Lessons From MLB Blogs

Unless you hate sports or have been too busy playing World of Warcraft, you’ve probably seen Major League Baseball’s “There’s Only One October” TV.  They’ve gone with a “blogger” theme where the B or C list celebs (Randy Jackson, for example) ad actual players narrarate their entires.  Aside from the fact that you can totally tell that the players aren’t even typing on their keyboards, the ads aren’t bad and kind of get me excited about the playoffs.  At least as excited as I can get with the Cardinals or Rockies not in it.

Of course they have an online component where they’ve hired some actual players, like Jacoby Ellsbury Shane Victorino to blog throughout their team’s playoff run.  It’s a cool idea as it allow fans to get somewhat of an inside look at what the teams are feeling and a chance to interact by making comments on the entries.

It looks like this part of the campaign has been pretty successful.  Mark DeRosa’s last entry has over 450 comments.  Mostly Cub fans crying in their beer, but I digress.

Mark DeRosa Blog

They also have a fictional character named “October Gonzo” blogging.  This character has been blogging fairly normal entries that could be made by pretty much any beat writer.  This part of the campaign just rubs me the wrong way – it’s inauthentic and fails to offer any additional value that I can’t get from espn.com or sportsline.com.  And it’s pretty obvious that the fans feel the same way.  There aren’t any comments on the most recent entry, compared to the hundreds the player entries are getting.  Why didn’t they hire a die-hard fan from each playoff city to serve as their Chief Blogger during the playoffs

MLB Blogs

A couple of lessons learned here:

  1. Authenticity counts. People don’t care about, or read blogs written by fictional people.
  2. Blogs have a certain standard to live up to. They have to be more than what can be found in a newspaper or major media website.  Consumers/readers expect blogs to dig deeper and cover the story that isn’t being told.

Are your brand blogs authentic and dig deeper?

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