Written by the PeaceHealth Rides Account Team
What are the first things that come to mind when you think of America? A bald eagle, apple pie or baseball perhaps? For years, baseball was dubbed as America’s favorite past time, but times are changing.
2019 is in full swing and it seems like millennials could care less about baseball. MLB may have a strong foundation but is losing traction in a world that now revolves around social media, affluence and entertainment, which is more visible in the NFL and NBA.
Football and basketball have thrived in a society that prioritizes instant gratification, while baseball has been left in the dust. World-renowned athletes such as Lebron James and Odell Beckham Jr., are just two of the many players that have millions of followers online and utilize such platforms in order to market themselves to the new type of fan and pique the interest of people around the world.
While NFL and NBA players are encouraged to have a social media presence, showcase their personalities and flaunt their style, MLB players have the underlying
pressure of receiving critique from the old-school baseball fans and players. So what can baseball do in order to compete with the superstars in the NFL and NBA?
Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros has started his own YouTube channel and is attempting to start the social media revolution in baseball.
In his most recent video titled “Growing the Game feat. Alex Rodriguez,” Bregman and a group of up and coming MLB players talk with Rodriquez about how the game has changed since the early 2000s and what they can do as players to better interact with fans and utilize social media to grow the game of baseball.
So what’s the issue here you may ask? The issue is that baseball does not have the same online presence and dominance compared to its counterparts in the NFL and NBA. To better equip themselves for the future, baseball must find a way to make the game cool again, attract more followers via social media and get more kids engaged with the game. Like the players mentioned in this video, they need to figure out a way to be more strategic on social media and use their platform as a way to interact with fans and show a more personal side to the player.
Baseball is notoriously known to have many sticklers of the game that fear any player that likes to bring their own “swag” to the field. I say it is time to move past the old ways of baseball. There will always be a way to play the game in a respectful manner, but players like Yasiel Puig, Javier Baez and Bryce Harper should be able to bat flip, make up crazy dance moves at home plate or even lick their bat without getting criticized for it. Each player has their own individual style and personality and because baseball is stuck in its old ways, the players are often forced to consolidate/hide their personality. Bregman suggests that MLB players should be seen in the same way that NFL and NBA players are visible in movies, commercials, social media, etc. Bregman encourages all players to take advantage of the power of social media and make a name for themselves in order to be more visible.
“They got to want to do it…”
Kids nowadays go to social media to see what their favorite athletes are doing, who’s cool and what their lifestyle is like outside of the game. Unfortunately, baseball has taken a backseat on that opportunity. Of course, baseball has tried to stay cool. For instance, they did partner with the popular rap group “Migos” to promote the World Series, and yes major markets such as Los Angeles and New York are filling seats and attracting celebrities to games. But, MLB and the players need to do a better job at marketing themselves and not just the big name cities. MLB players need to take advantage of social media and use it as a way to
grow the game. It’s time for MLB and its players to put themselves out there on social media and make a conscious effort to make baseball cool and, more importantly, fun again.