Indians Attack Social Media on All Fronts

The Cleveland Indians started the day with a plan to rule Twitter in Cleveland.  By 8:45 AM Mark Shapiro was trending in Cleveland according to Trendsmap.  The Indians announced that Mark Shapiro and GM Chris Antonetti are now on Twitter.  With a single tweet apiece, the Indians’ brain trust was making themselves accessible to the fans.  All that pent up snark about Snow Days and country music concerts can now have a target, if that is how you wish to use it.  That was just the start for the Tribe.

They also unleashed a social media ticket discount.  By clicking a link and sharing the news with their Facebook or Twitter friends, Tribe fans were opened up to some ticketing deals.  But that wasn’t all either.

The Indians experimented last year with a social media deck in front of the bleachers.  The exclusive section featured wi-fi and a TV so that invitees could check out all the replays as well as the live action.  Well, creating that relationship with influential social media people is going a step further this season as the Tribe has moved the social media experience to a suite.

As of right now, there is no word as to whether or not the fridge will be stocked with complimentary beer.  We hope to be able to report back the affirmative based on first-hand experience soon.  If you think you are social media enough and would like to apply to be included in the festivities, you can do so on

Obviously a lot of you will turn your nose at all this because the Indians haven’t performed very admirably on the field since 2007.  Also obviously this doesn’t make up for the gutting of the team via trades over the last few years.  Simultaneously, I think it is undeniable that the Indians are trying to get back on track on the field, and are clearly leading the majors in initiatives off and around the field.  There is no doubt that this could all pay dividends when and if the Indians hit their next cycle of competitiveness.



  • Christopher

    fear the tribe. 2012.

  • Boqueesha

    I don’t turn my nose up at it because of the Tribe’s performance…I turn my nose up at it because it’s twitter and facebook!

  • Scott

    “I turn my nose up at it because it’s twitter and facebook!”

    Hows that VCR treating you?

  • 5KMD

    I don’t Tweet or use facebook but have plenty of DVRs at my house so there Scott!

  • mgbode

    @Scott – it’s quite easy to get through life without twitter and facebook. the real news makes it way out of those mediums and onto websites (like this one) or MSM.

    egads! I only use my phone as a phone too.

    (disclaimer: thanks to all of you that don’t use your phone only as a phone as it’s one of the reasons the industry that I am in does well. twitter/facebook definitely play into it, so I reap some of the benefits of those mediums without having to read the poor grammar and incessant updates :) )

  • Scott

    You guys can drag your feet all you want, but you’re definitely in the minority – for better or worse. The Indians know where the bulk of fans are and are responding to such.

  • Anthony

    Maybe Dan Gilbert finally starts to wise up and do things to involve the fans more?

    I’m all in on Ryan Hollins pinata night.

  • Scott

    “Maybe Dan Gilbert finally starts to wise up and do things to involve the fans more?”

    I know for a fact that the Cavs were approached about a Social Media Deck-like experience within The Q, but the conversations went nowhere. Of course, this was also last season when the team had no issues keeping fans involved – I expect this to change in the coming years as the team does have a SM presence, all they need is the fan-incorperation part.

  • Anthony

    Scott, does that mean that Alonzo Gee will be joining twitter soon?

  • Boqueesha

    more power to you Scott for using “social media” but do you really think the majority of Tribe fans are using twitter and facebook in the first place, much less for Tribe news/info?

  • mgbode

    @Scott – outside of a minor quibble over whether or not the ‘majority’ of tribe fans use twitter (think about the demographics here. majority is a stretch unless you meant majority of the younger fans).

    regardless, there is a good segment that does use them, which means the Tribe needs to try to get them to buy more tickets, merchandise, etc.

  • Boqueesha

    @mgbode yup I don’t hold anything against the Tribe for promoting this stuff. There’s obviously people that care about it and I’m sure it’ll attract some new types of fans…as a self proclaimed internet/computer nerd it won’t stop me from turning my nose up at it though! haha

  • Scott

    Anthony – Gee is on twitter.

    Booqueesha – I think the majority of Tribe fans who (for one reason or another) would not watch the majority of games are certainly on Twitter and/or Facebook. The diehards will already be in the stadium; the apathetic won’t care either way. It’s the middle-ground that needs to be addressed, and the team is doing that through cost-effective avenues that casts an extremely wide nets.

    mgbode – Then allow me to reword. It’s the majority of fans within whom the team is looking to drum up interest. As I stated above, there’s a demographic of fans that is becoming apathetic. It’s getting to a point where a lot of younger fans don’t recall the 95/97 Series. All they know about is losing baseball…and social media.

  • Tim

    “There is no doubt that this could all pay dividends when and if the Indians hit their next cycle of competitiveness.”

    This is where I disagree…if and when the Indians return to competitiveness, all this social media stuff will dry up in the name of selling those seats to paying customers.

    I could post to facebook/twitter from my regular seat in the 500’s, I don’t need “access” which is more perceived than real anyways.

    All this “social suite” business just tells me that there are plenty of empty suites to be had……and I wouldn’t count on a stocked fridge. Probably not even a deli tray either. To them, they’re providing access, something perceived as “desirable” by the blog community. It still ain’t the pressbox, and never will be.

  • mgbode

    @Scott – that I agree with. 14-30yo demographic where the Indians absolutely need to make an impression on, the majority use those mediums.

    i’m in the diehard group, so I’ll be buying tickets to my customary 10 or so games this year and giving them out as presents to family members that still live in Ohio. of course I’ll be in town for my brothers wedding the first week of October the year they decided to cut October games off the schedule. Doh!

  • mgbode

    whoops, somehow cut out the other demo I thought I put in there.

    the ‘under 14’ demographic is largely contingent on their parents. sure, it obviously helps to get them asking for tickets, but largely if their parents (or their friends parents) aren’t pushing them on baseball, then the odds are likely they are not into baseball.

  • Scott

    “To them, they’re providing access, something perceived as “desirable” by the blog community. It still ain’t the pressbox, and never will be.”

    I agree with this to the extent that the team should in no way promote this as a “media” experience versus that of a social media-interaction experience. Touting access via Facebook/Twitter is one thing, touting “access” as if it were media is completely different.

  • Shamrock

    I wish the scouting was half as good as the technology/media/marketing.

  • 5KMD

    I think I’m in the group of people that don’t always want to have others be able to find me immediately. When I want to know something about my friend/family member I actually call them or email.

  • Scott

    The beauty of Facebook/Twitter is that users have to opt in to programs. Don’t want the Indians to “find” you? Don’t “like” their page or follow them on Twitter.

    This way, the team is only reaching out to those who would be interested in the services. It’s the most cost-efficient target marketing out there.

  • dwhit110

    Good lord, why so negative? We would all love to see a 100-win team this season, but if the team isn’t to the caliber that is going to draw fans it’s the marketing department’s job to figure out a way to get more butts in the seat. This is obviously only a small step in that direction, but it’s something. At least they’re trying something to build some positive feelings and sell a few more tickets.

    The Indians can’t do anything without getting criticism. If they bought beer dispensing trucks and handed out full cups of free beer before a game, I’m sure WFNY would be littered with comments complaining that nobody tipped the glasses when pouring it, so what they got was mostly head.