Building off the social media success of the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby – at which MLB players interacted with fans via Twitter and Facebook live from the field during an MLB event for the first time – Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media and the Major League Baseball Players Association today announced an expansion of the initiative that will for the first time include social media activity during the All-Star Game itself.
During the 83rd All-Star Game (#ASG) on July 10th at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (7:30pm ET on FOX), computer stations will be set up adjacent to each clubhouse allowing players to interact with fans via social media while completing their other media obligations once they are no longer competing in the game and before returning to the bench. During the State Farm Home Run Derby (@StateFarm #HRDerby) the previous night (July 9th, 8pm ET on ESPN), stations will be set up on both sides of the field near the dugouts, where players – including those participating in the #HRDerby – will be able to log into their own social media accounts while uploading photo and video content shot on their personal mobile devices. ESPN and FOX will both heavily incorporate social media into their respective television broadcasts of both events, creating a fully integrated social TV experience for fans.
“At its core, baseball is a social activity, so it’s natural that social media has become such a huge part of how fans enjoy the game today,” said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. “The social media activity at the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby was both fun and successful for all involved, so we’re thrilled to expand this effort to include the All-Star Game. This initiative will bring fans closer than ever to their favorite players, resulting in what will no doubt be the most ‘social’ events in baseball history.”
"Expanding upon our social media efforts is a must," said MLBPA Director of Business Affairs, Tim Slavin. "Major League Baseball fans are the most dedicated fans in all of sports. They follow their favorite players and teams not only during the season - but throughout the year. And today's technology serves to develop the player-fan relationship well. Social media outlets allow for unprecedented levels of instantaneous communication, which contributes to the ever-growing popularity of our great game, both domestically and internationally."
Last year’s first-ever “Social Media Derby” in Phoenix resulted in a significant volume of online activity, considerable increases in Twitter followings for the participating MLB All-Stars. The final round of the event, which saw Robinson Cano defeat Adrian Gonzalez to win the crown, generated a peak of nearly 5,000 tweets per second, which at the time ranked 7th all-time in the history of Twitter. The 23 All-Stars who actively tweeted from the field during the event gained a combined 121,428 new followers in the hours surrounding the event, an average increase of +17%. Leading the way was @RobinsonCano, whose Twitter following increased by 84% during that time period.