Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Kansas City Royals: Revolutionary?

This week the Royals announced what I thought was a very cool promotion. The Royals are looking for a blogger/social media hound/internet user to be a "fan correspondent" at the upcoming Royals FanFest. I can't remember the last time the Royals reached out to fans who also happen to be opinion makers on social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

As of Tuesday afternoon, many Royals bloggers were talking about how this could be a first step to the Royals perhaps giving media credentials to bloggers. Of course, this is a slippery slope. What exactly qualifies a blogger to get credentialed? Do you have to write for a large media outlet? Do you need a journalism degree?

The Royals have a golden chance to be revolutionary here. The internet is still a new, exciting network of tubes and chutes and flying envelopes that carry your emails through the interwebs to most MLB executives.

Close your eyes, Royals front office/media relations big wigs. Now, imagine the Royals blogosphere as a giant bazaar where people are talking about your product. Now sure, most of it is bad, but people are talking about it. This bazaar is accessible to everyone in the world. Millions of Royals fans can find it and it isn't very hard. Now imagine where these people will go after they leave the bazaar? They'll probably go buy what the people in the bazaar are selling, ultimately, the super awesome castle that lies beyond the yelling and shouting of the bazaar. Oh, it's beautiful! Look at those fountains!

Well guess what? Those yelling and screaming shopkeepers are the bloggers and the bazaar is the internet. They promote your product for free. They drive people to your place of business. What every blogger writes about is the same thing. Ultimately, every blogger is selling people on the Royals. Saying, "hey, we care enough about this team that we write about it".

As far as I know, only the Mets, Padres and Phillies allow bloggers in the press box. I would argue that the Royals have the best bloggers of any team in baseball. Some of the writing talent on display in the Royals blogosphere is outstanding. The Royals would be taking a risk, sure. But think of how awesome it would be to see Will McDonald go toe-to-toe with Ned Yost after he bats Chris Getz third for the second time in a month? How about a Minda Haas sit down with Dayton Moore? It would be awesome.

So the ball is in the Royals' court. Let's see what happens. But this is a big step.