In April 1997, UPN38 introduced the UPN38 Station Break, an indoor play area located in the Arsenal Mall (just outside of Boston), where families can take a break from shopping to play games, sit at the mock news desk, watch UPN38 kids programming and have fun. Throughout the year, the Station Break has been the anchor site for a number of family-oriented promotions hosted by UPN38. Here are some examples:
To celebrate the Station Break Grand Opening, UPN38 presented the popular kids show characters Bananas in Pajamas. The event attracted hundreds of fans who were thrilled to meet, greet and have their photos taken with B1 and B2. The promotion generated new excitement for the show, received press coverage in the Boston Globe and helped to continue our ongoing efforts to promote UPN38 kids programming.
In May 1997, the Station Break was the site of the UPN38 ‘Kids Are Paramount’ correspondent auditions. Over 100 kids auditioned and the 10 finalists who passed the preliminary audition process strutted their stuff in front of a mall-wide audience, reading mock newscasts, conducting interviews with local celebrities and showing their on-camera flair. The winner, Jelayna Rogers of Malden, Massachusetts, was named UPN38 kids correspondent. Her duties now include submitting quarterly news reports to the Paramount Stations Group for use in nationwide ‘Kids Are Paramount’ specials, working with the UPN38 public affairs director on various public service projects, and she has returned to the Station Break throughout the year for other family fun events.
In September, UPN38, broadcast home of the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics, launched the 1997/98 sports season at the Station Break/Arsenal Mall with the UPN38 Sportsfest. The free weekend-long sports extravaganza was aimed at sports fans of all ages, and included sports clinics run by a number of Boston’s professional athletes and sports legends, autograph sessions, test-your-skills workshops and sports memorabilia auctions benefiting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Boston. The thousands of sports fans who attended the event were given the opportunity to interact with their local sports heroes and celebrate Boston sports with UPN38.
The Station Break has become a valuable part of UPN38′s marketing efforts. We have been pleasantly surprised at the outcome of the events held at the Station Break and the follow-up response from viewers. The Station Break provides a year-round ‘living billboard’ for UPN38 programming, a site for station-sponsored events, and a positive way for the station to reach out to the community.
Mark Kroninger is sales marketing manager at UPN 38, located in Boston, Massachusetts.