Fans around the world will enjoy an unprecedented level of interaction with their favorite baseball stars next week, as the State Farm Home Run Derby (@StateFarm #HRDerby, Monday, July 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN) and the 83rd MLB All-Star Game (@MLB #ASG, Tuesday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX) promise to be the most social events in baseball history.
During the All-Star Game, computer stations will be set up adjacent to each clubhouse allowing players — once they are no longer competing in the game — to quickly reach out to fans via social media while completing their other media obligations before returning to the bench. And during the State Farm Home Run Derby the previous night, stations will be set up on both sides of the field near the dugouts for the second consecutive year, where players will be able to log into their own social media accounts while uploading photo and video content shot on their personal mobile devices. This initiative is a collaboration between Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association (@MLB_Players) and MLB Advanced Media, with support from both ESPN and FOX for their respective events.
Below is a list of those accounts along with other official accounts that will be actively posting content during each event. Players who are not active social media users will have the opportunity to participate via the official MLB/MLBPA accounts.
Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander)
C.J. Wilson (@str8edgeracer)
At MLB.com/the140club, fans will be able to utilize a live, curated news service to follow what the world, including All-Stars, MLB teammates, professional athletes, celebrities, journalists and other fans, is saying on Twitter about the All-Star Week events, including the State Farm Home Run Derby on ESPN and 83rd All-Star Game on FOX. Photos, live and on-demand video, games, sweepstakes and more will give fans insight into the All-Star Week experiences of their favorite team’s All-Stars through the MLB and 30 official Club accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Fans in attendance at Kauffman Stadium for the State Farm Home Run Derby and All-Star Game can check-in with MLB.com At The Ballpark, a free mobile app for supported iOS and Android phones, share their check-in across social media through Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare and enter sweepstakes for Authentic All-Star prizes.
ESPN’s State Farm Home Run Derby telecast will include various graphics with Twitter handles and tweets from Derby participants, MLB All-Stars and other athletes and celebrities. In addition, ESPN.com’s Home Run Derby Tracker – a customized version of GameCast – will include a live in-progress chat during the Derby that will incorporate tweets using the #HRDerby hashtag. ESPN’s Baseball Tonight Facebook page will also feature regular daily updates throughout MLB All-Star Week with breaking news, fan polls, video and photo galleries. ESPN MLB analysts, insiders and reporters will also tweet live during the State Farm Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.
FOX Sports is giving fans an all-access look behind-the-scenes of the 2012 MLB All-Star Game, from special events around Kansas City to production meetings and broadcast prep. The network plans to incorporate social media into the broadcast, creating a fully integrated social TV experience. FOX Sports is dedicated to bringing fans All-Star Game news and features leading up to the Mid-Summer Classic through @MLBONFOX on Twitter, FOX Sports’ Facebook page and FOXSports on Instagram. Special content includes new and historic photography, trivia questions, Twitter Q&As, fan polls and exclusive video from All-Star Game features and specials. FOX Sports’ All-Star Game Social Media hub on FOXSports.com, http://tinyurl.com/86g4e4a, aggregates All-Star activity and conversation from players and fans all in one central place.
Last year’s first-ever “Social Media Derby” in Phoenix resulted in a significant volume of online activity and considerable increases in Twitter followings for the participating MLB All-Stars. The final round of the event, which saw Robinson Cano defeat Adrian Gonzalez to win the crown, generated a peak of nearly 5,000 tweets per second, which at the time ranked 7th all-time in the history of Twitter. The 23 All-Stars who actively tweeted from the field during the event gained a combined 121,428 new followers in the hours surrounding the event, an average increase of +17%. Leading the way was @RobinsonCano, whose Twitter following increased by 84% during that time period.
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