With Opening Day 2013 quickly approaching, the days aren’t long enough for Kelly George, the new Social Media Director of the Houston Astros. While the players and coaches on the field are doing everything they can to turn the team’s on-field performance around in 2013, George has her goals in place to keep the organization’s fan base engaged and growing throughout the season and into the future.
“Some of our goals include continuing a conversation with our fans, developing new and engaging digital programs for our fans and providing unique and creative content to engage and inform our fan base,” said George when asked about the Astros’ social media goals for the upcoming season. She indicated that one of the club’s new interactive digital programs would be released before the regular season begins on March 31.
Keeping all aspects of the Astros’ social media efforts on the same page requires one thing in particular: coordination. George, along with her team, often have news coming in from various locations which needs to be efficiently funneled into the various platforms that the Astros use to communicate to their community of followers. George mentioned CAREavan (the team’s February tour of various locations in Texas) as a “good example of a large-scale event where we had multiple team members in multiple places and multiple events all happening at once.”
From a communication perspective, the upcoming season presents several challenges for George and the Astros. The team is moving to a new league, which means new opponents and new rivalries. Further, the organization’s decision to build its team from within with young talent means that many of the players are unknown to the fanbase. The marketing challenge of this situation according to George is that, “we now need to introduce our fans to these players, their abilities and their personalities.”
George says that the Astros are always looking for ways to enhance the online experience of their fan base, which George describes as having “a personality that is unique and all its own (#astrosmovies anyone?).” The club is already planning six social media nights at Minute Maid Park during the season, which will include tickets to a game and other special features, such as batting practice access and a reception with Orbit, the team’s mascot. Further, George and the team are always listening for fan feedback about their experience since “many times the best ideas come from the fans.”
The Astros’ first pitch of the season will be thrown in 25 days. Kelly George is doing everything she can to make sure that, at least online, that pitch is a strike.
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