Baseball’s summer classic, the annual All-Star game, wasn’t all that of an exciting game on the diamond, but proved to create quite the discussion over social media (Twitter in particular). Yesterday, the team at Mashable, dove into the MLB’s social media success with the help of social TV analytics company, Bluefin Labs. Click on the link to check out the #ASG infographic to see the most buzzed about keywords, terms and moments from the 2012 All-Star Game.
Thoughts about the #ASG Strategy
While the event drew impressive numbers over social media (more than 800,000 comments from nearly 440,000 users across social media platforms), but you have to wonder how much of that is a result of the lack of sports going on at the moment. I have to hand it to the MLB, as they knew that they had an potential market of fans thirsty for sports action and they capitalized. It’s also remarkable that the game did create as much buzz as it did considering that the game lacked major drama and story lines for the majority of the game.
Not only did the MLB win with their social media strategy, but the key was that the clubs bought into the strategy as well. For example, the MLB smartly put the game in the fans’ hands by allowing them to vote in the last two All-Star Game roster spots. In an effort to increase their team’s exposure and presence at the All-Star game, clubs across the league jumped on this like wildfire. The Chicago White Sox led an aggressive campaign to vote pitcher, Jake Peavy, into the game by promoting the #TakeJake hashtag (my timeline was filled with this). Teams also were active during the game to promote their players’ chances of winning the MVP award. If a specific team’s player wins the award, it opens the door for so many opportunities regarding sponsorship and increased exposure. So clearly it’s in the team’s best interest to take to the social media channels to promote their on-field product. Bryan Srabian and the San Francisco Giants once again flexed their social media saavy muscles as they were very active pushing Pablo Sandoval and Melky Cabrera throughout the game with Cabrera eventually walking away with the title. Quality of acceptance interview? Now that’s another story.
Although I truly believe that the MLB has made some monumental steps in bringing the game more to the fans with its digital and social media strategy, but you have to wonder, how much is too much? At points, I definitely thought it was overkill. The hashtag #ASG was basically shoved down the viewers throats as everything included the #ASG symbol from TV graphics to bats that the players were using. To me, the social media conversation needs to be organic to to truly have genuine discussion. While obviously you need to promote the official hashtag in order for fans to properly engage in that conversation, there is a certain line. It will be interesting to see how the MLB evolves as Twitter and the rest of social media does leading up to the World Series and future All-Star Games. Same goes for involving the players into the social media tweet-a-thon. At times, it felt forced when the athletes were pulled aside from the game to tweet/interview from the special social media room. If the athletes aren’t involved at a genuine level, fans can see through it and messaging seems inauthentic. Now if the players’ are smart, they totally get involved with the conversation at appropriate times in the game. See this tweet that Robinson Cano put out when the Kansas City crowd had a strong reaction to his at-bat:
But these are just some of my thoughts about the 2012 All-Star Game through the social media lense. What are your thoughts on the #ASG and it’s promotion? Leave your comments below or tweet us!