Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The summer months are non-eventful for sports. The NBA Finals end sometime in Mid-June. Besides the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, there are no other major sporting events (4 Major US Sports; Hockey, Football, Baseball, Basketball) during the rest of summer. The MLB All-Star game is a great opportunity for businesses and brands interested in activation within the sports industry.
The “Midsummer Classic,” as it’s called, is the most intriguing All-Star game compared to other major sports leagues. The winner of the last several years actually earned home field advantage in the World Series for their respective league. Even though t.v. ratings have dropped in recent years, the All-Star Game attracts companies looking to engage in this space.
The timing of the game also makes it appealing. We are 2 months away from the start of the NFL and College Football seasons. The NBA and NHL are in the off-season and enjoying a dead period. Finding a creative way to engage and speak to the fans, gives you the opportunity to own the conversation for a longer period of time. Solid digital media teams thrive in these situations. Oreo is a perfect example. Their social media team took advantage of a black out during Super Bowl 47. The tweet below earned 10,000 retweets in one hour. Some people believe this tweet had more reach and return on investment than their actual Super Bowl commercial itself. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/04/oreos-super-bowl-tweet-dunk-dark_n_2615333.html) 4 years later and we still talk about this tweet. They have been able to own the conversation far longer than anticipated.
Photo Credit: Business Insider
Social Media and live sports have been integrated into the every day sports environment. Fans watching the games utilize social media to join in the live conversation. These people are passionate, focused, and display high rates of engagement. Strategically placed tweets, ads, posts, or images have the ability to reach a large audience DURING the game. It would be challenging to find a more captive audience.
Image Credit: The Sporting News
Geographical representation is another key factor. During the All Star Game of 2016, there were 30 foreign born players spanning 9 countries and territories outside of the United States. (https://theundefeated.com/features/nearly-half-the-roster-at-this-years-mlb-all-star-game-is-made-up-of-players-of-color/) Is your company looking to expand their brand awareness? Potential reach and visibility is significantly increased due to the make-up of the All-Star Game rosters.
Baseball is The American Pastime. Rob Manfred’s goal, is to grow baseball at the youth level, hoping more youth baseball players result in more life long MLB fans. The new sport media landscape provides multiple ways (digital, social, traditional) for businesses to get involved around events such as the All-Star Game. The intrigue around the game, time of year, and geographical representation are three reasons why brands and businesses should develop a strategic marketing plan around the All-Star Game.