MLB has launched a concert series at its MLB Fan Cave in New York City as part of their continued marketing initiative to find other ways of engaging fans that includes expanded use of social media.
Opening day for the 2012 baseball season kicked off with a concert by pop group Far East Movement and Aaron Lewis, lead singer of rock group Staind. According to a press release on MLB.com, the concerts are part of a series of fan events that also includes celebrity and player appearances.
As part of their redesign, the Fan Cave, located in the former home of Tower Records in the Greenwich Village section of the city will feature performances by several popular artists — the entertainment lineup for the month of April includes appearances by The Fray on April 13 and Daughtry on April 26.
The MLB concert series is free and open to all fans. As part of the social marketing plan, concert highlights will be featured on MLBFanCave.com and information will be made available via Twitter and Facebook.
According to a March 2011 press release on MLB.com, the concept for the Fan Cave was created last year by MLB and its new marketing and advertising agency Hill Holliday and production company Endemol USA. In an effort to gain more interest, the Fan Cave will play home to nine baseball fans affectionately referred to as “Cave Dwellers” who were chosen to watch every MLB game in the 2012 season and record their experiences via social media. According to a post on Mashable.com, the Cave Dwellers will be judged based on the amount of social conversation generated and the creativity of the content that is posted via social media including Twitter, Facebook, and a blog on MLB.com.
“The inaugural MLB Fan Cave presented baseball and its players in a creative and relevant way making the project extraordinarily popular among fans, especially younger ones,” said Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president of business in an April 2, 2012 press release. “The new design of the Fan Cave, coupled with increased interest among players and entertainers and more Cave Dwellers, allows us to add some new elements while keeping the same approach that was so popular last year. The MLB Fan Cave will grow dramatically in year two, entertaining both avid and casual fans through social media in a unique fashion.”
According to a press release on MLB.com, the MLB Fan Cave was awarded “Best Use of Social Media for Sports” at the 4th Annual Shorty Awards in March 2012 — since its launch, the Fan Cave has generated more than 300 million social media impressions.
Scarborough Sports Marketing, a consumer marketing firm specializing in sports and fan insights, recently reported, “Generation Y is so active on Twitter and Facebook that any modern marketing campaign is incomplete without a social component,” a quote from Bill Nielsen, vice president of sales, in an April 3, 2012 press release. “With youthful initiatives like the MLB Fan Cave in New York City and increased social media efforts, the league, teams and advertisers can reach younger audiences in the spaces where they are most engaged,” Nielson added.