On First with Pete Alonso is an MLB Original show airing on YouTube featuring Pete mic’d up in multiple games throughout the 2020 season. The goal of the show - the first of its kind - was to showcase a unique part of baseball culture yet to be explored: the natural interactions that take place between a first baseman and base runners and teammates throughout a game. In alignment with our Player Marketing strategy that calls for authenticity, relatability and connecting players to fans, On First aimed to spotlight Pete’s personality through unprecedented access and perspective.
During his 2019 Rookie Year Pete Alonso was the most googled player in Major League Baseball. It was clear that fans were hungry for a way to get to know Pete’s personality. As 2020 dawned we began to flesh out the logistics of how we’d approach such an unprecedented project. We faced two major challenges to mic’ing Pete during games: culture, and technology.
The culture of baseball has long resisted pulling back the curtain of unfettered access to players. To create this series we needed a player willing to break one of baseball cultures strongest taboos. Our Player Marketing team began chipping away at these norms with the “Let the Kids Play” campaign in 2018. In 2019 we invested heavily in the relationship with Pete Alonso and his agent earning their trust and laying the groundwork for Pete to be that player in 2020.
Baseball players have long resisted wearing mics in game due to a bulky implementation they felt interfered with their performance. We had to create a solution from scratch that Pete would approve during Spring Training. We created a made to measure mic holder sewn into the jersey between the player’s shoulders. This allowed minimal interaction with the player and allowed him full range of motion while at the plate or on the field.
A third challenge emerged in the form of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Fans and crew would have less access to players than ever before. We adapted the mic system to be fully remote. Pete could be mic’d from the second he put on his jersey to the second he took it off, without any direct interaction with crewmembers. This allowed us to keep our players and our staff safe while still producing this innovative content.
The series saw 1.57M views, and over 80k Hours Watched – the equivalent of 9 years of watch time.
Nearly 60% of all viewers were age 24-and-under, the critical growth audience MLB needs to reach; this group also averaged the highest view duration of all age groups, reflecting the interest and appeal of the content to the next generation of fans
A third of the audience was Female, significantly outperforming our channel average (3x channel average)
Nearly 4M Impressions
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