Major league teams working on social media message

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Washington is putting together a tweet-up for July 3 that includes discounted tickets and a commemorative poster. There are plans for a player meet and greet and a Twitter request line for pregame ballpark music. But the most compelling aspect of the Nationals’ promotion involves the location of tweet-up seats, which will improve as more fans RSVP for the game before tickets go on sale on June 22.

“It’s about fan engagement and the ability then to be able to enter into that discussion, and not being too corporate, but helping lead and participate in that conversation,” Nationals chief operating officer Tom Feffer said. “Why? Because the social media platform is now an access point _ to the club, to the players, to promotions, to ticket sales, to the story that’s being told. And the story really lives now in the social media world. It’s extended into that community more than it ever has before.”

Dan Migala, a founding partner of Property Consulting Group who worked for the Padres and has consulted for other major league teams, thinks social media will become even more important for sports teams in the future.

“I don’t think that there’s ever been a better time to be a fan than right now because for the first time really as a fan you have a two-way relationship with your favorite team,” he said. “For some teams that’s a very exciting proposition and some, they’re probably scared to death.

“But my dad and his generation, it was a one-way relationship. You bought a ticket, they took your money, you came to the game and you bought as much stuff as you could and they never responded to you. Now they can know when your birthday is. Now they can communicate and answer questions in real time. It’s a really powerful vehicle but you have to embrace it.”

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AP Sports Writers Joe Kay in Cincinnati, Bernie Wilson in San Diego, Howard Fendrich in Washington and Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

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Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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