SBD/April 5, 2012/MLB Season Preview

MLB, Teams Using Pinterest To Share Merchandise, Connect With Fans

Tigers say that women are their target market for their Pinterest page
In an effort to keep up with the rapidly changing social media world, MLB and its 30 teams will now have a presence on the photo-sharing site Pinterest. Although they are not fully populated with content, many teams have already introduced their pages through a soft roll out. MLBAM will initially assist the teams in setting up their boards and filling them with pictures, aka pins. Tigers Dir of Marketing Ron Wade said that the simplicity of Pinterest is great. “You really don’t have to write a lot of text, you don’t have to post a story, you just post a picture of something. And if somebody likes it they will pin it on their board and then their friends will see it,” Wade said. MLB Dir of New Media Andrew Patterson added, “The idea of visual content and just re-pinning that content and sending it around is great.” He said the league wants to have a presence “where the fans are.” “Our goal is to have a conversation, it’s not just one way, it’s also hearing what fans are saying.” Patterson said, “Pinterest really allows you, more so than Facebook or Twitter, as a way of re-pinning content, having fans follow specific boards and having fans tuning into their specific interests.” MLBAM currently has set up specific boards on all team pages including men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and player boards. Teams can create other boards as they see what is popular with their fans. Orioles Dir of Communications Greg Bader said although they have not yet discovered their demographic following on the site, they understand that it is "not always the same person using all social media platforms.” Bader said, “The possibility exists that there are many individuals out there who are going to find one that is their preferred way of communicating and sharing their personal thoughts and ideas.”

: The site is not only being used to connect with fans, teams are using the site to push merchandise. Wade said, “In a lot of households we know that women control the entertainment dollar. And if we can get those pictures of those promotional items … or get some pictures of kids’ Tigers gear … we know that those are the eyes that we need to be in front of.” Some teams such as the Tigers will be pushing the sites through other social media platforms after their opening game. Bader said that the Orioles, however, will officially launch their page in the first half of the season. He added, “As an organization, obviously we want to as quickly as reasonably possible get up and fully running but at the same time we feel like there is plenty of time to do our roll out right.”
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