How does baseball, a sport that has been around for 177 years, compete with the NBA’s high-flying dunks and the grueling hits of the NFL? Or the fact that children today can operate an iPad by the age of two? In today’s world of instant gratification, a three-hour, 1-0 game to some might as well be algebra homework.
After a decade of swings and misses it’s time for Major League Baseball to knock one out of the park with its marketing and communications. Some of our ideas might just be the long ball America’s greatest pastime needs. (Warning: More cheesy baseball references ahead.)
Follow your audience. In today’s world, that means be easily accessible, especially to Millennials. Social media, blogs and short videos instantly put you on the screen in front of countless potential clients or customers. By embracing new technology, fans get an up-close and personal view of their favorite players and teams. You don’t want a mistake to be your social media moment. It took a Fox broadcasting mishap to create some buzz on the Internet for last year’s World Series. Make fans feel like they are a part of “The Show.”
A poorly marketed Snapchat day during Spring Training allowed MLB players to send out pictures and videos during the game. Good try, but it’s going to take more than one day in early March to keep this ship from sinking.
Let your personality shine. Set free the flashy personalities of Major League Baseball. Let Big Papi share with the world his latest dugout prank. Give the fans a personal look at one of Robinson Cano’s elaborate handshakes. To be relevant today, you need to capture the fun of your company. Take a snapshot and post in on Instagram for everyone to see. Let the boys of summer live a little. We’re not saying we call Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn out of the bullpen just yet, but show the world that today’s players are real people, too. (Just like you, too, should connect with your audience.)
Update your product offerings. There’s no denying the world has a short attention span these days. Even a two-minute YouTube video is a big ask for some. The most die-hard baseball fans struggle to make it through a three-hour game without a yawn. So what do you do with a 19th century game to give it a 21st century facelift? Keep the Millennial in mind. If you want to capture the full attention of your audience, it has to be short and sweet.
Baseball has a long tradition of playing by the book, but that just doesn’t cut it these days. It’s time to mix it up.
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