• Greg Ellis

Bringing Beige Back

Wellington City Council are really getting behind events this year, to really wrong the most out of them for their ratepayers. I had a great chance to experience this with the “Seven Days of Sevens” event to coincide with the Sevens and, at basically the same time, with theBlack Caps Selfie activation. This ran alongside the huge amount of cricket happening in Wellington this summer.

During the activation Cohen, Kenny, Jerome and myself got to don retro beige cricket gear and mingle with the public in the guise of characters with names like Heath Gottim and Hugh Jitter.

We were trying to get people to take selfies of themselves with life-sized cut outs of Black Caps players but along the way we got to do some other cool stuff. We needed to attract attention to the cutouts and we did this lots of different ways. My favourite was grabbing a beach cricket set and playing cricket with whoever was interested. We had everyone from kids to businessmen and tourists trying their hand. We even had a police officer stand in as an umpire for a bit one session!

The best example of the knock around came on the artificial turf in Civic Square where we had a whole group playing with us.its a great way to create a sense of energy around something when you have people diving about and laughing. Ice cream also works and the day we partnered with a radio station and their cooler full of ice creams was good fun. We also got to meet lots of people one on one, especially groups of Australian tourists and swap cricketing stories.

What the activation achieved, alongside the selfies, was a cool sense of community playing together.

Whether we were actually playing cricket, or if we were playing in character with someone it was nice to make human connections and involve those people in the energy of the event even when they weren't actually going to the games. This is what a good activation can achieve, I think. It connects people with something and involves them in the energy of an event by taking that event to them. There is so much more about something like a sporting event that people don't always appreciate so it's nice to be able to help make those connections.

#characters #sport #Wellington #cricket #activations

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