Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
September 17, 2015: In April, MLB unveiled an alliance with Esurance that put the company front-and-center as MLB's official auto insurance sponsor and as title sponsor for the first all-digital All-Star Game ballot. The deal gave the company access to all 30 MLB teams via an integrated 360 marketing effort featuring broadcast, digital and social assets and saw fan-specific activation on several baseball fronts, including MLB Network.
Esurance and MLB have built on their first-year pact with The 2015 Esurance MLB Awards, described as an "expanded awards program leveraging social media and technology culminating in a multi-platform broadcast special."
The 2015 Esurance MLB Awards will encompass 24 categories, including Best Major Leaguer, Best Bounceback Player, Best Breakout Player, Best Social Media Personality, Best Fan Catch, Best Video Board Moment, Best Interview and Best Celebrity Fan.
The voting will be supported by a multi-media platform, including a dedicated TV commercial that explains the voting process, Internet, social media, in-stadium and an Esurance #AwardWorthy Sweepstakes offering tickets to 2016 games, a trip to the MLB Winter Meetings and other goodies. (Details here.)
MLB said that the majority of The 2015 Esurance MLB Awards winners would be unveiled during a TV and online special broadcast from MLB Network on Nov 20.
Voting will be held exclusively at MLB.com and the respective Web sites of each MLB team over the next two months.
There will be five different groups of voters: fans, members of the baseball media, club front-office personnel, former MLB players and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) members. Each count for 20% of the winner selection, according to MLB. Winners in each category will receive the trophy known as the GIBBY (Greatness in Baseball).
“The Esurance MLB Awards will recognize the ways today's Major League players make an impact both on the field and through fan engagement,” Noah Garden, MLB evp-business, said in a statement. “This awards platform with Esurance takes a fun look at how fans consume, enjoy and appreciate baseball in 2015.”
According to Alan Gellman, CMO for San Francisco-based Esurance, a division of Allstate, “The Esurance MLB Awards is a true collaboration between MLB and Esurance to bring fans an all-digital awards experience with a new website to serve as a content hub, discussion forum, and voting platform for fans to engage with each other and be a part of the awards season like never before.”
Six winners will be revealed separately during the MLB TV telecast: four will be announced on MLB.com, the MLB.com At Bat mobile app; and on official MLB social media accounts including Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook that same day. The awards for Best Manager and Best Executive will be revealed and presented in-person to the winners on MLB Network and MLB.com from the 2015 Winter Meetings in December.
Earlier this season, the first all-digital Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot and the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote each set all-time records for fan voting. Esurance also has a marketing deal with Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, which includes a TV spot that is part of the company's "Sorta You isn't You" campaign.