Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity education initiative turns to minor league ballparks for message-boosting

“This year, we scaled it up; we’ve got three teams,” program leader tells IT Brew.
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Francis Scialabba

less than 3 min read

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Cybersecurity education requires meeting people where they’re at—and where better than at your local ballpark?

That’s the logic behind Don’t Click It, Pitch It!, a nonprofit initiative from Bay Area tech company Stellar Cybersecurity that aims to raise awareness of phishing scams and other threats through midgame announcements at minor league games.

“Stopping hackers is a team effort, just like playing sports,” the program’s website says. “We don’t believe technology alone will help until kids and everyone are more informed.”

Big game. Stellar’s SVP of Marketing, Steve Garrison, told IT Brew that after starting Don’t Click It as a pilot program with the Ogden Raptors, the company expanded for 2024.

“This year, we scaled it up; we’ve got three teams,” Garrison said. “We’ve got the PSA being played at least 400 times.”

Don’t Click It provides three tips for people looking at potentially dangerous links: Make sure you know who sent it, keep an eye out for “weird stuff” like bad grammar or odd word choices, and never share your personal information.

Announcements are played at three minor league parks in Ogden, Utah (Raptors); Oakland, California (Ballers); and Munster, Indiana (Lake County CornDogs). The program targets young people—in fact, its genesis stemmed from Garrison’s daughter getting scammed by an Instagram hacker for $400 last year.

“She learned that even in a cyber house where I try to do education with my family, you can get hoodwinked by these people,” Garrison said.

Marketing approach. Raptors owner and president Dave Baggott said that while he knows “absolutely nothing about cybersecurity,” he’s aware that minor league teams can boost a message. It’s also a way of getting new businesses to advertise with smaller parks, as they have in big league cities like San Francisco, where the Giants play at Oracle Park, named for the software company.

“The tech world is getting very much involved with Major League Baseball and they’re gonna eventually take over Major League Baseball when it comes to the Oracles of the world or when it comes to media rights packages. Amazon is going to take over the sporting world with media rights—this is our way of getting our foot in the door now,” Baggott said.

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to cloud computing, IT Brew covers the latest trends shaping business tech in our 4x weekly newsletter, virtual events with industry experts, and digital guides.