Major League Baseball gave some love to the reddit community Tuesday, uploading special highlight videos using comments posted on the site.
The league has been active on the site since the beginning of last season, when it created an official account and began posting feature stories to the baseball subreddit. In the year since, their team has been active posing questions to fans, sharing original content and digging into team-specific subreddits to post comments and reactions as games are happening.
Today’s release, three videos focused around some of the biggest plays from the month of May, moved MLB into new territory as far as fan engagement goes. On each highlight clip, they superimposed user reactopms to provide custom colour commentary.
On Bartolo Colon’s first career homerun, one pop-up reads: “This is one of the greatest moments in the history of baseball.” Another says: “WE ARE ALL WITNESSES.”
The videos were posted to /r/baseball exclusively, not shared on any other social platform or searchable on the MLB website.
One of the biggest off-field discussions so far this season has been around ways to make the game appealing to a younger audience. As AdWeek noted in late March, MLB’s median TV audience age is 56, making it the oldest of the big three sports.
Rob Manfred, now in his second year as commissioner of the league, has spoken at length about his efforts to market the game to a younger audience. During Spring Training, the league held its first-ever “Snapchat Day,” suspending its rules on electronic devices and allowing players to post photos from the dugout and giving fans a rare, exclusive look behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, a new generation of stars have fuelled the discussion around the sport’s need to evolve its unwritten rules. Washington Nationals’ all-star Bryce Harper has launched his own “Make Baseball Fun Again” campaign, complete with Trump-esque trucker hats.
It seems the content team at MLB are prepared to continue finding new ways to reach younger fans. With over 170,000 subscribers to /r/baseball, it’s no small market. And given the community’s preference for direct clips to highlights and compilations, it’s a great way to deliver content directly to the audience and connect meaningfully with fans.
As one commenter, /u/FamousTee said, “I love that the MLB is active on reddit and engages with fans like this.”
Another user, /u/hipcheck23, also praised the league’s efforts. “Congrats for figuring this out – giving to Reddit gets given back 100x. Give the goods (without pandering or patronizing or astroturfing) and you get real fans who respect your brand. Well done.”
Four hours after posting the submission, it had earned over 300 upvotes.