Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
June 11, 2014: Major League Baseball wants fans and travelers to know their way around ballparks and host cities as well as players know their way around the bases.
To that end, MLB.com has joined with MapQuest to launch an original online video series, “Key to the City,” described as "completely customized ballpark content featuring 'Game Day Guides' for all 30 MLB teams."
The series goes far beyond directions to the stadium, offering up restaurants, shops and attractions intended to enhance the in-game experience.
The series is hosted by comedian Matt Fisher, a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, who adds a humorous, irreverent tone to the proceedings.
The “Key to the City” series complements MapQuest’s "Game Day Guides," which include articles created by MapQuest’s editorial team along with area travel experts "who know MLB ballparks and cities inside-and-out."
“MapQuest is perhaps best known for its maps and directions, but what we believe we do is deliver people to more meaningful experiences,” Brian McMahon, general manager for MapQuest, said in a statement. “Sometimes our users know exactly where they’re headed, and other times, they need us to inform their decisions with the most relevant options. Our partnership with MLB.com addresses two of the top searches from our community — baseball and travel.”
The series launched this week with a look at Denver, where MapQuest is headquartered, and the Colorado Rockies and Coors Field. It includes visits to such local sites as Coors Brewery, the Hidee gold mine, Cherry Cricket restaurant and Hammond's Candy Factory.
Next in order are such cities as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC and Boston.
According to Michael Yessis, editor-in-chief for MapQuest, “MLB ballparks and the surrounding areas have distinct personalities and they deserve to be explored. Our game day guides capture the flavor of these parks and passions of teams’ fans.”
Support for the original content series includes MapQuest-powered mapping and directions through an exclusive app-to-app experience within the “MLB.com At the Ballpark” smartphone app and at MLB.com and all 30 MLB team Web sites.
MapQuest said it also offers custom-branded MLB team experiences, available within its iOS and Android apps.
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