As I was gathering baseball news and information this weekend I ran cross this headline. Voting now under way for 2012 All-Star Game Balloting has begun for the 83rd All-Star Game on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. At first I passed the information over and then got to thinking later in the day. Why is major league baseball allowing voting for an All-Star game in July 2 weeks into the regular season?
It is really easy to understand once you start crunching some numbers. MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program last year produced a record-shattering total of 32.5 million ballots cast. The online ballot is up through June 28 — exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club sites, wired or mobile — allowing you to cast up to 25 ballots per email address. It’s about money. You see every time a fan and tears and ballot online he or she has to submit an e-mail address with it. Increases fan awareness, obviously.
More importantly, it gives major league baseball millions and millions and millions of e-mail addresses that they can market their products to. E-mail marketing is big business in any niche or genre. But with sports fans, e-mail marketing campaigns are very effective and very profitable.
As each year passes by the baseball All-Star game itself sheds a bit of its own significance. More and more players are finding reasons to skip the game. The Home Run Derby features players that aren’t really considered home run hitters. Except for Josh Hamilton busting out 28 home runs and Yankee Stadium in 2008, the home run Derby has lost some appeal as well. by the way, how did Hamilton lose in the final anyway?
Fan balloting for the All-Star game will never go away and maybe it shouldn’t. However, do we really need to start voting in early April? Don’t forget, this year’s major league baseball popularity contest in June 28, vote early and vote often.