With a new year often comes new sports seasons, and the 2024 MLB campaign is now just over three months away. For teams such as the Kansas City Royals, 2024 is set to see major changes both on and off the field.
Speaking to SBC’s Behind the Badge podcast, David Adams, the club’s Senior Director of Partnerships, offered some exclusive insights into its approach to marketing. The Royals are the first club to have created its own in-house marketing agency.
Adams explained: “What we realised a couple of years ago was we had our social media team over here, our game-day team over here and our traditional marketing team over here, and no one was interacting on a day-to-day-basis and were kind of siloed.”
The primary purpose of the agency is to promote the Royals brand, but the agency has gone on to take a wider role in Kansas City sports in general, conducting joint campaigns with the local NFL team, the Chiefs.
From a marketing perspective, baseball has a big advantage in its frequency of games, with teams playing 262 games – a ‘huge volume’, as SBC Sponsorship Director, George Harborne, puts it. The level of baseball activity means there is only around three months between each season.
This gives franchises like the Royals an easy time window to keep fans engaged during the off-season and spring training period with content marketing, as well as ‘get them hyped’ for the next season just a few weeks away.
Also central to the baseball experience is the stadium itself. Whilst of course this stadium is the focal point of any sport – afterall, it’s where the fans watch their sport – baseball often has added entertainment caveats, and the Royals are currently in the process of finding a new one.
“We’re down to our final two sites,” Adams said. “For us it’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when and where. One is downtown, one is just north of downtown, north of the river.
“John Sherman, our owner, has told us and the public that by the end of September we’ll be able to choose our final site, after which things will get real very quickly, after site selection there will be a public vote.
“That’s exciting for us to have that on the horizon. From a partnership perspective, it’s huge, but from a fan perspective and engagement perspective it’s a game changer for us.”