Transworld Business did an awesome job covering Opening Day of the new Sun Diego Beach at Petco Park. Read all about our new space and get the inside scoop on our partnership with the Padres.
Sun Diego sets up shop at Petco Park, growing awareness around the SoCal retailer’s brand
The sun was out and the fans were fired up Monday at Petco Park, as lines to get into the game stretched blocks. It was opening day, Padres vs. Dodgers, and from our post at center field, the game couldn’t have been more fun. Well, it could have —the Padres could have won—but that’s neither here nor there. A rowdy surf industry crowd of about 170 had formed throughout the double deck, open-air space, where beer was free-flowing on tap, courtesy of Ballast Point. Even the “Swinging Friar” made an appearance. All was well, despite intermittent angry eruptions as the Dodgers stacked up an unmentionable 15-0 score.
At the center of the pack, Sun Diego President Dave Nash
was thanking everyone who had made it out to celebrate the big unveil of “Sun Diego Beach”
pier at Petco Park, one of the newest additions to the stadium. Modeled after Southern California’s iconic piers, the space mirrors the same aesthetic and atmosphere the store aims to emanate.
In the current retail landscape, it’s become increasingly challenging to do something that’s different enough to stand out. Brands are constantly searching for ways to provide more experience-driven interactions, and retailers are racking their brains to make their in-store presence unlike any other. One could make the case that this situation has always existed, but arguably, it has been placed under a microscope over the past several years. Back in September 2014, Sun Diego received the ultimate compliment—and a heck of a good solution to the aforementioned issue— when they were approached by Petco Park with an idea so ingenious, they couldn’t say no.
“Padres CEO Mike Dee
has a very progressive and creative team that are always looking for ways to better the ballpark, and bring in new experiences—ideally from the local community,” explains Nash. “Mike is well aware of our brand throughout San Diego, as well as a good customer. Somehow he envisioned a pier and a beach in right-center field and thought of us as a way to brand it. He wanted to bring in the retail portion as well, for those customers who might want to shop for something other than San Diego Padres product, and potentially co-brand the Padres with Sun Diego to have some fun and attract a little younger customer.”This week, the Padres opened its doors to the finished product: a multi-dimensional experience, including a namesake store within the Padres team shop, and two Sun Diego kiosks—one across from the Omni on the 3rd base side and the other directly outside the “Sun Diego Beach” space, across from the “Park in the Park.”
We caught up with Nash amidst his hectic schedule for Opening Day to hear the details.
What was the process like working with the SD Padres and Petco Park?
The process was actually pretty special. I think the process took about five trips during games where we got to sit in the owner’s box, the President’s box, great seats in the private Omni restaurant enjoying a large buffet, a tour of the entire park listening to all of the other potential ideas they had for the future, and then hanging at a private bar inside and behind home plate for some more cocktails. I think through all of this we saw about eight innings total of actual baseball…
Did Sun Diego solely design the space, or was it a collaborative effort with the park?
Sun Diego Beach was mainly designed by The Padres. We were brought in with Quiksilver
several times to have different meetings to discuss different ideas for the area, but in the end most of the credit needs to go to The Padres.
I heard that elements of the construction were sustainability sourced – how important was this to you when creating the space?
I believe everybody thinks more about sustainability in everything we do without even knowing we’re doing it and this certainly goes for the Padres team as well!
What are the details behind the partnership?
That kind of falls under the none of your business arena , or to put it a lot more politely: “It’s confidential…”
This is obviously a permanent new fixture at the stadium, but do you have a multi-year contract, and how long is that for?
We do have a multi-year contract, and let’s just say it’s for more than a couple of years.
How did you decide which brands to elevate and feature in this space?
Quiksilver/Roxy and Sanuk had the foresight to see the potential in creating this marketing opportunity as well as increasing their retail opportunity.
Will they be static or will you circulate others into the mix for the future?
We have a contract with both of them and when it runs its course we shall see where it leads us…
What do you think this partnership means for Sun Diego’s overall position in the industry and beyond?
I’m not necessarily seeing this as a direct opportunity to build our position in the industry but certainly hope it increases the awareness of our stores and therefore allows us to do more business with the brands we are representing in the industry.
How will you measure ROI on this type of partnership for both Sun Diego and some of the other brands involved like Quiksilver, Roxy, Stance?
In this case, I believe there are two kinds of ROI…one being the actual sales of the product in the three Sun Diego kiosks within the park, and two, seeing the smiling faces of anybody having fun in the “Sun Diego Beach.”
How many industry guests did you host during opening day?
We invited about 220 and I’m going to guess we had about 150-170 industry guests there…
How did it feel to see the space finally completed?
I was actually up in OC last Friday at appointments with a couple of the brands, but Pete and Jason were there helping to finalize the setup. Pete was sending pictures that pretty much started out with news stations interviewing the Mayor and Mike Dee in our space…then we saw it on the news that night, the pictures in the Union-Tribune on Saturday, the news again on Sunday with the Padres signing autographs in our space. On Monday, all of the news stations were taking turns doing sets on opening day in the space, so I’m going to have to tell you that I was feeling pretty good about the space! And then to top it off with the party on Monday, I’m a happy camper!
Any final thoughts about this upcoming season and what we can expect?
As far as the Padres go I’m just going to go out on a limb and say their season’s going to get a helluva lot better than Monday’s start! On the other end, we were planning on having an Industry charity event there in September but it now looks like that’s not going to happen…bummer! It will be fun to watch the All-Star Game this year at Petco Park, especially the Home Run Derby and see how many are hit into our space! As for everything else, we are just going to have fun and see where this leads us…play ball!
By Kailee Bradstreet