Thanks for reading my second post! This week I will be talking about social media within the sports industry. In the past few years social media went from being a trend to now becoming the norm in most industries. Fans, players, and teams alike use social media and the numbers of users are growing on a daily basis. Social media has become a moneymaker for the sports industry and teams are taking advantage of it.
I’m going to specifically talk about Major League Baseball, because baseball is my passion and I hope to someday work in the industry. My father has worked in the major leagues since I was 10, and is currently in his ninth season working with the New York Mets. I played baseball in high school and college and can still feel the competitive juices flowing in me now, so I give hitting, fielding, and pitching lessons to kids to help pass that passion and knowledge on. Baseball is much more than just a sport to me and I am constantly monitoring the industry to see updates and changes.
I read an awesome article by Albert McKeon, News and Site Editor for TechTarget’s SearchCRM.com, titled MLB Teams Batting a Thousand With Social CRM Strategy. This article talks about how strong MLB is in terms of their Social CRM Strategy and how they understand the best ways to reach consumers. “Not wanting to lose a sports fan’s disposable income to NASCAR or some other summer pursuit, MLB uses social CRM tools to readily provide that connection — by doing all but letting its customers sit in the dugout.” The amount of options available to fans these days is incredible and you can go behind the scenes with just about any team. The most up to date information is now found out through tweets and posts rather than through traditional newspapers and articles like the past. “Nowadays, fans can buy their tickets on an MLB team’s website, follow the tweets of players, “like” behind-the-scenes photos a team posts on Facebook, comment on a manager’s moves on team-supervised blogs and get updates on open seats, new merchandise and weather for the first pitch.”
Each team has a framework provided for them but most teams go above and beyond the call to create an even better experience for the consumers. “On a basic level, MLB’s 30 teams use a digital framework provided by MLB Advanced Media, the interactive and Web wing of the league. Each team contributes content to many social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google Plus. Pinterest, the content-sharing network that has attracted women, is the latest social channel to catch baseball’s eye—the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians use it to post photos of apparel.”
The Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals are two of the many teams that go beyond the normal call and try to create a better, more interactive, social media environment for their fans. “Aside from building a following on the popular outlets Facebook and Twitter, the Indians this season started initiatives on four other channels: a WordPress blog called TribeVibe that gives behind-the-scenes access in the clubhouse, a Tumblr blog that highlights the sights and sounds of Cleveland, a Google Plus page to serve as a discussion forum and a landing spot on Pinterest to promote merchandise and offer recipes. The Kansas City Royals, the Indians’ American League Central Division rival, also posts a variety of game-related developments with social media, including scores, big plays, trades and injuries, videos and photos, and traffic and weather updates.”
I believe that Major League Baseball is doing a great job of making sure that the league, as a whole, is staying ahead of the curve in the social media world. I can’t wait to see what the trends in the industry will be a year from now.
Buck Wise, owner of Trending New Media, LLC, formerly hosted the Tigers (MLB) Social Media Lounge and above is a video he recorded with Prince Fielder.