This is the last of four stories on Major League Baseball and social media. You can read the first three parts here, here and here. Full disclosure: Major League Baseball Advanced Media employs FanGraphs contributor Paul Swydan, who wrote this series.
Major League Baseball and its Internet arm — Major League Baseball Advanced Media — started slowly in social media, but the pair has made incremental progress. Technologically, things are running smoothly, and last season the league had lots of success with its Fan Cave, among other initiatives. But what’s in the league’s future?
Certainly the best way for MLB to push the online envelope is to offer good content. But as we’ve seen with countless reality TV shows, what seems fun and exciting one year can soon becomes stale. MLB understands this. “We want the Fan Cave to continue to evolve, so that it’s fresh and unique,” MLB spokesperson Matthew Bourne says. This season, instead of MLB picking Cave finalists on its own, the league is giving fans their say. The league recently concluded a voting period that saw the initial 50 finalists culled down to 30. So far, the results have been promising: MLB’s public relations team said they received more than 1.2 million votes in roughly one month.
All 30 finalists headed down to Spring Training in Arizona this past week, and the league now is deliberating on who will make the final cut heading into the regular season. Once the group — which MLB has promised will include at least one woman — is chosen, fans will once again have the chance to vote off contestants until only two remain in October. “This is an engagement with our fans through social media, and what they say is very important,” Bourne says.
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