With Major League Baseball's regular season just a few weeks away, fans of America's pastime have reason to celebrate. To harness that excitement, MLB and New Era, the official cap of MLB, launched #CapsOn—a TV, social media and in-store campaign—to encourage fans to wear their team caps on opening day on April 4 whether they're at a game, at home or stuck in the office. (April 4 is baseball's official opening day, but three nationally televised games take place on April 3.)
"Opening day is the greatest time of year," said Noah Garden, evp of business at MLB. "Everybody is leading the division, so everybody wants to show their colors in one way or another. Putting their caps on lets fans show their passion."
The campaign, which launched March 1, includes TV ads that will air on ESPN and MLB Network, and YouTube and Facebook videos featuring MLB stars Bryce Harper, Buster Posey and Andrew McCutchen. It also includes signage in more than 2,100 stores, including Dick's Sporting Goods, Lids and MLB stadium stores. MLB also will promote the campaign on its teams' social media channels and through fan giveaways on opening day.
The #CapsOn video is New Era's most-liked video on Facebook ever, said Tony DeSimone, category director of the baseball business unit at New Era. "Combined with MLB, we'll be getting a lot of impressions from a brand perspective, and from a sales perspective, because we're driving buzz to a higher level," DeSimone said. "It should drive people to their local stadium store or Lids store to buy a cap."
Fans can expect more social media efforts from the league this season, Garden said, noting that MLB's Snapchat Day on March 11, when players published Snapchat stories from spring training games, was a huge success. "Social is a big part of what we do because it's an effective way to reach our fans," he said. "We're going to keep the excitement of opening day going. It's about harnessing the buzz that we have and making it more visible."