Multi-tiered approach designed to drive deeper fan engagement, enhance media distribution offerings
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. and STAMFORD, Conn., Nov. 25, 2019 — Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) today announced it has selected Octagon, the leading international sports marketing and media agency, to develop a long-term content, media and distribution strategy for the organization.
The three-phase partnership includes conducting in-depth digital fan research and current digital platform analysis, developing a media content strategy and leading a targeted media rights distribution strategy. With the first two phases complete, MiLB and Octagon are now focused on approaching the marketplace to identify, secure and enhance new media distribution opportunities. “The media landscape is evolving quickly. Content rules the day and serves as the hook to current and next-generation fans,” said David Wright, chief marketing and commercial officer of Minor League Baseball. “We are committed to staying ahead of the content curve and investing in the necessary resources to best position MiLB to drive meaningful fan engagement and overall growth in a hyper-competitive space.”
“There is no U.S. sports property comparable to Minor League Baseball. With more than 6,700 games and 16,000 hours of live content annually available to fans, MiLB’s reach and live content breadth is in a league of its own,” said Daniel Cohen, Octagon SVP, Global Media Rights Consulting Division. “We look forward to engaging with new media and technologies, to push the envelope on distribution and consumption that connects the next generation of fans with the stars of tomorrow playing in Minor League Baseball.”
“Our fans are the lifeblood of our organization, and we must reach them both in and outside of the ballpark in ways that enrich their experience, amplify memorable moments and capture MiLB’s unique spirit,” said Katie Davison, MiLB’s senior vice president of digital strategy & business development. “Our vast network of teams, athletes and fans gives us immense storytelling potential, and we’re certain Octagon can help us bring these stories to life for fans and new audiences alike.”
With a focus on technology, diversity and inclusion, and community impact, MiLB has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years across key business areas, including digital consumption, licensed merchandise sales, ballpark attendance and strategic national partnerships. A continued commitment to drive deeper engagement with next-generation fans, coupled with MiLB’s vast national footprint (covering 81% of the U.S. population) and compelling storylines, MiLB is uniquely positioned for growth as it considers the changing patterns of how fans consume media.
Some of Minor League Baseball’s areas of recent advancement include:
• Digital Technology o Activating a network of 174 websites and 135+ online stores, and streaming nearly 6,700 games annually on MiLB.TV representing more than 16,000 hours of live content o Relaunching a new e-commerce platform o Building the largest in-venue digitally connected network in sports and entertainment with ISM Connect who is investing more than $10 million across 50 MiLB ballparks o First sports property to provide fans with a bilingual chat bot via Satisfi Labs for Copa de la Diversión
• Ballpark Attendance and Licensed Merchandise Sales o A nearly 3% increase in overall attendance in 2019 vs. 2018 o A record in overall licensed merchandise sales of nearly $74 million across all 160 teams in 2018
• Diversity and Inclusion o Creating and maintaining the highly-successful Copa de la Diversión initiative to authentically engage with U.S. Hispanic fans and communities (92 teams in 2020)
o Building the largest LGBTQ+ initiative in sports and entertainment with MiLB Pride (71 teams in 2019)
• Strategic National Partnerships o Launching a credit card partnership with Allegiant, the first of its kind between a sports property and airline o Roster of prominent multi-year national partnerships including Allegiant, Applegate, BUSH’S Beans®, ECHO Incorporated, Guardian Protection and Tickets.com, among others
For more information about Minor League Baseball, visit MiLB.com.
********************************You can check me out on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @historianandrew
I have also authored a number of books (eBook and paperback) on topics of baseball that are available on Amazon.