nesting * geeking * critiquing

Royal Surprise

Good day, fellow web-surfing henchpersons! I’m sure you’ve been quivering with anticipation for my reappearance here. Would’ve posted sooner but life has been strange and busy of late.

First topic of business—a smattering of updates from Howdy, Strangers!. My MacBook is back up and running with a new hard drive. Even so, I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to my new ‘weaned’ state so I’m not online quite as frequently as before The Great Hard-Drive Crash of 2014. As such I have managed to edit only about 1/3 of my September vacation photos.

Vampire Kitty, aka Storm, continues to face a health crisis. She refuses to eat and, as I type this, is at the veterinarian’s office for colon troubles and extraction of a (likely) cancerous tumor on her leg. Prayers and good vibes are still very much appreciated.

But something else has been keeping me preoccupied. Something wondrous and rare and magical. Something so remarkable that I wouldn’t have believed you even a month ago had you told me it would come to fruition… My Kansas City Royals are playing post-season baseball!

Every time I think it’s safe to go back to enjoying unplanned evenings, they win again and add more games. The end is near, of course, but the excitement can’t be denied. Even with the Giants leading the World Series 3 games to 2, we are thrilled to cheer on our boys in blue.

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If you’re watching the World Series on Fox, you’ve probably seen some commercials for the MasterCard Priceless Surprises campaign with Apple Pay. If you’ve seen said commercials, you’ve probably seen me and Severus! That’s right, we’re on national TV with big, cheesy smiles—in not just one ad but TWO.

We’re the giddy fans holding tickets at the 13-second mark here: http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7u1n/mastercard-priceless-surprises-george-brett

And the ones holding up the framed jersey in this one: http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7uBq/mastercard-2014-world-series-feat-george-brett

“So how did this all happen?” you ask. Well, let me tell you.

During the ALCS clincher game, MasterCard promoted a tweet (on Twitter) soliciting #PricelessBaseball memories. I replied with “Waiting 29 years to see your team play October postseason #PricelessBaseball” and before long got a direct message about having won a $25 gift card. Great surprise!

And then the phone calls started.

I assumed the good people at MC saw that I hadn’t carried a balance in years and wanted me to transfer one to my account or upgrade services. Eventually, though, I answered and found that it was much, much more interesting.

After answering some routine questions confirming my information, the conversation went something like this:

“Do you have an iPhone 6?”
<strange question> “Yeah, actually, I do.”
“Great! Then I have even more surprises for you. Are you available to attend an event at Kauffman Stadium on Monday, October 20?”
“Well, I have a couple of meetings that day; do you know what time?”
“We don’t have those details yet. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I’d hate for you to miss it.”<at this point the gears in my head start cranking to think of ways I can have coworkers cover my meetings>
“Sign me up.”

I received an email attachment of waivers and forms that I had to return before learning any event details. Either I agreed not to talk to the media or I signed my life away; it was all very hush-hush.

And so we arrived at the K around 11:30 Monday morning to face our destiny…which included a dozen or so more waivers and forms, including what might or might not have been an application for the Screen Actors Guild. That was explained away by the fact that it was media day at the stadium and we “might end up in the background of somebody’s video.” For the record, we did actually end up in some news footage on our local ABC affiliate.

Once the formalities were done, our group of 30 or so was escorted to a suite for lunch with a view of the ballpark and a crash-course in downloading the latest iOS to use Apple Pay. Yep, it was Apple Pay launch day.

We were surprised by a visit from Royals veteran all-star Willie Wilson. His engagement with our group was unwavering, his storytelling wholly entertaining. The experience—just the beginning.

Next we joined dozens of photographers and media correspondents down on the field for batting practice. We stood literally on the warning track behind home plate and watched the Royals warm up. Several of the players acknowledged us, though we weren’t really able to interact with them.

After BP, we toured the Royals Hall of Fame. This is open to the public, and I highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in the Kansas City area.

From there we were split into a couple of groups; our gang headed for the concession stands to experience Apple Pay firsthand. I will be completely honest and admit that my initial thoughts on said payment method were almost unanimously negative. Paying with nothing more than your cell phone and fingerprint seemed like a really terrible idea. Until I tried it.

You guys, it’s cool!! Like, ‘I want to only shop at places that have the technology in place because it’s a really satisfying experience’ cool.

It was then that we definitively learned they were filming a MasterCard Apple Pay commercial. There were extras, wardrobe racks, lights and cameramen galore. Severus and I were asked to approach the register and order something, paying with Apple Pay. So we did (while trying not to appear as nervous as we felt) only to have the  cashier step aside to have a MasterCard representative hand us tickets to World Series Game 1!!!!! What you see in the first commercial is our genuinely thrilled reaction in that moment.

Just after that, we were treated to a little meet-and-greet with Royals legend George Brett. That time was a little rushed, but it was unforgettable.

Finally, we filmed another Priceless Surprises promotional clip with a signed George Brett jersey (which made it into the second commercial). While we didn’t get to keep the jersey, we will hold onto the memories forever.

More pictures posted over on my gallery page (link).

GO ROYALS!!!

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