MLB Teams Go All Out In Promoting Players For All-Star Selection
Mariners SS Jean Segura won the AL's final vote to attend next week's All-Star Game, thanks to the team's "aggressive approach on social media that included giveaways, promotions, videos, a SeguraFest at Safeco Field and more," according to Ryan Divish of the SEATTLE TIMES. Mariners manager Scott Servais said, "The outpouring of support by our fanbase and what the group in marketing department did to create this SeguraFest, I can’t say enough about how good that it makes me feel and certainly our players feel, knowing their support is there for something like this. It is awesome" (SEATTLE TIMES, 7/12). In Tacoma, TJ Cotterill notes the Mariners’ "relentless marketing department that blitzed social media, including changing the Mariners’ Twitter handle to #SendSegura, in order to get fans to vote Segura into the MLB All-Star Game." Mariners players "offered signed bats, hats, gloves and cleats in their campaign" to get Segura to DC. All of the team "wore T-Shirts with Segura’s face on them and the Mariners had every seat on an Alaska Airlines flight to Los Angeles covered in the shirts among their other hijinks" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 7/12).
PUTTING ON THE PRESS: Brewers 1B Jesús Aguilar got the final NL vote, and in Milwaukee, Todd Rosiak notes the blitz was on from the "moment it was made official Sunday he wasn’t among the initial group of players selected." While Brewers staffers "worked furiously behind the scenes to encourage fans to vote -- both in Milwaukee and in Miami -- Aguilar spent almost every free moment at Marlins Stadium the past three days doing interviews and trying to help get the word out himself." In the end, Aguilar "received the second-most votes ever in Final Vote history with 20.2 million" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/12).
ENGAGING THE FAN BASE: MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds said being selected to the All-Star Game from the final vote "means a lot to the player, but it might be bigger to the fan base." Reynolds: "The vote is all about the fan base and who is going to support their guy and who put on the best show.” MLB Network’s Al Leiter: “The more baseball gets interactive in allowing fans to pick this final pick ... is great.” MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger: “Does it matter at all how you’re performing as you get down the stretch? It’s popularity within your fan base.” Reynolds: “It’s about the campaign: who can be the most creative and accessible.” Leiter: “What I like is how the social media got involved and their teammates really getting involved” (“MLB Tonight,” MLB Network, 7/11).