The MLBPA Has Embraced Athlete-Driven Marketing

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Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

(*opendorse is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

In professional baseball, building the social followings of the players is extremely important to growing the game. For this reason, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced a partnership today with opendorse, the leading athlete marketing platform.

For those unfamiliar, the MLBPA serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. opendorse’s platform will allow MLB players to collaborate with brands and properties on crafting and distributing social content on the players’ social channels. For example, a partner can craft a post for a player’s Twitter account, the athlete can then approve the content in the platform, and the post will automatically publish at the scheduled date and time. This way, players have access to more content from their team, league or brand partners that they can approve and publish to their own channels.

For opendorse, boosting athlete-driven marketing is a challenge that they are experienced in handling.

READ MORE: NFL All-Pro Gerald McCoy Highlights His Passions Through Giving Back and Partnerships

“We partnered with the NFLPA in a similarly structured partnership about five years ago and have since helped more than 1,000 current and former NFL Players maximize their value on social by sharing content alongside NFLPA brand partners,” says Derek Peterson, opendorse SVP of Account Services. “The proven success of that relationship provides a road map to help baseball’s best see similar success.”

The partnership with opendorse is symptomatic of the sport of baseball committing to athlete-driven marketing and the benefits that come with it. Major League Baseball announced earlier this year that players will be permitted to share video highlights as well as graphics from their personal social channels.

“MLB players can publish posts from partners and brands easier than ever before. We’re excited to help these athletes build their audiences with great content, but also maximize that brand value by providing a platform for baseball’s sponsors and licensees to streamline player-driven marketing opportunities,” Peterson states.

On the opendorse side, this latest partnership aligns with the company’s mission to help athletes tell their own story and own their channels. The company works with thousands of athletes from the NFL, to college sports, to professional golf. This includes both active and retired players such as three-time World Series champion David Ortiz.

READ MORE: How A New Alliance of Companies Aims to Maximize Athlete-Driven Content

“We share a common vision with player-driven properties like MLBPA. Just like opendorse, the Players Association exists to help its athletes succeed on and off the field,” said opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “Player marketing starts with the player, but the right tools and teams are crucial to its success. I’m thrilled to join the MLBPA in shaping the future of athlete branding in baseball.”

Based on leadership’s reaction, the MLBPA seems to echo this excitement with regards to helping players grow their brands as well as the game at large.

“In a world where players are navigating multiple channels to connect with their fans, opendorse provides a strategic solution that will help them get the right messaging to the right audiences at the right time,” said Evan Kaplan, MLBPA EVP, Licensing and Sponsorship. “We’re excited to bring these proven solutions to players and to partners who support players’ initiatives.”