By Edward Baruela

The Toronto Blue Jays annual state of the franchise, known this year as The Leadoff, provides fans an outlook for what to expect in 2016. The hour-and-a-half event gives season ticket holders an opportunity to meet with members of the Blue Jays organization.

Many different public relations strategies were used throughout the state of the franchise. Here are five notable takeaways for Blue Jays fans.

1. Season ticket holders get special event-only perks.
The Toronto Blue Jays organization goes out of its way to cater to its season ticket holders at the event. The exclusive event included pizza, sliders, french fries and popcorn with wine and beer to all attendees free of charge. The conclusion of the event allowed season ticket holders a one night only savings of 30 per cent off all merchandise in the Jays Shop.

2. Promotion for the Blue Jays 40th season.
The 2016 season marks the 40th year of operations for the Toronto Blue Jays. To commemorate this occasion, a special 40th-season patch was officially revealed at the event. It will be worn by players on the left sleeve of their uniforms all season. The special jersey also features Majestic’s new breathable material that went on sale the day after the event.

3. Out with #ComeTogether, in with #OurMoment.

The 2015 season was a success for the Blue Jays on social media, as the hashtag #ComeTogether united Canadians and got an entire nation “hooked on a feeling.” For the upcoming season, a new social media campaign uses the hashtag #OurMoment as a way of expressing a shared experience for a significant play or happening — just like Jose Bautista’s bat flip and the “Jose” chants that followed.

4. Jays Care Foundation promotes baseball outreach to communities across Canada.
The Blue Jays are thriving on the field and #BeyondTheBallpark as the contributions of the Jays Care Foundation are being widely recognized. Their initiatives promote positive social change in the lives of kids through the sport of baseball in their communities. The Blue Jays have invested over $3.4 million across Canada, affecting the lives of 62,000 children in the process.

5. Key messages from key speakers attempt to win over critics and fans for the 2016 season.
Upper management changes following the 2015 season, minimal progress made during the offseason, and letting key players go from the Blue Jays playoff run has infuriated many within the fan base. New president Mark Shapiro and new general manager Ross Atkins used the event to improve their image to Blue Jays fans. They used key messages to address season ticket holders’ tough questions on player contracts and improvements to the Rogers Centre. Manager John Gibbons and outfielder Kevin Pillar mentioned building up pitching prospects for the upcoming season, and the possibility of Kevin Pillar in the leadoff role.