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ESPN and MLB Strike Out Looking When it Comes to Search and the 2008 Home Run Derby

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers put on a spectacle during the 2008 MLB Home Run Derby as he hit a single round record 28 home runs in the first round of the contest. I am not quite sure how the ratings will end up, but ESPN, the MLB, and their partners have to be optimistic for decent numbers based on the record breaking performance. And although this year’s derby was probably lacking the star-power of recent derbies past, the network could at least rely on promoting the historic venue-Yankee Stadium in it’s final year.

With all of the effort surrounding the promotion and coverage of this event by ESPN, the MLB and their partners, it’s hard to believe they could have missed out on the opportunity with search, integrating online opportunities, and driving relevant traffic to a destination where further brand engagement could have occurred.

One missed opportunity was not capitalizing on the spike in searches on “Home Run Derby” that would expectedly occur around the all-star break.


Searching “Home Run Derby” resulted in NO paid ads…


…so it’s clear there isn’t much advertiser competition surrounding these terms. The cheap clicks could have been driven to a special Home Run Derby landing page or microsite with stats, blogs, past Home Run Derby highlights, pictures or even interactive games.

But the good news is- it’s not too late! The big game isn’t until tomorrow night. It’s as simple as coming up with a destination and some ad copy, and bidding on the term “all star game”-there is no advertiser competition here either. And the spike for “all star game” is also pretty high in mid July.


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