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State Farm Home Run Derby Sees Growth in Viewership & Social Media Buzz

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Monday night’s State Farm Home Run Derby (@StateFarm #HRDerby) on ESPN, in which Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers became just the second player in history to win the event multiple times, saw an increase in TV viewership while generating extensive buzz on Twitter, a significant increase in Twitter followers for the All-Stars who actively tweeted during the event, and raising a combined $615,000 donation from State Farm and Major League Baseball to multiple charities.

The State Farm Home Run Derby telecast on ESPN generated a 4.81 coverage area rating and 6.9 million viewers according to fast national data from Nielsen, both figures representing a +3% increase over the 4.67 rating and 6.7 million viewers for the 2011 Derby.  Kansas City led all markets with a 15.10 rating, the second highest for a host city since 2002 behind only St. Louis in 2009.  In addition, ratings were particularly strong in both New York and Los Angeles, the hometowns for captains Robinson Cano and Matt Kemp, respectively.  The 4.62 rating in Los Angeles – also helped by the strong showing by Mark Trumbo of the Angels – represented a +47% increase over last year, while New York’s 6.67 rating was a +10% increase over last year.

Last night’s event – the second consecutive “Social Media Derby” during which players were able to use social media live from the field during the State Farm Home Run Derby – generated 804,337 total Twitter and public Facebook comments, more than twice the volume (+158%) than last year’s Derby (312,117), based on data from Bluefin Labs.  The event was the most discussed telecast across all dayparts and networks yesterday.  The hash tag #HRDerby was the most trended term across the telecast, and trended worldwide throughout the night on Twitter.  There were 274,635 mentions of the #HRDerby, 34% of all comments during the event.  #HRDerby was one of 14 different topics related to the event to trend worldwide on Twitter during the telecast on ESPN, and as the final round between Prince Fielder and Jose Bautista began, all ten of the top worldwide trends were related to the Derby.

The players who actively tweeted from the field during the Derby significantly increased their Twitter following in the 24 hours surrounding the event (9:00am ET Monday to 9:00am ET Tuesday).  Among the players to see the most significant increase were Mark Trumbo (+73.9%, 15,771 new followers for @Mtrumbo44); Mike Trout (+21%, 11,663 new followers for @Trouty20); Andrew McCutchen (+17.5%, 11,536 new followers for @TheCutch22); Robinson Cano (+11.2%, 26,062 new followers for @RobinsonCano) and Jose Bautista (+8.9%, 19,464 new followers for @JoeyBats19).

Social media will also play a role during the 83rd MLB All-Star Game (@MLB #ASG) tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX as for the first time ever, computer stations will be set up adjacent to each clubhouse allowing players -- once they are no longer competing in the game -- to quickly reach out to fans via social media while completing their other media obligations before returning to the bench.  This initiative is a collaboration between Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association (@MLB_Players) and MLB Advanced Media, with support from FOX.

Below is a list of accounts for All-Star players along with other official accounts that will be actively posting content during the event.  Players who are not active social media users will have the opportunity to participate via the official MLB/MLBPA accounts.

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