Cannes Lions

The Batting Lab

McCANN, New York / SAS / 2023

Awards:

1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Case Film
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Case Film
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Situation

Technology is drastically changing the job market landscape. Data literacy is becoming more important than ever. Today’s generation of kids need these data literacy skills so they can compete for the jobs of tomorrow.

The problem is, less than 50% of American kids have any understanding of data. This includes the ability to collect, sort, analyze, and interpret data in a meaningful way. While some schools have started incorporating data literacy into their regular curriculum, American children are quickly falling behind the global data literacy curve.

Brief

SAS, a global leader in data analytics, asked for our help with getting kids more interested in data literacy.

Objectives

Demonstrate how SAS is using their data expertise and technology to make a positive impact on the educational landscape.

Idea

Most kids don’t get excited about data, but many of them love baseball. Over six weeks, 10 kids were invited to The Batting Lab — a state-of-the-art, AI-powered batting cage to improve their swing. Little did they know, they’d be improving their data literacy, too. The Battling Lab analyzed each swing by comparing them to an optimal form, created from data on thousands of swings from elite college and pro players.

Swing analysis happened in real-time using innovative technology: cameras, sensors, AI, machine learning, computer vision, and IoT analytics. The Batting Lab provided instant feedback and suggestions on how to improve, encouraging kids to dig into the numbers, a huge leap forward for batting cage technology. By the program’s end, the kids were able to read and interpret the data and pinpoint areas for improvement. Not only did every kid improve their swing, they also boosted their confidence in using

Strategy

The data and research pointed to one huge challenge. Kids generally don’t get excited about data, and less than 50% of American kids have any understanding of data. We needed to come up with a creative solution that would help transform data into something more digestible and fun. That solution turned out to be something many kids already love: baseball.

To wow technologists all over the world, SAS decided to focus on data literacy and education. The Batting Lab essentially functioned as a data literacy Trojan horse, embedding important data literacy skills into exciting baseball swing lessons.

Execution

Working with a team of architects, technologists, professional coaches, and a former sports editor, we created a completely bespoke learning experience. Over 5 months, we developed a completely new software suite from scratch. Using SAS tools, we covered content production, cage fabrication, art direction, UI and UX navigation, and on-site installation.

The Batting Lab provided interactive data visualizations, responsive displays of light, and a completely immersive environment to explore. Over six weeks, The Batting Lab program gave our ten kid participants a material connection to their data: how they hit a baseball and how they are improving over time.

Long and short-form video assets, and digital banners drove to a SAS.com site. Visitors could explore The Batting Lab’s tech via an immersive fly-through experience. They could also download The Data Playbook, a tool that uses The Batting Lab’s data and methodology to teach the same lessons learned in the cage.

Outcome

51.3 million video views

285% increase in innovation perception

399% increase in consideration

258% increase in recommendations

>10% YouTube subscriber growth

9.5% increase in unique visitors to SAS.com

100% participants improved their data literacy

100% participants improved their hitting

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