Major League Baseball is back in full swing, and after toughing out the pandemic with moderately rising ratings despite significant circumstances, passionate MLB diehards have proven themselves as an invaluable viewership force. For marketers looking to leverage the excitement of the MLB Season, targeting these heartfelt and captivated fans during the year’s biggest games can ensure more effective delivery in messaging. For sponsors looking to make the most out of their major sponsorship league dollars, social insights can prove vital in maximizing their investment.

Fan passions can carry campaigns. As loyal baseball viewers actively engage with their beloved teams across digital broadcasts and social media, marketers become not only more aware of favorite teams and viewing habits, but all of their other interests and frequented locations come into light, providing much-needed relevance to outreach and an understanding of viewers as individuals rather than bulk groups. This rich social data escorts targeting out of the broad range, allowing marketers and sponsors to identify the most relevant prospects for their campaigns, improving efficiency considerably. Let’s dive a little deeper.

Sports had it rough from COVID. Though the pandemic’s effects were instrumental in causing ratings dips across all broadcast sports last year, MLB still managed to eke out a 4.2% increase in general viewership, thanks in part to particular teams driving their impassioned followings, some more than others.

Consistently strong-performing teams attract ongoing relationships with their fans, as we can note the top three performers in 2020 viewership were also high-ranking teams. Fan momentum is a powerful force, and a strong fanbase can help sustain a team or brand during industry challenges and impedances. And when we see that, despite the decreased overall ratings in 2020, 31% of viewers paid more attention to the games than in 2019, the power of the diehard fan becomes even more evident. As casual watchers drop out of the equation, we realize how much attention and focus hardcore baseball fans lend to their favorite pastime. 

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Regardless of ratings, baseball diehards are forever at the games and glued to their screens during the playoff races. Ever the resilient audiences, active baseball fans provide game streams and broadcasts with unwavering attention. As casual game watchers gradually re-enter the baseball foray and renormalize ratings, marketers should not lose sight of the power of the most passionate fans, reaching them at their most engaged, across the screens, devices, and channels most relevant to them.

As the 2021 World Series ushers casual viewers back in, marketers have some takeaways in further deciphering MLB audiences:

  • The downfall of sports is exaggerated. Diehard sports fans can provide unprecedented attention and devotion to their favorite teams, even under dire circumstances.

  • Reach strategically. Pay attention to the teams capturing the most social media attention to leverage active viewers with greater efficiency.

Target the passions of fans during the playoffs, while they’re at their most engaged. We can help you reach fans of any team, athlete, or region, and our unparalleled access to social insights allows us to create relevant, interest-based audiences for marketers looking to make the most out of their campaigns. Contact us today at audiences@affinityanswers.com to learn more or to build a custom audience with us.

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