Published August 11, 2011
The Braves Sunday will hold a first ever "#BravesBash," an ambitious social media event following their home game against the Cubs involving a variety of live online player chats, Skype calls, Twitter and Facebook takeovers, behind-the-scenes videos, and live memorabilia and merchandise auctions. The event first started as a replacement to a more traditional gala benefiting the Atlanta Braves Foundation, and #BravesBash will include a significant fundraising component. But as planning developed, the event also morphed into an aggressive attempt by the club to heighten its social media outreach. Essentially every member of the roster will be involved, including 3B Chipper Jones, RF Jason Heyward, CF Michael Bourn, 2B Dan Uggla and C Brian McCann. "In one event, we're going to try to engage with everybody in every possible way," said Braves Exec VP/Sales & Marketing Derek Schiller. "This achieves a lot of different aims for us. We get in front of many more fans than we ever could in a traditional fundraising effort for the foundation. And we get to leverage our social media channels and continue to learn in that space. We have experience in all these various channels, but never all at the same time like this." Prior high-profile events for the Braves Foundation have raised between $50,000-100,000 each, a sum the club hopes to at least approach through #BravesBash, if not surpass. The social media event was developed internally with the aid of MLBAM. More than 1,000 people thus far have registered at braves.com/bravesbash for the chance to receive a Skype call from one of the players. The Braves have more than 91,000 Twitter followers and 871,000 fans on Facebook, a combined following sixth highest among individual MLB clubs.