May 27, 2015
By: Allison Zullo, @allisonzullo
If you’re addicted to Snapchat, you have probably seen the app’s recent “Our Story” options popping up. Everything from beautiful cities overseas, to fun live events, have been showcased on Snapchat’s “Our Story,” making you wish you lived a way cooler life.
Even more recently, sports have been joining the “Our Story” game. In April, the 2015 NCAA Final Four games made a splash when they were featured. The NFL, NBA, and NHL have also made appearances on “Our Story.”
Now, Major League Baseball (MLB) has made a big move in the Our Story sports movement. Through a deal with Snapchat, every Wednesday the MLB will pick a few baseball games, and the app will feature “user-generated content” (aka snaps) from those games. Snapchat dubbed this “Our Story” MLB Wednesdays, and it’s complete with geofilters specific to the games.
To the current generation of Snapchat-crazy kids, this may not seem like a big deal. But the MLB, Snapchat, and PR pros are freaking out – in a good way. Here’s why.
First of all, though Snapchat has featured sporting events before, MLB Wednesdays marks the first time live sports are being featured on a weekly basis through “Our Story.” As a league that has seriously struggled with attendance and viewer rates, this is huge exposure for the MLB. The more exposure and fan interaction for the league, the better, and MLB Wednesdays is the perfect mix of both.
In addition, the median age of an MLB TV viewer in 2013 was more than 54 years old. The league has been working tirelessly to reach a younger demographic, so this Snapchat deal is a great opportunity for the MLB to get a younger audience hooked on baseball.
But what’s in it for Snapchat? A chance to break into the tough area of live-streaming. Live events, particularly live sporting events, are one of the most popular and fastest growing markets in our overwhelmingly digital world. Major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four, continue to draw staggering TV viewer ratings year after year. This leaves apps to figure out ways to make money and stay relevant during these live events, especially through live-streaming those games. And Snapchat is no exception.
Snapchat’s “Our Story” feature provides an avenue to break into this growing area of live-streaming, and depending on the success of MLB Wednesdays, is something we could potentially be seeing a lot more of in the future. In addition, though no money was exchanged in Snapchat’s deal with MLB and there are no current plans to feature ads, this deal still provides a way for Snapchat to stay relevant in live events and keep users on the app for longer amounts of time.
So Snapchat’s MLB Wednesdays are a win-win for the app and MLB! Tune in later today to see what MLB Wednesdays are all about!