America’s Favorite Pastime in the Digital Age

Is it any coincidence that the San Francisco Giants happen to be the most active major league baseball team on social media and that my husband also seems to spend an inordinate amount of time tracking the up-to-the-minute progress of this (his favorite) sports team through his iPhone? Perhaps not. According to an interesting infographic from the article “Can Social Media Breathe New Life Into Baseball?” social media is complementing—maybe even transforming—the way sports fans are engaging with their teams.

There has been a lot of chatter recently in the blogosphere about how social media is impacting sports with such articles as “Pro Sports Solving the Social Media Puzzle,” “Mobile Slides Into Home for Official Start of Baseball Season,” “Cleveland Indians Construct ‘Social Media Suite’ at Progressive Field,” and “Peanuts, Cracker Jack, and Tweets: Does Social Media Help or Hinder Sports?”  According to the latter article, social media and technology are being used not only to amplify the fan experience, but to keep momentum going during the off-season. Engaging fans via social media is worth the trouble because “it doesn’t so much create a culture that didn’t exist before as much as support one that has already been central to the experience.”

Next week, the Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association will host the current marketing director of the Reno Aces, Brett McGinness, who spent seven years working for the San Francisco Giants in consumer marketing research, sponsorship, and promotions. He initiated plans to celebrate the Giants’ 10,000th franchise victory, and to create Major League Baseball’s first alternate-language game jerseys. He also developed single-game attendance prediction metrics and created the team’s first partial-season ticket packages.

In 2009, the Reno Aces unveiled its $50 million, 10,000 seat stadium in Downtown Reno. The much-anticipated project was a welcome progression in the Downtown redevelopment effort, and with its surrounding retail shops and restaurants, it promised to fuse new life and energy into the Downtown Reno core.  Before a shovel even hit the dirt, McGinness has overseen marketing efforts including the “name the team” process, the team website, advertising design and layout, and the team’s marketing database.  Brett created the team’s award-winning social media program, and has just launched a new social media-based fan rewards program.  The talk promises to be insightful and timely with the official kickoff to baseball season having just begun combined with everyone’s love for Reno’s favorite hometown team.

Now it’s your turn! How has social media impacted the way you follow sports?

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