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A SoCal Midsummer Classic

MLB All-Star Game in Los Angeles Attracts Nearly 8 Million TV Viewers

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Social Media
Sponsorship Valuation
August 10, 2022
August 12, 2022
 min read

As the second-oldest National League ballpark, Dodger Stadium has played host to more than a half-century’s worth of memorable baseball moments. But before last month, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game had not graced the diamond in Chavez Ravine for more than four decades. Somehow both long overdue and seemingly right on time, baseball’s best converged in Hollywood for the annual Home Run Derby and Midsummer Classic during the week of July 18, and fans were treated to dazzling displays of athleticism and baseball wizardry. Opening festivities were highlighted by a Home Run Derby that served as a passing of the torch from a retiring legend in Albert Pujols to the new guard comprising exciting talents such as Juan Soto and Julio Rodriguez. The following night, a storybook stage was set as Clayton Kershaw made his first career All-Star Game start in his home stadium. We used MVP’s omnichannel platform throughout the week to gauge viewership and evaluate social activity among the league and its teams to determine how the showcases spotlighted MLB’s partners. Batting lead-off was the Home Run Derby, as seven of the sport’s best sluggers sought to dethrone two-time defending champion Pete Alonso of the New York Mets. Throughout the contest, 461,320 fans in the Big Apple tuned in to see if the Polar Bear could three-peat.

Home Run Derby Whets Fans’ Appetite

While, historically, the totality of All-Star Week is meant to be relatively light and fun-loving – excepting the stretch from 2003-2016 when the game’s winner decided which league’s representative would have home field advantage in the World Series – Monday evening’s events are the epitome of that spirit. Players and their families sit on the field in foul territory as they watch their counterparts hit tape-measure home runs into the night. Of course, there is prize money, a trophy, and bragging rights on the line for competitors, but the spectacle is for the fans in the stands positioning themselves for high-speed souvenirs as well as those watching on televisions across the country. This year’s Home Run Derby drew 4.24 million household viewers on ESPN, with the largest subset coming from the New York market. The New York City audience eclipsed second-place Los Angeles’s total of 330,820 viewers by 39%. Philadelphia followed with 292,123 fans – many of whom may have had a rooting interest in Phillie Kyle Schwarber – watching the event. Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago rounded out the top five with 131,331 and 124,318 viewers, respectively. Unsurprisingly, of our top 10 DMAs, six included the hometown market for a competing player. Only Seattle-Tacoma and St. Louis – which finished 12th and 18th, respectively, in our list – had a local favorite but failed to crack the top 10.

FOX’s Audience Witnesses Baseball’s Best

One night after the Home Run Derby captivated baseball fans enamored by power, the 92nd MLB All-Star Game showcased a blend of stellar pitching, timely hitting, and exceptional fielding as the American League captured its ninth straight victory over the Senior Circuit by a score of 3-2. FOX broadcast the game nationwide to an audience of 7.99 million fans. The markets finishing first and second were reversed from one night to the next, as Los Angeles wrested the viewership crown away from New York for the game itself. The City of Angels boasted a viewership total of 729,746, while New York City managed 568,621. Positions three through five in our DMA rankings remained unchanged, as Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Chicago continued to demonstrate an affinity for the national pastime. In total, the All-Star game drew at least 100,000 viewers in 18 different markets across the country.

FOX’s broadcast window for the game lasted from 8 p.m. EST until 11 p.m. EST, though the contest ran a little over its allotted time. Nevertheless, we were able to glean valuable minute-to-minute viewership insights regarding fans’ habits over time. It only took four minutes for the telecast to surpass 3 million concurrent viewers, and it would stay above that mark until its conclusion. Even though the game lasted relatively late into the evening, interest continued to rise as the result of a competitive matchup and an abundance of star power. At 10:29 p.m. EST, viewership peaked at 4.41 million. But the total remained high through 11 p.m. During the final 15 minutes of the broadcast window, concurrent viewership averaged 4.17 million fans – a 35% difference from the average of 3.08 million throughout the opening 15 minutes.

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MLB, Teams Exceed $16M in Post Value

Although the competitive baseball world breaks for a few days in the middle of July every year, the thirst for content is ceaseless. So, while the league’s best players are all in one place, team marketing departments across MLB take advantage of the social opportunities that present themselves through such greatness. We examined MLB’s owned Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts as well as those belonging to all 30 teams from July 16-20 to learn which clubs were most active and reached the widest audiences. Collectively, accounts from the 31 entities generated $16.03M in post value from 25.72 million engagements and 799.6 million impressions. Nothing compared to MLB’s owned accounts, however, as the league posted 416 times during the span, generating $5.02M worth of total post value. The figure was a result of 8.08 million engagements and 228.17 million impressions from All-Star content.

Seven teams generated at least $500K in post value during All-Star Week, led by a pair of iconic franchises that have been at or near the top of this season’s standings since Opening Day. The New York Yankees led all clubs in total post value and impressions, while the Los Angeles Dodgers placed first in our engagement rankings. Content across the Bronx Bombers’ channels was responsible for 81.43 million impressions and $1.72M in post value. The latter figure was 51% higher than the Dodgers’ total of $1.14M, but the Boys in Blue achieved their figure – and 2.73 million engagements – with only 95 posts, just 67% of the Yankees’ content output. A pair of relatively unexpected clubs finished third and fourth in post value, as the Seattle Mariners generated $883,853 and the Toronto Blue Jays amassed $816,758. The Boston Red Sox rounded out the top five with $816,758 in total post value during the period.

Chevrolet Finds New Roads Via L.A.

Several of MLB’s sponsors were activating during All-Star events, and fervent social interest spelled dollar signs for many of them. The league showcased its partners well via tags, mentions, and logo placements in graphics, resulting in significant brand value for partners including Chevrolet. Across MLB social accounts from July 16-20, the automobile manufacturer was featured in 11 posts, which collectively created 6.95 million impressions, and received $85,321 worth of total brand value – at least 2.06x more than any other partner received. Telecommunications company T-Mobile finished second with $41,409 in brand value after being featured in 15 MLB posts. Rounding out the top five were Mastercard, Budweiser, and Nike. Notably, Budweiser’s $25,073 in brand value came from only two posts. Its relatively high average value was because of specific tags and hashtags in the posts’ copy.

Baseball’s Home Stretch Begins Now

With roughly 50 games remaining in the season for each MLB team, there is still plenty to be decided. The Yankees, Dodgers, and Houston Astros have large cushions in their respective division races, but everyone else is still jockeying for positioning in the standings. And with the field of postseason entrants expanding this year to include three Wild Card teams in each league, the door is still open for most clubs to put together a stretch run that leads to the playoffs. Stay connected with MVP for continued insights regarding social values and viewership habits across Major League Baseball as the pennant races intensify.

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