Tradition & Technology Meet during Major League Baseball All-star Week

With a baseball glove in one hand and a mobile phone in the other, fans now embrace technology while they consume and interact with live events—even while watching America’s “most traditional” professional sport.

When it comes to sports, Nielsen Sports SponsorLink research has found that fans associate the word “traditional” with Major League Baseball more so than any other sport. “American” is the most popular attribute fans use to describe baseball, followed by “traditional,” “family oriented,” “entertaining” and “fun.”

In the sport known for traditions like the ceremonial first pitch, the seventh-inning stretch and caramel-coated popcorn, fans, particularly Millennials, have broadened what they view as “traditional” by multitasking on their mobile devices while enjoying the on-field action.

According to Nielsen Sports 360 research, 81% of Millennials use their mobile device as part of a live sporting event experience, compared with 38% of adults 55+. Avid fans of Major League Baseball are more likely than the general population to contact friends and family, check fantasy league content, and browse for sports information while at a live event.

But fans don’t just follow league games. At the game and in front of television sets, fans also actively engage in social media conversations about the Home Run Derby and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

There were 306,000 Tweets sent by 138,000 people in the U.S. about the Home Run Derby on July 11, 2016, and 370,000 Tweets sent by 154,000 people in the U.S. about the 2016 MLB All-Star Game the following day, according to Nielsen Social.

“It should come as no surprise that a Sport24 analysis of Major League Baseball All-Star week showed that telecommunications was the biggest sponsorship category in the Home Run Derby, through the title sponsor T-Mobile,” said Stephen Master, Managing Director, Nielsen Sports North America. “The telecommunications category received more than $2.4 million of QI Media Value* via the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.”

The 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star game is July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami.

METHODOLOGY

The insights in this article came from the following sources:

  • Nielsen SponsorLink: A national, syndicated tracking study designed to measure consumer attitudes and consumption of different sports and their sponsors 2016
  • Nielsen Sports 360 report: An online survey of 2,500 U.S. general population consumers ages 13+
  • Nielsen Sport24: Major League Baseball 2016 Quality Index (QI Media Value), a measure of the quality of brand exposure based upon a proprietary method that considers size, duration, location and number of concurrent brand exposures
  • Nielsen Social: measures total program-related activity on Twitter. T-Mobile Home Run Derby, July 11, 2016 and Major League Baseball All-Star Game, July 12, 2016