eView: Baseball’s All-Star Game Voting Demonstrates the Power of the Web
The online and mobile voting that took place prior to this year's baseball all-star game, which took place on July 15 at Yankee Stadium, demonstrated the power of the Web.
The Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote allowed fans to cast their votes for the final player spot on the American and National League all-star teams on MLB.com via online and mobile voting. The voting took place between July 6 and July 10.
With baseball fans across the nation submitting numerous votes for their favorite players, a new record was set. Roughly 47.8 million votes were cast online and via text messaging in five days, more than doubling the overall 2007 final player vote count of 23.1 million. What drove this unprecedented participation?
The voting was fueled by memorable marketing campaigns for many of the player candidates. Various marketing techniques included the New York Yankees' Jason Giambi's "Support the 'Stache" tagline and his official endorsement from the American Mustache Institute. Another was the Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria's simple, yet effective, "Vote Evan, Vote Often" slogan and his official endorsement by college basketball TV commentator Dick Vitale, who is a Tampa Bay Rays season ticket holder.
Perhaps the most important factor driving fan participation was the well-executed multichannel campaigns for players on the ballot. Major League Baseball teams, for example, used e-mail, television, banner and stadium advertising, and press releases that flooded search engine results pages to reach potential voters.
Particularly through the Tampa Bay Rays' e-mail promotion of Longoria, however, the messaging had a clear call to action to engage the audience: "Do not only vote for Longoria, but vote repeatedly." This resulted in Longoria receiving the most votes of any player -- 9 million.
According to Google Trends, searches for 'Evan Longoria' and 'Corey Hart' (the two winners of the final vote) were at an all time high during the voting as a result of these campaigns driving traffic online.
These players benefited from the multichannel marketing approaches, and MLB also received its highest demand marks the second week in July, when the voting was taking place.
The Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote was a great example of what direct response marketing is about: soliciting a specific and measureable response. The campaigns also demonstrate the power of multichannel marketing that has the ability to pull audiences from offline channels to an online medium.
Janel Landis is senior director of search development and strategy at SendTec, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based multichannel, integrated marketing firm specializing in search engine marketing, direct response television and lead generation. You can reach her at email@example.com.