Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ballpark Introduces Pee-to-Play Urinals

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ballpark Introduces Pee-to-Play Urinals

Article excerpt

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- The management of minor league sports teams are known to be whizzes at marketing and promotion. But the Lehigh Valley IronPigs have come up with a way to take that effort to a new level -- specifically, the groin.

The team this season will have video games activated by men and boys urinating. And somehow, the Pigs have managed to pair the games with men's health messages.

It's a marketing dream that, in a sublimely appropriate match, will occur in Coca-Cola Park.

The owners of the urinal gaming system say the Allentown ballpark will be the first sports arena anywhere to have the game. Lehigh Valley Urology Specialty Care will provide the marketing messages.

"It's real," said Jon Schaeffer, director of new media for the IronPigs. "It's been months in the making."

One game console will be installed in each of the three field- level men's rooms and another will be in the men's room on the club level, he said. The virtual action will be on a video screen above and separate from the urinal, where the real action takes place.

It works this way: As a patron approaches the urinal, sensors detect his presence. A quick video or message appears on the screen, but as the individual steps forward, it's "bladder up." The game kicks in, said Ed Gundrum, an international salesman for (what else?) Captive Media, the British company that created the game. The sensors track the individual's stream, and when that stream hits a target, points are earned. The first game will be downhill skiing where the goal is to hit penguins. Now those must be some angry birds.

Captive Media said an average game lasts around 55 seconds. Seem long? Not when you consider that the park sells 32-ounce Cokes and beers to help you.

After the individuals get their score -- and wash their hands -- they can enter a code on a smartphone and report their score. …

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