MLB’s Player/Fan ‘#IPlay’ 2013 Campaign Launches Season

To coincide with Opening Day, MLB has launched a new 2013 campaign showcasing the motivation behind baseball’s new generation of stars called ‘I Play’.


Developed by agency Hill Holliday, the initiative aims to showcase the league’s outstanding young talent and explore why they are driven to succeed, whilst simultaneously exploring why fans around the nation love playing the game.


The campaign features emerging MLB superstars such as Robinson Cano, Carlos Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, David Price, Mike Trout, Justin Verlander and David Wright


Harper plays ‘for nine guys playing as one’, Posey plays ‘for three rings in four years’, while Cano plays ‘for Yankee pride.’


The campaign is led by both generic and individual TV spots revolving around player passion and what lies behind their drive for success. A central, collective national commercial is supported by personalised spots which can be used in local markets.


The TV works is airing across the MLB’s own TV network, plus sports channel ESPN and on broadcast rights holders Fox and TBS throughout the season.


These are supported by digital and social media extensions on MLB.comMLBFanCave.com and seeded across the online baseball landscape.


Following the initial ‘Opening Day’ TV commercial



the MLB is rolling out individual ads such as the one featuring Cano (which also runs in Spanish and will be aired on ESPN Deportes and FOX Sports en Espanol)








and Trout



Creatively, each spot sees the camera aim to isolate the player’s face to focus on their ‘inner monologue’ in order to provide a glimpse of their individual motivation.


On social media, a companion ‘I Play’ campaign runs in parallel to the TV work with support from all MLB, Club and MLB Fan Cave social media channels.


This campaign strand principally targets fans who play (or have played) baseball or softball and aims to engage them across web, Twitter and YouTube by incentivising them to upload their own videos of why ‘they play’ the game.


It encourages them to share photos and videos on social media (along with the hashtag #IPlay) that demonstrate as creatively as possible what they play for.


The strand is incentivised by showcasing the most creative user-submitted stories on MLBFanCave.com


Current fan uploads include a tweet from Bay Area Giants fan Daniel Reader”#IPlay because out on the diamond it doesn’t matter that I’m Deaf.”


‘The desire to play in October drives every player to push himself and his team to new heights, and this new campaign captures and showcases that desire in a compelling new way,’ says MLB EVP Tim Brosnan. ‘These spots also illustrate the intense passion our young stars have for the game and the connection they feel to the cities they play in and the fans they play for.’


‘I am thrilled to be a part of Major League Baseball’s Opening Day campaign,’ said Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen.  ‘As a player, as soon as the final pitch of the previous season is thrown, I am marking off the days until Opening Day on my calendar. Every time you walk into a ballpark on Opening Day, it feels like the first time you ever stepped onto that field. This campaign will really give everyone a sense of the excitement we as players feel.’




The dual approach of this initiative, one that includes both star professionals and amateur fan players has the potential to bring the fans closer to the players and engage consumers directly in the sport.


The stars may initially ignite attention and awareness around the campaign and the new season, but the longer term engagement occurs online as fans participate by uploading their own motivation and sharing their feelings and emotions with their peers.




MLB Fancave Website



MLB Website



‘I Play’ Combined TVC YouTube



‘I Play’ Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen TVC YouTube



Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim star Mike Trout





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