Now that the MLB lockout has ended and we are getting 162 games, there is some optimism surrounding the sport. However, to the casual viewers there is a lot that Major League Baseball can do to market the game better to the next generation of players and fans. Today, we are diving into some ideas that the league and players can implement in order to grow a sport filled with rich history.
One thing that does not need to be marketed as much are the March Madness brackets that drive eyeballs to the games. Baseball needs to figure out how to get involved with things like this in order to help the product.
Make Free Agency a Frenzy
One thing that does not help baseball grow in popularity is the current way they handle free agency. They have free agents able to sign from the end of the World Series all the way through Spring Training for some players. In order to capture a social media world that loves other sports, they should make a free agency period.
Other sports have this like the NBA where major free agents are signing as soon as free agency opens and that means more of a following. It gives fans a period of time to fully be invested into the sport and make it more fun to keep refreshing on social media or keeping alerts on. Football and basketball have figured out how to do so. Plus, it keeps your sport in the front of people’s minds for a significant stretch of time.
Focus on Your Stars
This should be a given as the shelf life of a top player in Major League Baseball is longer than those of other sports. That means the top players in the sport should be marketed, especially with the regional fandom that happens with baseball, in that region. With the eastern United States having guys like Aaron Judge, Ronald Acuna Jr, and Jacob deGrom while the west has Fernando Tatis Jr, Mookie Betts, and Mike Trout.
There is a huge chance to improve the branding for the sport as they can appear on television and social media shows, cultivate a following that will enhance the players, the teams, and Major League Baseball as a whole. There are so many potential sponsorships and just ways to market baseball players and their teams. Don’t shun players trying to establish their brand to help promote the game.
With baseball, a lot of people try to “gatekeep” and keep it the way it was without seeing an issue. There is a need to promote the game with celebrations without consequences. When Stephen Curry shoots a three, he does not have to fear being plunked with a basketball or initiating a brawl. Showing emotion is a big thing in sports as you are in competition so whether it be a huge bat flip with a mammoth home run or an electric fist bump coming off the mound after striking out a big batter in the lineup in a critical moment, it’s a game and promote it as such. It isn’t life or death and can help promote it in games like Fortnite with emotes of a bat flip.
There are a lot of positives in MLB with their game but if they fail to promote it to the best of their abilities, new fans will not come into the sport. They have big personalities that can be on a national level and help to grow the game into the future but there needs to be a shift in people’s mentality about baseball players talking about things.
It has helped grow the NFL and the NBA in popularity to pass baseball over the last few decades. Marketing is critical for any business and though baseball will not be in jeopardy of closing down, they can grow tenfold if they begin marketing their players at a better level.