Dodgers: Introducing Pantone 294
Pantone 294 is the official shade of blue for the Dodgers. It’s also an incredible fan base that travels throughout the country to support the Dodgers.
If you were ever curious to know the real color name of the Dodgers‘ Blue, it’s Pantone 294. We often refer it as “Dodger Blue,” but if you wanted to paint your room “Dodger Blue” you’d ask for Pantone 294. That is how the founder of Pantone 294, Alex Soto, came up with the name of what would become one of the largest traveling fan bases around.
I had a chance to talk with the founder of the group and get a good background of who the group is and why they do what they do.
Alex and his family make annual trips up to San Francisco to watch the Dodgers every year. This was when he recognized there were plenty of other Dodger fans who want the opportunity to travel to other stadiums. The first trip for Alex was in 2009 where he and 55 family and friends took a charter bus to San Francisco. This first trip was the beginning of Pantone 294. Here is Soto:
"“The Dodgers have the most loyal fan base, myself included,” Alex said. “What we have done here as a group is open doors for them to travel safely and securely to away games to support their team. We have offered them a unique and fun experience and a large Dodger family to be part of and build memories with. To be able to show our love and support to our Dodgers at an away game gives new meaning to the full fan experience.”"
At first, this was just something he did with family and friends annually. However, in 2014 they made their first trip as Pantone 294 to Arizona, and from then they have continued to grow.
Chase Field was the very first place they had debuted their infamous giant LA flag (as seen on top). If you’ve ever been to a Pantone game or seen them on TV, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, keep an eye out for it this Saturday, May 27, as they host their very first Pantone night at Dodger Stadium. You never know where the flag may pop up. The game will be televised on FOX and will be against the defending champs, the Chicago Cubs.
Pantone night is exactly what it sounds like. They have partnered up with the Dodgers to have their own night at the stadium dedicated to the group and their fans. There will be a pregame tailgate party in the parking lot, exclusively for fans who bought a ticket through Pantone.
The group managed to get Dodger legend, Ron Cey to come out and do an autograph signing during this private event for their members. Fans who bought their tickets through Pantone will also receive a Dodgers and Pantone co-branded limited edition t-shirt. Tickets were only $85, and all of the above is included, including seating with the group in the left field pavilion.
Pantone also has a slogan which holds so much truth behind it. Desiree Garcia, who handles the social media, operations, and PR, came up with the slogan “It’s more than a ticket, it’s an experience” after going on her first Pantone trip as a fan. Here is the story behind it:
"“Being that I started my journey with Pantone 294 as a guest on one of their trips, I had the opportunity to experience what they do through the eyes of a fan firsthand. After my first game with them, it was evident that I not only purchased a ticket for the game, but a whole experience. Once I came on board, I created the slogan “It’s more than a ticket, it’s an experience.” Something I think that sets P294 apart from any other group, including the famous Mets 7 Line Army.” Desiree Garcia – Operations, PR, and Social Media Coordinator"
Their long term goal in all of this is to see all 30 MLB stadiums and to take the fans along with them. Pantone has given fans a safe way of traveling the country while experiencing all of the stadiums.
They do all the hard work when these trips are planned and all the fans have to do is purchase a ticket. They handle transportation, hotel accommodations, seating, and everything else that goes into planning something of this caliber. Pantone 294 truly do live by their motto, and the group’s founder takes pride in it.
"“We want to be able to bring them to all the stadiums and give them experiences and opportunities that some of them never would have had otherwise,” Alex said."
With Pantone now being around for three years as of this month, they have been on quite a few trips. They’ve done a total of 22 trips and have helped nearly 15,000 Dodger fans travel all over the country (and even out of the country to Toronto) to watch their Boys in Blue. So far they have gone to Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, Anaheim, Arizona, Toronto, New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Their largest trip to date was last season when they took over Yankee Stadium with over 1,500 people. They even managed to pull off the great Yankee roll call, but obviously with the Dodger players. This trip was one of the first times Pantone 294 got national publicity.
The clips of all the fans cheering and doing the roll call were everywhere. Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts, even waved to the fans after the game. The players mentioned them in their post game interviews as well as the broadcast team for SportsNet LA during the game. The group was so dominant that they earned a spot in the New York Times sports section.
1,500 Dodger fans is a lot of people to show up to an away game, let alone across the country. Yet, Pantone is trying to break their personal record this season by taking over Petco Park with over 2,100 Dodger fans, as if the Padres needed anymore Dodger fans to come to their stadium.
Next year they have some new stadiums they plan on taking over as well. St. Louis headlines the list, as well as Seattle, Baltimore, and Boston, schedules pending of course. As for this season, they still have a few more trips planned. They have an Anaheim take over coming up in June, Miami in July, and San Diego in September. They may also have more Pantone nights coming up at Dodger Stadium, but you’ll have to follow them to find out that information.
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A fun thing Pantone does for the fans is giveaways. This year they have started to do custom Pantone 294 patches with the city and year that represents the stadium they took over. Everyone also gets a Pantone 294 lanyard that they can put their ticket in. In the past, they have also done scarves and beanies.
For this year, they will be doing Disneyland’s famous Mickey Mouse ears (Angel fans will love that) and a flag and towel for the Miami trip. They make sure you get every cent out of the money you spend.
Last week a big announcement was made on-air with Rogin and Rodney from AM570 that they have partnered up with Pantone. What they are hoping to get out of this is involvement within the LA communities. There will be plenty of volunteer opportunities for fans to help give back to their communities in the Los Angeles area. Here is Alex Soto talking about it:
"“Pantone 294 is a family and we want to help grow our family and take care of them any way we can.”"
They will begin to do charity work around the community in the near future, and all fans are welcome to volunteer to help donate their time and items to help out. However, the biggest contribution the fans can make is to continue having a positive and fun experience on every trip they take.
Next: Barometer test for Los Angeles
We know this Saturday won’t be the last time we see them on TV. Make sure to check out my article next week as I’ll share with you my experience being a part of the Pantone group.