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Start Spreading the Views: New York Yankees Inject Deeper Creativity, Storytelling Into Social Media Content

21/05/2024

Start Spreading the Views: New York Yankees Inject Deeper Creativity, Storytelling Into Social Media Content New technologies, player personalities drive this year's material By Kristian Hern ndez, Senior Editor

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 - 9:00 am

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The New York Yankees are class and tradition personified, but throughout the early stages of the 2024 Major League Baseball season, the Bronx Bombers have adapted a new social media and digital strategy that showcases their diverse roster of players, leverages a handful of powerful technologies, and creates a deeper connection with their passionate fanbase.

Julia Schorr, Ryan Callahan, and Alexandra King on the Be A Part of It set.

It started with us really asking ourselves where we can dive deeper into our players and their personalities, says Ryan Callahan, director, digital & social content, New York Yankees. We wanted to break these stories down and give them justice in a visually appealing way.

This conversation took place during the winter months in the concrete jungle of New York City. As the front office contemplated the offseason moves that they'd make in the trade market and free agency, the social media crew - which also includes Associate Producer, Digital & Social Content, Cody Charneski; Manager, Digital & Social Content, Julia Schorr; and Coordinator, Digital & Social Content, Alexandra King - sat down to truly flesh out what their identity would be next season. The team began ruminating certain concepts, thoughts, and styles that would drive this transition, and their search ultimately led to the talents of content creators within collegiate athletics. The video that left the biggest impression on Callahan was a cinematic recap of Notre Dame Football's game-winning on the road against Duke University.

Callahan working with Cody Charneski.

We saw this video and saw it as a challenge to try to be the best in baseball, he continues. It's tough because we don't have much time between games, so we have to see things from a new perspective and deliver content for 81 regular season home games.

With an idea in place, they looked internally on how they could upgrade the quality of content. This meant recruiting the help of other departments within the organization - photography and production, which the latter is also responsible for in-venue activations during home games at Yankee Stadium - and utilize their knowledge and skills in the collaboration process. This all-in mentality began shortly after the brainstorming of a new creative direction. To get the fans invested and locked into reuniting for the first home series against the Toronto Blue Jays, Callahan wrote, produced, and directed a special video with legendary director and longtime New York sports superfan, Spike Lee:

Baseball is back in the Bronx. Come be a part of it.#RepBX pic.twitter.com/sMhGbntf7d

New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 5, 2024

We sat down in November to write a script, and all I could think in my head was that this was A Spike Lee Joint, he says. We shot the scenes with him in six hours on a 42-degree, January night at the stadium, and he was phenomenal. He helped us take a new approach and highlight the experience of being a Yankees fan.

With buzz going around the Bronx, their social media and digital platforms have adopted a handful of different avenues of content, including long-form player profiles with interviews and insights; quick clips that harness the emotion, energy, and sounds of the game; cinematic videos that focus on poignant plays on the field; and short, question-based videos that highlight players' personalities and sense of humor.

In the first category, the team hit the ground running in Spring Training with a feature about Anthony Volpe's journey to winning a Gold Glove last year and becoming the starting shortstop as a rookie. This work has influenced other sit-down interviews, including a Mother's Day interview with outfielder Alex Verdugo and his relationship with his mother after she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and more. In the second category, these snippets provide angles that fans aren't used to seeing on a linear telecast or without access to the field. These include a slow-motion homerun by Juan Soto with atmospheric sound and an inside look of Luis Gil's strikeout of Jose Altuve with commentary:

Over & Out #NoQuitInNY pic.twitter.com/6IDGsVkNQr

New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 8, 2024

These shots are part of a larger, and longer, format of videos that lean into high-intensity moments on the field. These pieces include a recap of the Yanks' season-opening sweep of the Houston Astros in Minute Maid Park and a massive three-run homer from the new Yankees right fielder in an earn-your-pinstripes moment:

You up? #RepBX pic.twitter.com/GbTuX2Qtvf

New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 20, 2024

We told ourselves that whenever we have a moment and know that something epic just happened, we want to know what to do with it, adds Callahan. When this homerun was hit, I immediately knew we had to tell this swing in a full story from a different lens with a different broadcaster than everyone is used to listening to.

On the short-form side, players have been given prompts as they enter the stadium or on the way to the field or clubhouse. Some questions include their favorite TV show growing up, the song they have on repeat in their music rotation, which teammate they wouldn't want to sit next to on the team plane, and what they say their profession is when asked by an Uber driver:

@yankees What do you say your job is when an Uber driver asks? #yankees #questionoftheday #funny #work #baseball original sound Yankees --

It's a social media director's dream to have players that love
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2024/05/21/start-spreading-the-views-new-y...
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