Baseball is a very cool game. It’s just too bad the people involved in marketing the Major League version of the game are about as hip as your Dad. Just saying, heh, I don’t even know your Dad, but I couldn’t think of anyone un-hip other than Larry King.
In case you are wondering who is responsible for such a job, well if we had to guess it might be this guy, but who the hell who knows.
While every other sports league was establishing a social media beachhead on Facebook, MLB stood in the back. Perhaps they thought the trend would pass. Perhaps it’s just too much work connecting with your fans. MLB has been trying to catch up with Twitter. MLB is very progressive on the 140 character scene, maybe too much during the Armando Galarraga perfect game drama.
The unfortunate part is that baseball, more than basketball and football, has relied on—and, to a great extent, succeeded in—corralling the potential of Twitter accounts and free, near-realtime video highlights to push the sport to higher levels of popularity. MLB’s Players list on Twitter boasts more than five dozen current ballplayers, and every team has its own Twitter handle. In all, it allows millions of baseball fans from every corner to follow all angles of their favorite clubs, in good times and bad.
Yeh, Pirates fans know all about the bad.
But the MLB work on Facebook is struggling. Maybe they were MySpace focused. No. They weren’t. Nevermind.
The SunTimes put it all together, just in case you needed to see the facts to prove what you already knew, here you go. The numbers below are the Facebook followers of each major sports league when the article was written. [All of them are outdated as by my count MLB is up to 105,000 (10,000 increase) while UFC has grown to 2.261 million. You get it. The growth rate of MLB pales in comparsion to the leaders. The NBA was up to 3.1 million.]
NBA – 2.5 million
UFC – 1.6 million
NFL – 476,000
NHL – 459,000
MLB – 94,000
The latest trends are stepping up efforts to entice fans to buy merchandise with online promotions, and geo-tagging, or enabling fans to find a ticket or even a celebrity by entering latitude and longitude coordinates into a geo-tagged photo or image’s search engine.
UFC President Dana White, who has more than 1 million Twitter followers, uses Twitter tagging to send tips on his location. The first Twitter follower to find him gets tickets to the event.
In Montreal, a fan found White in 37 seconds.
Reading what Dana White does to connect to fans, it makes me wonder when Bud Selig will get his Twitter account activated and stop fooling everyone.