duffett
Developer: Brendan Neufeld
Director of interaction: Damien Boyes
ACD: Dave Luxton
Director: Brad Dworkin
Sr. designer: Yuko Brown
Editor: Tyler Strall
Digital producer: Sonja Vreugdenburg
Broadcast producer: Steve Emmens
Account manager: Amy Greenspoon
Retoucher: Andrew O’Driscoll
Director, digital strategy: Sean McDonald
Group director, creative technology: Ben Fiest
VFX Compositor (Topix): Matt Dochstade
Sr. producer (Topix): Cathy Jefferies
Sound design: Grayson Matthews