Welcome to part one of If Online Ad Platforms Were Baseball Players—DOM’s Starting Lineup, in which we will compare MLB players to online advertising platforms. In this part, we will cover Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, with part two covering Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Tumblr.
With the MLB season getting underway on April 5th, millions of baseball fans are beginning to draft in their fantasy baseball leagues. Baseball is the second most popular fantasy sport behind football and has a huge following. Unlike football, baseball has a much longer season which gives fantasy owners more time to make adjustments and build a winning team.
In the sections of the below, you will see comments from Leland Reed (LR) and Stephen Hoops (SH), who happens to be the newest member of the Direct Online Marketing team writing his first post for us! All of the following opinions belong to us and none reflect the feelings of Direct Online Marketing as a whole.
We decided that it would be a fun idea to write a blog comparing 9 of the biggest online advertising platforms to 9 players that you should pay attention to when drafting your fantasy team. You’ll have a few of the fantasy superstars and maybe a few surprises, too.
With Google’s advertising platforms, you know what you are getting. It’s a product that consistently works and works well. Search, Display, Video, and Retargeting are all in Google’s wheelhouse, which makes it not only the one of the best options for online advertising, but one of the most versatile, as well.
LR: It is the superstar of PPC and that’s why for my comparison, I chose Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera has received too many accolades to list here, but one thing is for sure: he is the premier hitter in the game. He won the Triple Crown and MVP in 2012 and followed that up with another MVP in 2013. 2014 was a down year for Miggy, but there is no doubt that he is one of the biggest stars in baseball and is sure to bounce back in 2015. You can’t go wrong using your first pick in your fantasy draft on him.
SH: I chose someone who has been as consistent as it gets over the past few seasons, Pablo Sandoval. Now donning a new uniform in Boston, the “Kung Fu Panda” is a solid choice. Although only ranked #9 overall amongst other third basemen, he’s got experience in spades.
Just like Google AdWords, Sandoval has got the numbers to back up his value. With 3 World Series wins under his belt, it’s clear he’s been an integral part of multiple organizations hell-bent on success.
We constantly tell our clients that Bing Ads shouldn’t be ignored because of the results we see on there. When Bing is working right, it is great and should be considered a superstar. There are times when it doesn’t work as well, and that is why it can be compared to a superstar who is often injured.
LR: I decided to compare it to one of the best players in the game, when he is healthy: Troy Tulowitski.
Before going down due to injuries in 2014, he was by far the only candidate for NL MVP, hitting .340 with 21 home runs and 52 RBIs. He only played in 91 games, and still had one of the best years of his career. When Tulo is healthy, he is one of the best in the game and is worth a high draft pick.
SH: In sports, there is nothing quite as disappointing as seeing a player with so much talent who is plagued with constant injury. There’s no doubt that Bing has gained more traction against Google, but it’s still quite not at the same level.
Albert Pujols is one of those players who when he is healthy, he’s unstoppable. With 520 home runs and over 2,500 hits, Pujols is a lock for the Hall of Fame and will be in the discussion for one of the greatest players of all time. Assuming he is healthy during the season, Pujols could really pay off especially since he will most likely remain undrafted for quite a few rounds.
Facebook advertising is one of the best ways for small businesses to reach their target audience, especially local. It could be said that Facebook is close to the peak of what they can do with regards to advertising, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
LR: For my player comparison, I chose Clayton Kershaw. He is definitely at the peak of his career. It is hard to find a pitcher that has had a better four-year stretch than Kershaw. He won the Cy Young in 2011, finished second in Cy Young voting in 2012, and has only won the Cy Young in back to back years, with an MVP thrown in there in 2014. He is at the top of his game right now and is working his way into the conversation for not only the best pitcher of the 2010s, but one of the best of all time.
SH: Since becoming the platform that continues to dominate the social landscape, Facebook is no longer the new kid on the block.
For me, gotta go with a hometown favorite in Andrew McCutchen. Beloved by all in the City of Bridges, the outfielder is a continual part of the Pirates’ growing levels of success.
McCutchen has been one of the hottest players in the league over the last two years, winning the NL MVP in 2013. You might want to act fast seeing as how he’s ranked #2 overall. Let’s hope his new hairdo doesn’t create any bad ju-ju.
Twitter is our personal favorite social network and it is slowly becoming the 2nd most popular behind Facebook. The problem with Twitter lies in its advertising programs. While you can advertise on Twitter, we feel like the network is really lagging behind others when it comes to finding out ways to reach the right audiences. It has all the potential in the world, but can’t seem to live up to expectations.
LR: That brings me to my player comparison, which is Jason Heyward.
I am slightly biased with this pick because I am a Braves fan, but any baseball fan should agree that Heyward is not living up to his potential. Remember when he did this in his first major league at bat? Heyward was supposed to be the next Chipper Jones, the face of the Braves for almost 2 decades.
It hasn’t worked out like that because of a combination of injuries and lack of progression as a hitter. Heyward was sent to St. Louis as a part of the Braves’ offseason roster changes. The change of scenery may be good for him and as a Braves fan I hope the best for him.
SH: I am so torn on Twitter. It’s one of the best platforms out there and offers levels of engagement that the others simply can’t match. Not being able to prove its worth to marketers and in turn report consistent profits to their investors, it remains to be seen whether Twitter will be a homerun in the long term.
Russell Martin is a player with so much potential but not a single team he’s played for is willing to invest for much more than a few seasons. This year he’ll be playing for his hometown Toronto Blue Jays. In reality, Martin is just a .259 hitter with some occasional pop in his bat, but recent years and catcher classes have shown that’s solid for a starting fantasy catcher. Martin won’t win or lose your league for you, but he should come through as a great choice for your line-up.
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, where advertising for B2B companies can be great. It is the perfect network for a company looking to reach professionals and other companies.
LR: When I was trying to think of a player to compare to LinkedIn, all I could think of was the old baseball cliché, “he’s a true professional.” The first player that came to mind was Joey Votto, the perinnial All-Star 1B from the Cincinnati Reds.
Votto is not a flashy player, but he is one of the best in the league. He is solid defensively and one of the best hitters in the game. He is so good at the plate that Reds’ management actually asked him to change his hitting style so that he walks less (umm, what?)
He is a true professional who shows up and plays the game the right way. Votto is the LinkedIn of baseball. Nothing flashy or over the top, but gets the job done.
SH: Compared to the others, LinkedIn has power in users but lacks all the flashiness. Sometimes you just gotta go with a true professional who will get the job done. And at this point you’ll need to round out your outfield.
At 34-years-old, Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista has been around the block. Having played for 5 different MLB teams, he’s been a Toronto baseball staple since 2008. In just a few years, he has transformed from a role player to a professional hitter. When healthy, he is a top 5 power hitter. When you need a pro and you need it done now, this 5-time All-Star player is a safe bet.
So there you have it, the first five of our starting nine! We hope you enjoyed reading and hopefully this is helpful, not only with your fantasy teams, but with online advertising as well. Have suggestions or changes to either of our teams? Be sure to let us know about them in the comments! Stay tuned for part two!