|MLBPA Press Release|
Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media and the Major League Baseball Players Association today announced that, for the first time ever, players on the field will interact with fans via social media during the State Farm Home Run Derby (@StateFarm #HRDerby), Monday, July 11, at Chase Field in Phoenix and televised nationally on ESPN at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific. In addition, video and picture content shot by players during the event will be distributed across social media and posted to MLB.com, marking the first time MLB players will communicate directly with fans via social media platforms while on the field during an MLB event.
Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19), Heath Bell (@HeathBell21), Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47), Joel Hanrahan (@hanrahan4457), Matt Kemp (@TheRealMattKemp), Howie Kendrick (@HKendrick47), David Ortiz (@davidortiz), Hunter Pence (@HunterPence9), Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP), Gaby Sanchez (@GabySanchez15), Justin Upton (@RealJustinUpton), Shane Victorino (@ShaneVictorino) and C.J. Wilson (@str8edgeracer) are among the All-Stars who have already agreed to participate, but the live updates will not be limited to players with existing accounts. Other All-Stars will have the opportunity to share their personalized live commentary, photos and video through MLB and MLBPA social media accounts (Twitter: @MLB and @MLB_PLAYERS; Facebook: Facebook.com/MLB and Facebook.com/MLBPlayersAssoc).
MLB All-Stars will be able to tweet and post to their Facebook fan pages during the @StateFarm #HRDerby using their personal handheld device. For players who don't have their device or don't have a twitter account, they will be able to interact with fans from social media stations set up on the field. The tables will feature laptops, tablets, video cameras and MLB representatives to facilitate their use. All players as well as fans will be encouraged to use the hashtag #HRDerby in order to be part of the live conversation about the event. In addition, the video board at Chase Field will show tweets using the #HRDerby hashtag between batters.
Fans at Chase Field for the @StateFarm #HRDerby also will be able to use the check-in functionality with MLB.com At Bat 11, the top-selling mobile application, to further personalize their event experience on their iPhone and Android mobile phones, including the ability to post messages across Twitter and Facebook from within the app, see aggregated tweets from other fans at Chase Field and view the interactive ballpark maps and menus. A home run tracker and live video stream of the @StateFarm #HRDerby will be available within MLB.com At Bat 11 as well as MLB.com.
ESPN will show the Twitter handles of the Derby participants and some of the All-Stars who are engaging in social media during the @StateFarm #HRDerby telecast. Fans can also follow several ESPN commentators contributing to the Derby telecast including @JohnKruk_ESPN, @karlravechespn, @BLarkin_ESPN, @BobbyV_ESPN, @Buster_ESPN, @kurkjian_ESPN and @pedrogomezESPN. ESPN.com will aggregate tweets -- including ESPN commentators, @StateFarm #HRDerby participants, MLB All-Stars and fans using the #HRDerby hashtag -- on its Home Run Derby tracker page (launching on Sunday, July 10; actively featuring Home Run Derby social media activity Monday, July 11, beginning at 5 p.m. ET). Additionally, fans can discuss the @StateFarm #HRDerby.
In addition to coverage on ESPN, the 2011 @StateFarm #HRDerby will be broadcast live on ESPN HD, ESPN 3D, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV, and ESPN Radio in the U.S. as well as ESPN International beginning at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/5:00 p.m. Pacific on Monday, July 11th. The 82nd All-Star Game will be held the following day on Tuesday, July 12th. The AL team in the @StateFarm #HRDerby will be led by captain David Ortiz and include Jose Bautista, Robinson Cano and Adrian Gonzalez, while the NL team will be led by captain Prince Fielder and include Matt Holliday, Matt Kemp and Rickie Weeks.