SBD/Issue 150/Franchises

A True Bleacher Nation: Indians Unveil New Social Media Effort

Indians' Tribe Social Deck At Progressive Field Is
10-Seat Section For Bloggers, Social Media Users

The Indians have created the Tribe Social Deck at Progressive Field, one of the first major efforts under a new social media strategy being pursued by the club. The 10-seat section in the ballpark bleachers is being occupied each game by bloggers and other social media users and influencers with the aim of furthering the Indians' roots within social media channels. The free section, part of the Time Warner Cable-sponsored bleacher area and outfitted with wireless Internet access and a TV, is currently being used on an invitation-only basis. But the Indians are currently working with MLBAM on developing an online application process for upcoming games, in effect becoming a press box of sorts for social media users. The effort is part of a broader strategy being developed by the Indians and Phoenix-based social media advisory Digital Royalty. The club has also hired Rob Campbell, formerly of IEG Research Services in Chicago, to oversee its social media efforts on a day-to-day basis as part of a newly formed executive development fellow program created by Exec VP & GM Mark Shapiro. "We're looking to get aggressive in this area and connect with our community however we can, and this is something we're testing," said Indians Dir of Communications & Creative Services Curtis Danburg. "Our target audience right now is pretty negative [on the club], and we need to do everything we can to engage them. We need to be very active in this space, and part of that conversation that is happening." The Indians, coming off a 97-loss season last year and prominent ALCS collapse in '07, have more than 150,000 fans on the club's official Facebook page. The Indians, meanwhile, drew 1,107 fans Saturday with their $5 ticket promotion for fans also attending the Bulls-Cavaliers playoff game. The White Sox-Indians game Saturday drew 12,885 overall.

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