"These kids today," Major League Baseball probably wondered. "How can we get them to watch more baseball?"
By using two of the sport's more marketable stars — David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox and Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates — to help produce a TV show on MTV2 that's created at the "Fan Cave." It's all part of a "cross-platform programming partnership" that aims to bring fans to the intersection of pop culture and baseball.
• The show premieres in April, will air weekly and 30 episodes have been ordered
• It "targets men with smart, funny and relevant content"
• Content will "move beyond game analysis, stats and highlights to showcase MLB athletes off the field, spotlighting the stars' personalities and passions through a series of player interviews and features, in addition to celebrity appearances"
Ortiz, who along with McCutchen will be an executive producer on the show, says the concept is an obvious winner.
"Players want to be musicians and the musicians want to be players," Ortiz said. "So it's going to be pretty easy to get my friends in baseball to have some fun on MTV."
It's a smart idea, considering that MLB finds itself in a constant struggle with the NFL, NBA, video games and other sports for the attention spans of young adults and kids. Making baseball more a part of pop culture — a place where the Fan Cave is coming from — is a great way to meet fans halfway. If the show is well-written (or even fairly well written), the personalities of Ortiz and McCutchen will do their respective parts to make it a hit.
The Fan Cave, for those not indoctrinated, is "MLB's first-of-its-kind space that mixes baseball with music, pop culture, media, interactive technology and art."
And they make funny videos like this, with David Eckstein:
Is this the first collaboration between MLB and MTV since the "Rock 'n' Jock" softball games? Hopefully, this new partnership leads to a resumption of that fine institution.
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