For any business, meeting consumers where they are at is imperative. It is why so many sports leagues and teams are investing in social media marketing, but it was not always that way for Major League Baseball.
But so much has evolved over time, such as leagues displaying MLB odds and being comfortable with the important role that social media has in the growth of their product.
Particularly for MLB, they had not done enough to help their case in the 2010s. Banning users on popular social media platforms for sharing clips aimed at educating people became wildly popular.
But Rob Friedman, also known as Pitching Ninja on social platforms, helped bridge that gap and has become wildly popular among the sport’s players. That is the impact that social media can have, and a sport like baseball, which had struggled to grow the game so much that it is making rules changes hoping to assist that mission, was late to the draw in embracing social media.
Fortunately, that change of heart has been beneficial to the sport, and it is better at connecting with its fans and hoping to find ways to generate more interest. Here are a few ways they are aiming to do that.
The league’s marketing department came up with a great idea to find some of the biggest fans on social media and lean into that. Creating team ambassadors and giving them a special experience and some behind-the-scenes opportunities has been a big bonus.
Those fans who are often providing commentary and analysis, which is generally positive since they love that team, will often give free publicity for whatever events they are invited to. It is a great social media push to create positive brand awareness while masked behind a particular marketing campaign.
One of the surprising twists is embracing those who live in the digital space. A lot of younger adults are playing the popular MLB The Show, which is a game that meshes the stars of yesterday with today’s stars and is the target MLB market because of the longevity they could create as fans.
Maybe not the passionate younger adults who are playing the game but the teens and younger who enjoy baseball but are not yet settled on it being their favorite sport. Those social media campaigns on Twitter are creating a welcome buzz leading up to the season’s start since the video game has already been released.
There is also a similar ambassador program for some of the top content creators for the game. Again, it provides some free marketing opportunities for those who are already popular and producing positive content.
Place For Discussion
Being able to discuss the games online is a great way to stay connected. Twitter is incredibly popular for sports fans to receive news from the top journalists. Teams do a great job at putting out light-hearted content of their players and coaches that humanizes them a little bit.
Most of the beat writers have a sarcastic nature to Twitter and will engage with fans and even banter. What else is there to do during the 2 ½ hour baseball games, which used to be more than 3 hours until the new rules aimed at speeding them up?
It also allows for great q and a session with players who take over the teams’ Twitter accounts or even have their own. It is a relatively safe space for discourse and is a great way to have people engaged in the sport.
Now that resharing video clips are allowed on Twitter, it opens the door up for a lot of people to learn more about the game. Whether that is from the interviews, hilarious breakdowns of ejections and fights, or simply breaking down pitch grips and mechanics.
There are a number of coaches and other accounts who are geared at educating young players, and there are even chats between coaches that occur. It is one of the best ways to engage a passionate baseball community.
The algorithms are also great at sharing that content with people who may find it interesting, too.
Major League Baseball’s Ups And Downs With Twitter