Ravens fans immediately stopped what they were doing as the Ravens selected tackle Michael Oher in the first round of the NFL Draft. As Oher stood on stage with his family at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, 15,606 loyal Baltimore sports fans cheered the new addition to their team at M&T Bank Stadium during the 12th annual Spring Football Festival (SFF), presented by Verizon Wireless.
The fourth largest crowd in SFF history enjoyed a beautiful day in Baltimore, meeting players and cheerleaders, engaging in interactive on-field activities or just watching the NFL Draft unfold from either the club level and the stands.
But after the Ravens made their pick, the day wasn't over. For the first time ever, the Ravens and Orioles partnered for a joint promotion. Fans who attended SFF also received tickets to go across the parking lot as the Baltimore Orioles took on the Texas Rangers.
"The tie-in with the Orioles added a new, exciting element to the Spring Football Festival that was evident in the strong attendance," said Ravens Vice President of ticket sales and operations Baker Koppelman. "It was fun to see so many fans wearing Orioles and ravens gear at both events to show their support for Baltimore's teams."
Special merchandise celebrating the joint promotion included a co-branded kid's giveaway for the Orioles' Kids Dugout Club, orange "Go Ravens" T-shirts and Draft Day O's Ravens Rally Caps, which were given to the first 10,000 fans 15 and over to attend the Orioles game courtesy of MASN.
"This is a continuation of the two organizations working together," said Orioles team spokesman Greg Bader. "Several Ravens have thrown out first pitches in recent years, like Jonathan Ogden, John Harbaugh and Willis McGahee. We hosted a Ravens Rally in September, and the Ravens hosted Orioles Adam Jones, Andy MacPhail and Dave Trembley for the coin toss before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles this past season."
At Saturday's O's game, Pro Bowl fullback Le'Ron McClain had the honor of throwing out the first pitch. During several inning breaks, Baltimore's Marching Ravens entertained the crowd, as well as the Ravens cheerleaders and even Poe.
The end result was over 41,000 fans attending Saturday's game.
"We've received great feedback from the fans about this," said Ravens Vice President of marketing Gabrielle Dow. "Staff on both sides worked together to make this event successful."