National 811 Day - A Thank You to Landowners
Play ball! MPL celebrates NATIONAL 811 DAY with peanuts and cracker jacks
Marathon Pipe Line LLC (MPL) emphasized the importance of calling 811 – and took time to say thanks to landowners – during National 811 Day on Aug. 11 (8/11). MPL sponsored events at three minor league baseball teams to promote the safe-digging message. This was the first time a multi-faceted, simultaneous event celebrated 811 and landowners.
The landowners along our pipelines are among our most important assets in terms of maintaining pipeline integrity,” notes Karen Byers, MPL Damage Prevention Supervisor. “Events like these are a great way to spread the safe-digging message while working to further earn landowners’ trust, get to know them personally – and to thank them for protecting our pipelines.”
Events were held simultaneously in Kentucky, Indiana and Louisiana at the minor league teams featuring the Louisville Bats, Indianapolis Indians and New Orleans Zephyrs, respectively. Some landowners received free game and picnic tickets, and one lucky participant got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Wayne Wall, a landowner and U.S. Army veteran, threw the first pitch at the Louisville game. The first 811 fans at each ballpark also received free 811 water bottles, and two lucky landowners at each ballpark were chosen to compete on the field for a chance to win a $50 Marathon gas card. In addition, 811 PSAs were played before all three games, and there was a special announcement thanking landowners and emergency responders for their help in protecting the pipeline.
In total, 85 MPL employees hosted more than 460 landowners and local emergency responders, all of whom enjoyed the experience. “The weather was great at all three locations, and everyone had a good time,” notes MPL Analyst Abbey Underwood, who coordinated the project. “The event provided an opportunity to interact one-on-one with our landowners, further enhancing our relationships. Including social media posts, mailings, ballpark attendance, the FOC and area events, we delivered the 811 message to about 40,000 people that day.”
MPL also invited Kentucky 811, Indiana 811 and Louisiana One Call to partner with the company in raising awareness for the message to call 811 before beginning any digging project, with each of the call centers setting up an 811 mobile display at their respective ballgames.
The events included information booths focused on pipeline safety and the MPL Pipeline Finder iOS and Android app; photo booths; magicians; mind readers; and 811 playing cards. Mascots for the 811 industry also showed up, a flame and an oil drop that go by the names Burnie and Earl.