The Major League Baseball Players Association launched this week, Infield Chatter, a social media app that lets players interact with fans. Infield Chatter already has more than 1,000 players on board, which means all the players on Major League Baseball’s 40-man rosters for each of its 30 teams are signed on. (MLBPA says about 500 major leaguers are on the site, but minor leaguers and retired players can also contribute.) “We asked for a better way to communicate directly with fans and learn more about them, and make it easy for them to learn more about us,” Minnesota Twins pitcher Hector Santiago said via email. “We believe this is the way to go, a true baseball community so that we can just be ourselves.”
Members of the Infield Chatter community will enjoy special features designed to connect players and fans in a number of ways, including:
•Sharing photos, videos, and original artwork, with the ability for both sides to comment
•Regular video chats, where fans and players can conduct two-way Q&A sessions
•Hosting contests and competitions, where fans can win “player-hosted experiences,” autographed items and more.
With so many people loyal to massive platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, it’s hard to persuade even die-hard fans to download yet another app. However, the association is pitching Infield Chatter as a way to hone in on its specific audience, as fans increasingly want details about players’ lives outside of the game.
Why It’s Hot
The MLBPA said the Infield Chatter app was created at the request of MLB players, who wanted a better way to interact with their fans. The app meshes well with MLB’s own initiatives to create youth appeal for a sport that is losing younger fans. Infield Chatter reaches a distinct, pinpointed community in ways that social media can’t. In a press release, Kris Bryant, a player for the Chicago Cubs, commented on the app: Every player understands how important it is to connect with the fans. They’re the main reason this game is so special. The fact that Infield Chatter was built with this interaction in mind as the top priority really helps us share and connect in ways that we haven’t been able to anywhere else. Major leaguers who come from around the world – with numerous differing interests and insights – will now be able to engage with fans on a host of subjects, all in the palm of their hand.