Major League Baseball was named Sports League of the Year at the 2012 Sports Business Awards presented by SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily last night in New York. The award recognizes the success baseball enjoyed in 2011 coupling unparalleled drama on the field with record business performance and innovative fan engagement. Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig accepted the award on behalf of the league.
On the field, the 2011 World Series – one of the most memorable in history –generated a +19% increase in television ratings versus last year’s Series. MLB registered its ninth consecutive year of record industry revenues in 2011 – in excess of $7 billion – which produced the fifth-best attended season in history. MLB also continued its unprecedented era of labor peace by agreeing to a new five-year Basic Agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Among the off-field highlights for 2011 was the creation of the MLB Fan Cave, which was also recognized last night with the award for Best in Sports Event and Experiential Marketing. Now in its second season, the MLB Fan Cave began in March 2011 as a truly novel idea with the goals of engaging fans via social media, showcasing the personalities of players and connecting baseball with music, technology and pop culture. The MLB Fan Cave has hosted more than 220 famous guests, 90 current MLB players, two dozen concerts and generated more than 400 videos distributed through social media and available on MLBFanCave.com.