If you went to the homepage of pretty much any Major League Baseball team Thursday, you saw a few ads that might have made you believe you landed on a dating site. That's because you did, kind of.
Major League Baseball ushered out a new partnership with dating site Match.com, and thus the MLB team pages had ads urging single baseball fans to search out each other for dates. For instance, Athletics.com had Match.com ads on each side of the page with attractive-looking people (none of them wearing baseball caps or anything). There was an ad that read, "Meet other singles Athletics fans."
A strip across the top of the page said, "Take them out to the Athletics game," a call to action that was really the point of this. While MLB and Match.com may earnestly want you to find love, they really want you go on dates to baseball games.
Twenty-nine of the 30 MLB teams are participating in this and had similar ads on their websites — the Toronto Blue Jays aren't, because Canada plays by different rules apparently. Maybe they have government-run dating sites?
If you click the ads on the pages, they take you a Match.com page, which is also tailored toward specific baseball fan bases and proclaims, "where single MLB fans meet."
This partnership makes some sense, because surely there are some people to whom "favorite baseball team" is a matchmaking metric. Diehard Los Angeles Dodgers fans probably don't want to date San Francisco Giants fans, likewise with Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees fans. But that doesn't seem like the biggest segment of the dating market.
Nonetheless, both MLB and Match.com sound happy about the partnership. Consider this from an Associated Press story:
Match.com President Amarnath Thombre said the first question self-identified Yankees fans often ask of singles on the site is: "Who hates the Red Sox?"
Noah Garden, Major League Baseball Advanced Media's executive vice president of revenue, said "the Match.com conversation is one we've had on and off over the years to see if there's something we could do together."
MLB hopes the pages spur ticket sales.
"The idea is put like people together with similar interest and passion," he said. "There's still always room for more butts in the seats."
If you love baseball and you're looking for love, and you bond with a potential mate over your favorite baseball, who are we to judge? However, The Stew just hopes this doesn't lead to an MLB partnership with Tinder that urges fans to hook up in stadium bathroom stalls.
Although, if people are making babies at ballgames, that could eventually help tickets sales too.
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