Determining the Social Media Value of “Chicken Strip”

BY ADAM GROSSMAN and ALEX CORDOVER

“Tonight I started a Major League Baseball game with "Chicken Strip" across my back. Dreams do come true people!”

Most people could be forgiven for not understanding what this Tweet by Los Angeles Dodgers Starting pitcher Ross Stripling meant. Why would Stripling’s jersey say “Chicken Strip” instead of his last name?

August 25-27th was officially #PlayersWeekend where each player could use whatever nickname he wanted on the back of his jersey. Stripling’s selection of “Chicken Strip” may not even have been the most interesting nickname selection on his team. That honor may go to Yasiel Puig’s decision to use “Wild Horse”.

Why would Major League Baseball (MLB) decide to have #PlayersWeekend with nicknames as “interesting” as “Chicken Strip” and “Wild Horse”? One of the league’s goals is to appeal to younger demographics on social media channels. The goal of using these nicknames was to generate an increase in engagement with younger fans and attract them to consume MLB content.

Did the campaign work? We used our Social Sentiment Analysis Platform (SAP) to find out the answer. We examined the week of 08/22-08/29 for the keyword “MLB” to determine if the #PlayersWeekend had an impact on the league in Twitter.

 The highest value MLB Tweet for the week of 08/22-08/29 involved #PlayersWeekend. There was also a positive increase in social sentiment when the #PlayersWeekend was used from 08/25-08/27.

The highest value MLB Tweet for the week of 08/22-08/29 involved #PlayersWeekend. There was also a positive increase in social sentiment when the #PlayersWeekend was used from 08/25-08/27.

The items in the red rectangles showcase our findings. We discovered that, over the week, the single most valuable tweet had the hashtag #PlayersWeekend. In addition, we noticed that #PlayersWeekend was associated with both positive sentiment and value, suggesting that it was well-received by fans.

However, of the top ten most valuable posts on Twitter related to the MLB this week, only the most valuable was associated with #PlayersWeekend. We found similar results at a more granular, team-by-team level: #PlayersWeekend did not significantly drive value above baseline levels for the MLB. Many of the top tweets for the MLB and teams were in Spanish, hinting that perhaps the humor of “Chicken Strip” did not translate well to audiences outside of the USA.

Overall #PlayersWeekend did contribute positively to the MLB’s social media efforts. With the MLB playoffs just around the corner, it is critical for the MLB to determine the best ways to reach new audiences with the most engaging content. By using the Sentiment Analysis Platform (SAP) to analyze social media feeds in near-real time, organizations like MLB can use data-driven insights to make adjustments during a season and maximize impact.