Social media: Changing how fans watch baseball
Recently, Major League Baseball asked its fans how they felt social media has changed their experience with watching the game. I’ve been meaning to share my thoughts on the subject, but wanted to put it in something a little more thought out than a tweet.
Social media has changed a lot of things in society. A fine example of that, is how major sports are starting to fully embrace it, allowing fans to have more direct interactions with not just the teams they root for, but even the players on those teams. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, fans are welcoming social media with open arms.
I’ll stick with baseball, since I’ll admit it’s really the only sport that I use social media to help enhance my experience. With a few clicks on a mouse, I can instantly get all the late-breaking news from local and national media outlets, as well as players that I enjoy rooting for. It’s revolutionary, in the sense that you can basically alter your interactions to be mostly based on just what you want to know. Finally, a chance to filter your news exactly the way you want it.
Another thing that social media has allowed, is provided fans a chance to interact directly with one another. Major League Baseball realized the potential for this, when they created the MLB Fan Cave. The primary purpose of the Fan Cave is for fans to have the opportunity to interact with each other (the fans), Major League Baseball, and players from their favorite teams.
This isn’t to say that every single player in baseball is involved with social media, but a lot of star players are. If you look on twitter, you can find such stars as Matt Kemp, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Logan Morrison. I do believe it’s a great tool for players, as they look to directly communicate with their fans.
This year also marked the first year that fans were able to use social media to vote for the MLB All-Star Game. On July 5th, from 12:00-4:00, fans were able to cast votes for the Final Vote by using preselected hashtags on Twitter. It makes you wonder if Major League Baseball will consider expanding their use of social media for next year’s All-Star game, perhaps letting fans cast votes in a similar fashion using either Facebook or Twitter. That would certainly create quite a bit of buzz and publicity, and is something they should consider looking into.
There’s plenty of opportunity for growth in social media, and as a fan, I’m excited and curious to see how that will take place. Fans seem to be open to the concept of using social media, and I think all of the four major sports are starting to recognize that.