MLB to let players share highlights on social media
Major League Baseball, frequently criticized by fans and industry observers for not doing enough to market its top stars, has liberalized its rules around the use of licensed content by players in an attempt to make their social media feeds more vibrant.
The league will now allow players to use protected material such as video highlights and MLB-produced still photos and graphics on their feeds, and it is taking the additional step of supplying much of that material proactively to players and their representatives.
Using Greenfly, a digital content management portal developed in part by former major league all-star Shawn Green, MLB will make content available to players on a daily basis following games. Players also will have the ability to request specific items through Greenfly that can then be posted on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
“We want to give players content they haven’t had access to before, and give them more flexibility and the tools to express themselves more fully and have a bigger voice,” said Barbara McHugh, MLB senior vice president of marketing. “We want to be a resource to the players, and mine an opportunity we think has yet to be uncovered. It’s not going to be one size fits all. The idea is to customize this to the individual players.”
MLB owners were briefed on the new provisions this month during winter business meetings in Orlando.
“This is a program we’ve rolled out that we believe has the potential to really help in the area of player marketing,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “This is an initiative to make our assets available to players who wish to be more active on social media. We’re excited about this, and we have a number of players who have indicated their interest in participating in this project.”
League executives did not indicate specific limits around the content being made available to players, such as a maximum length for individual highlight clips. But the material will generally consist of short-form material that is most prevalent on social media.
The move also follows a developing effort over the past fall and winter by the league to work more closely with players to create exclusive social and digital media content, particularly behind-the-scenes material. Among the activations were bringing a camera crew to the home of Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell on the day he won the American League Cy Young Award, and following along with Philadelphia first baseman Rhys Hoskins during last November’s MLB Japan All-Star Series.
McHugh said the social media push will be measured by analytics tools, both internally and through those provided by the various platforms. That data will help drive future decisions about what material is pulled for player use.