I depend on baseball to be a lot of things for me: education, entertainment and (eventually) my livelihood. A couple weeks ago I wrote how my ultimate goal in baseball is to become an influential component of some lucky organization though the impacts I make on baseball culture via social media. Starting out in this industry is ridiculously hard and it takes a lot of work, perseverance and, most importantly, A LOT of guidance from people who have been there before. Baseball is a business and branding yourself within that business is difficult. In the baseball industry one has to simultaneously become an object that many want personify, but still remain personable. This fact holds true for the people who facilitate the game, and for those who are the reason we watch the game: the players.
I recently sought advice from someone I know is quite versed in the benefits of social media and, more importantly, is extremely familiar in using social media as a tool within baseball. Y’all baseball people may know this person as Trevor May, #65, cat dad, moonlighting DJ, and, more familiarly, pitcher for the Minnesota Twins. I reached out to Trevor last week with the vague intention of receiving advice on my still very new blog and additionally getting his input on how he functions within social media as a professional baseball player.
Admittedly I had never formally interviewed someone before so I had no idea what in the world I was doing, how to ask the questions or even specifically what questions to ask. I just really wanted guidance in understanding how I can personally start to make an impact with social media and what better place to start than with Trevor. I started by asking a couple of pretty common sense questions that were not interesting at all. Quite frankly, I even bored myself with the questions I had written in preparation. Luckily, Trevor understood my naiveté in the matter so it wasn’t until I got a little guidance from him, (he is the professional after all) did we finally get to a point where the conversation could be a productive one.
Something that got the conversation started was Trevor’s involvement in the voting process for last season’s midsummer classic. His most notable social media accomplishment conquered thus far is the “#VoteDoizer” campaign, created to help vote second baseman Brian Doizer into the Allstar game. He used platforms like Redit and Twitter to interact with fans and get them involved in the voting process. Both Trevor and Kyle Gibson (another Twins pitcher) gave away four, four packs of Twins tickets to a few lucky Twitter voters that participated in the #VoteDoizer Twitter campaign. The attention #VoteDoizer received even landed Trevor on Intentional Talk to talk about the success and fun he had with creating this unique experience for himself, Brian Doizer and most importantly, the Twins.
It is no secret to those familiar with baseball politics that the Twins (and the Mariners too if we want to get into it) are one of the smaller market teams in MLB. Going into the #VoteDoizer campaign, this was one of the bigger things on Trevor’s mind. He wanted to be able to use the brand he had created for himself both as an individual and a member of the Twins to benefit the cause. Using all components of social media he got fans involved with not only the Allstar game voting, but more significantly with the Twins. Fan excitement and involvement about any given team is generally at the forefront of most players’ minds. Fans are the most important component of continuing successful baseball business, and social media is the best way to capitalize on that business.
Being a professional baseball player, Trevor recognizes that his job is primarily to do well on the field and get people excited to come watch him and his teammates play. He uses his social media for extraordinary things like launching Allstar game voting campaigns or something as small as telling a fan “thanks for watching the game,” and all the things in between. However the most important thing that he wants people to remember from his presence on social media is that he is still a person, and has a lot more to offer than just being a baseball player. That was what resonated most with me in our conversation.
We’re all just cogs in the machine that make the sport of baseball happen. From lowly bloggers like me, to established players like Trevor, no one’s journey within baseball will be the same. Baseball is hard business to break into. I still struggle every day, hell every time I hop on Twitter, with how my social media will help me differentiate my story from the masses. There are thousands of others applying for the same job, the hundreds of people who have already written a player profile on Robinson Cano or those trying to have a different spin on the same 9 innings that everyone else just watched. Even players like Trevor, still make daily strides in order to have their unique personalities heard throughout the chaos that comes with social media. It is comforting to know that even the guys we watch on the field still care about making a difference not only as a baseball player, but as a person. No one is bigger than the game, and remember that in the end… We are all here to make sure that the game we all love so much continues to be a game that we all enjoy.
If want to check out Trevor’s website and other social media channels (you do), go to Trevormay.me!