There was a time in the pre-digital era when fans relied on newspapers and magazines to get a glimpse of players. It was only the morning after the game when fans could see a few pictures and read a few canned quotes.
It’s hard to overstate how different things are today. The Internet and social media means fans have seen hundreds of pictures and all the highlights by the time a game ends and thoughts and words of players don’t have to come via the media; social media means there’s a direct line to players and teams.
Every year’s World Series is the most social yet and the 2019 version, in which the Washington Nationals took down the Houston Astros, fans got more access and more content than ever before. Greenfly is glad to have played a role in getting content to teams and players as fast as a Stephen Strasburg fastball and here we revisit a handful of posts that can inspire you, your team, your community, your players/influencers, and your organization:
When people think of this new era of player-empowered social media, it’s often the produced photos and highlights that come to mind. But while Greenfly does indeed route thousands of photos and highlights straight to player’s devices in personalized galleries, there is also a lot of custom, personalized content being shared with players to post to their social networks and their fans; to make them and their feeds look good. Players see some of that *fire* content on social media and want something that pops for their feed, too.
Houston Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos, who has nearly 120,000 Instagram followers and is among Major League Baseball’s most well-known active Venezuelan players, shared the type of short, World Series-themed player video one may see on the Astros feed or on the Minute Maid Park video board. The video garnered around 30% engagement (30%!) and appears to be his most engaged post on Instagram ever.
The wunderkind who took over the baseball world, Juan Soto, stepped up his social media game when the playoffs and especially the Fall Classic began. Check out the cool custom content Soto got via Greenfly to post in his Instagram Story during the series, which was provided to him with the proper specs for the platform – a big assist to help a stud like Soto look like an All-Star on social, too.
Fans around the world
Across sports the past few years there has been an influx of fan-generated content and compilations. Like a Snapchat Live story come to life. Greenfly has facilitated many of these fan activations for sports teams, and it’s no surprise the raw, authentic emotion has resonated with fans on social so much. We at Greenfly also admire content beyond that which comes through our platform. For example, it brought goosebumps to see hordes of fans in the Dominican Republic cheering on their fellow Dominicans competing for the baseball world’s greatest prize. It warms the heart to see fan emotion from all around the world being shared and we expect to see more of this kind of content around magic moments in the sports world and beyond in the years to come.
The world is watching, including the kids at the @Nationals Academy in the Dominican Republic.
This is awesome. #WorldSeries pic.twitter.com/3rdfqrC9S3
— MLB (@MLB) October 31, 2019
Raw access video + content in the moment
Washington Nationals relief pitcher Wander Suero may not have figured as prominently in the World Series as others (though he’s in the box score forever!), but he consistently fed fans content on his social media feed, sharing a combination of produced and raw content so fans could get it straight from the source. 2019 is a heck of a time to be alive when a player’s Instagram feed can give fans raw footage of the title-clinching Nats dogpile minutes after the last out was recorded. It’s fantastic for fans, great for players to share that emotion with their fans, and will no doubt be something that Suero can look back on and smile as the Nationals hit the dog days of summer next year and try to do it all again.
Teams and organizations throughout sports are beginning to better recognize the value of timing – that a sponsored social post after a win is worth far more than one on an off-day or during the game. Players have the same opportunity before them and it’s beginning to play out more and more now with the ease and speed of getting content to players with a tool like Greenfly. And the results show!
This post from Juan Soto is social media at its finest — it’s words straight from the heart, it speaks to fans at an emotional time, and it features the sponsor in an organic way that isn’t beating fans over the head or diluting the message. The post is one of Soto’s most-liked IG photos ever and earned about 2x as many comments as any of his posts, too! That’s a homerun.
View this post on Instagram
You believed when they didn’t, Washington. #StayInTheFight and get ready for game day @lids @neweracap
A Different look at warm-ups
While the Astros ended up one win short of a second title in three years, the team’s social media makes our list because they provided a good example of changing up, just a bit, the typical feed of pregame pics to which fans have become accustomed. It’s always player arrivals (which never get old, really, just to see the outfits), on-field stretching, batting practice, and maybe a locker room shot. When the team is playing over 180 games, it can get old. And with over 600,000 assets being routed by Greenfly during the MLB season from its team of content creators, producers, and photographers, the social teams have more options at their disposal than ever before and needn’t rely on only what they can capture themselves.
This post featured is unique content with a peek into a pregame batting cage session with Michael Brantley, as the left-handed hitter takes BP right-handed. It gives fans something they couldn’t get elsewhere and offers a nugget of share-able knowledge that fans can pass along or offer up later as they watch the game with others. There are hundreds and even thousands of assets being created every game day, and now teams and players have instant access to all of it.
It’s only weird if it doesn’t work. pic.twitter.com/Hpp7AFJmy6
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 27, 2019
Not pictured: Players keeping memories and content insights
A little ‘inside baseball’ from Greenfly HQ, but one of the coolest insights sometimes is player activity with the platform that does NOT get posted to social media. Greenfly administrators can see what content players are downloading on social media and, indeed, more than a few players that don’t even have active social media profiles signed up for Greenfly because they wanted to get that content, those memories to last for a lifetime. It’s cool for clients at Greenfly to be able to make that happen for players; it helps foment closer relationships, and it offers insight into the type of content players want to download—whether to save or to share or both.
The 2019 World Series gave fans more social media moments than ever (heck, game 6 alone was made for memes and social chatter) and the velocity of content and social media is increasing as quickly as the home runs in the game. We’re glad that Greenfly can play a role in getting this content to and from fans, and to and from players with the speed, automation and personalization that social media requires in 2019. It’s only the 1st inning of this new era, though, and it transcends sports to every business, brand, and organization. And if the first few swings of this new social media season is any indication, we’re in for a heck of a game ahead.
Want to learn more about how Greenfly gets content around the bases for pro and college sports, entertainment organizations, brands, and retail? Step up to the plate and contact us!