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Volume 25 No. 234
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Social Studies: New Era Capitalizes On MLB All-Star Events

Cleveland is hosting MLB's All-Star Game as well as all of the auxiliary events, and it has provided New Era Cap and its Dir of Digital Brand Marketing Matt Ramirez (@NewEraCap) an opportunity to reach out to fans new and old through various activations. In addition to athlete appearances, New Era Cap will have a presence at Play Ball Park, the re-branded fan festival. Ramirez said, "Last year we had a human-sized claw machine, so we will be doing that again. We will be working with a small agency to do an activation with fans around the walk-up song idea. Overall, our goal is to break down the wall and let fans meet players, be part of what we are doing and walk away with some free swag."

SOCIAL SNAPSHOT
Must-follow: I’ve been skateboarding since I was 12, so it’s probably Thrasher Magazine.
Favorite app: Instagram because it’s the best social network. Since Day One, I get to see the world through your eyes especially with the story functionality.

Average time per day on social media: Around 3-4 hours. It’s a part of my job and a part of my life. With my kids, we have a family Snapchat, and we’re always sharing what we are doing.

Describe the brand’s personality:
It’s an authentic personality that has an organic connection to the product and the leagues and companies we choose to do business with. We come from a position of authority -- not in an arrogant way but in a confident way. Our tone of voice on social reflects that. We try to position things with an inspirational or motivational statement followed by a call to action.

Plans for 100th year:
We are still working on the exact mechanics and messaging of the campaign and how we want that to come to life. That will definitely cascade into the social strategy, so we give fans of the brand an opportunity to celebrate with us. It’s going to be through events and products and activations.

Choosing what content is featured:
That’s one of the most interesting parts of this job. It’s something we are always fine tuning. There are two ways we look at it: You have the big teams that extend beyond their local fanbase. They are national teams that a lot of people are excited about and want to be a part of. We then add on to it trying to rotate as many teams into the strategy as possible, so we try to give as much love to as many teams as possible. Finally, we listen to the fans. They will let us know. We’ll get comments like, “Hey, you never show the Pirates."

When the most fan engagement occurs:
Definitely when we drop product. We really worked hard to build a behavior so we are not surprising people. We want people to know right when product is available. Sometimes we’ll build teases into the campaign strategy, so if we know it’s something people are anticipating a lot, we’ll give them a heads up when it’s going to drop. The most engagement comes when we drop an entertainment product. We just did the “Toy Story” collection, we did something with Travis Scott. Then the collections that anniversary every year, especially in MLB -- the Armed Forces Weekend, the Fourth of July.

Disconnecting from social media:
I’ve been doing this a long time and we are lucky we have a great digital marketing team, but we all know it is a 24/7 job, so we’re always on. Sometimes I need a little nudge from my wife to say, “Pay attention to us for a little bit.”

Being everywhere:
The way we promote is reinforcing the authentic connection we have with the leagues and ambassadors. We may not be the headline in the product they are seeing, but we are the vehicle for something they love, whether it be a team, a movie from their childhood. We are bringing that to them on a really good, quality product that they know and trust. The way we try to amplify that is drawing a lot of attention to who we work with.

Planning for big events:
Let anybody who can’t be there have the opportunity to feel like they were kind of there. Once we know the plan that the business unit has in place with appearances and fan activations, we’ll put a run of show together on what we want to cover and what we want to do. When we show up, we’ll actually see that run of show through about 80%. That remaining 20% is just reacting to what is happening there in the moment. We’ll work well in advance with the NFL and guys at the Draft who have their name called.

If you know anyone who should be featured for their use of social media, send their name to us at jperez@sportsbusinessdaily.com