Block: Could baseball influencers such as Jomboy, PitchingNinja offer solution to MLB’s marketing woes?

From SABR member Erica Block at Cronkite News on December 25, 2019:

Throughout baseball’s online fan community, Jimmy O’ Brien (aka @Jomboy), Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) and other notable social media personalities have reignited baseball’s cultural relevance and rekindled interest in the game among casual fans. Their work is a form of grassroots marketing that promotes baseball to a sizable audience of young, digitally savvy adults who might not otherwise pay attention to the sport.

Considering Major League Baseball’s concerns about declining attendance and its aging fanbase, some have found it surprising that MLB has not taken full advantage of what many deem to be an untapped market for entertaining baseball content. To its credit, MLB has made efforts in the last few years to attract more young people in the game.

Marketing campaigns such as Players’ Weekend and the “Field of Dreams” themed game that will take place in Iowa during the 2020 season aim to make the game more fun and appealing to the younger audiences MLB wants to target. Alongside these fan engagement campaigns, MLB restructured and modernized its marketing operations in 2018 and introduced new gameplay measures, such as limiting the number of mound visits allowed over nine innings, to expedite the game’s pace of play.

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Originally published: December 30, 2019. Last Updated: December 30, 2019.