The Wrong Way to Mix Baseball with Social Media

Posted on May 7, 2012


Social media baseball cards? Really?

This weekend I was watching the Cubs play the Dodgers — OK I was dozing on the couch while the Cubs game happened to be on — when I heard the announcers read a promo for the Cubs first ever, “Social Media Night” at the park.

Curious, I went to the Cubs Web site for more details.

It’s a special package fans can buy that starts with a social media panel discussion that features Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould (sort of odd), beat reporter Carrie Muskat (okay) and Cubs Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Kevin Saghy (could be interesting).

Attendees also get a T-shirt, a copy of the Cubs magazine, a hot dog and, “a six-card set of Cubs ‘Social Media Series’ baseball cards featuring Cubs players on Twitter.”

Wouldn’t it be great if those cards had pictures of the players on the bench in the Cubs dugout tweeting from mobile devices instead of watching the game?

You can see all the details for yourself here. And if anyone in Chicago who reads this decides to go please tell me how it was.

But from a marketing standpoint this just feels weird.

To me, having social media night is kind of like being cool. If you are cool you don’t have to say it. Being a part of social media means integrating yourself or the organization into that world; not having a panel about it. There are a lot of great ways the Cubs could be taking advantage of social media, I’m just not sure this is one of them.

Remember, at this point your audience is probably pretty savvy about social media, try to act like you are too.