The 2019 Major League Baseball season was filled with home runs both on and off the field. The world witnessed history as the Washington Nationals took home their first World Series in franchise history. On social media, high-quality MLB content contributed to a 6.7% increase in fan growth from last season.
With official MLB team accounts maintaining their social presence throughout the season, team accounts collectively shared 197K posts, generating $1.61B in social value for the league. MLB team accounts outperformed two other professional sports league team accounts — NBA and NFL — earning 3 times more social engagements on Instagram with 10% fewer posts.
Campaigns Across The League
Across MLB’s 30 teams, the Boston Red Sox topped the charts for brand activations with their Coca-Cola partnership.
Posts made by the Red Sox featuring Coca-Cola, such as final score graphics and image shares, acquired 4.84M engagements in total on Facebook and Instagram and did so with 71% fewer posts across social than the second-highest-ranking team in the league.
The Red Sox’s most engaging post, a final score graphic, was sponsored by Coca-Cola. This graphic included Coca-Cola’s logo, collecting 115K likes on Instagram, resulting in $103K in social value with just one post.
Logo placement can produce a high ROI, but strategic placement is key. MLB events provide high-value opportunities for sponsors, and having insights on the players can direct the decision for proper logo placement. Take the Home Run Derby, for example.
Because Home Run Derby players tend to pull the ball to the side of the plate they hit from — with the majority being right-handed — hits are more likely to soar left than the right, making left-field signage more valuable than right-field signage for this event.
Geico’s postseason sponsorship activations with the Houston Astros produced a high return with two activations. By using in-stadium signage at Minute Maid Park and featuring various players from the team in their televised advertisements, Geico and the Astros generated $166.8K in total social media value in the postseason alone.
Biofreeze saw a high return from the 2019 season, earning $8.53M in total social media value from their multi-team sponsorships of starting lineup graphics.
Ultimately, the New York Yankees’ starting lineup activation with Biofreeze led the league for branded campaigns, generating an average of $10.4K of social value per post. With the Biofreeze logo strategically placed in images and supported with brand tags on Facebook, the Yankees derived $7.75M in brand value.
Logo Placement, Hashtags, and Game Highlights
In-stadium signage can drive high ancillary value on social media when located in an often-captured location and when images and videos are strategically framed. Coca-Cola was one of the league’s sponsors that nailed this strategic effort.
Coca-Cola benefited from clear visibility of its signage within image shares from MLB players and influencers. Such logo placements led to 7.3M impressions, resulting in $11M of social media value for the brand.
Video and image highlights from the diamond spurred high engagement rates across official MLB league and team accounts. Instagram image and video shares brought in 6.8x more engagements per post than Facebook, averaging at 17K engagements per post. Top-performing posts included final score graphics, memorable moments from the game and public figures in attendance.
Many official MLB league and team accounts utilized the addition of a dedicated on-brand hashtag to tie their messaging together and drive broader impact. The Chicago Cubs outperformed every team in the league with the use of their team-related hashtag, #everybodyin. With 21M engagements over 2K posts, the Cubs earned $31M in social value using this campaign tactic.
The 2019 MLB season was one full of quality content shares, heightened value, and memorable moments from beginning to end. With social growth spurring the expansion of opportunities, sponsorship activations within MLB continued to rise. If your brand is looking to evaluate current investments or locate areas of opportunity for sponsorship activations, we can help. Tell the right story for your brand with MVP.