Could Social Media Help the Rays’ Attendance Woes?

By Steve Givarz

While I don’t follow many athletes on twitter, the ones I do follow I enjoy because they are great at what they do and are involved in other ways. One such player is Sam Fuld. Fuld doesn’t just send out interesting and hilarious tweets but also works with various Diabetes organizations to raise money and awareness. During the season, Fuld would play #guessthebs after tweeting out his breakfast and would have fans guess his blood sugar to win a signed baseball. Other players such as David Price tweet out gifts and giveaways (such as 100 free tickets on opening day). But should more players be active on twitter and other sites to help gain fan support?

Below I have listed current and some notable former players on twitter with the Rays for the 2012 season. While most of the star players are represented, some other names pop up as well. All of these players have various amounts of followers from Evan Longoria’s 159,000 to Alex Cobb 5,156 followers.

 So with the well-publicized problems the Rays have with drawing attendance (although the home opener is sold out for the 8th straight season), could more players being active on Twitter result in higher attendance? The tweet earlier in the article with David Price already has 146 Retweets and 98 favorites and has probably brought fans to the game that would not have gone before. Could this strategy work with other players? While some of the names above do not have big household value, running promotions and giveaways would build more relationships with fans. More and more fans are involved on Twitter and check twitter almost religiously when they tweet at players hoping for a response, follow back, or retweet. #RandomActsofOpeningDay was trending on twitter this week as well as teams were giving away tickets to opening day. Below from the Indians was one of my favorites.

So how should teams and players interact more to possibly improve attendance? Offering free tickets is an obvious idea but teams would probably lose a lot of money and only attract cheapskates. Rays fans, any suggestions?