As the Giants get set to defend their World Series title, the front office is ensuring that the team also remains No. 1 in the social-media world.
The experience of attending a baseball game at AT&T Park will be even more interactive this year with increased Wi-Fi capacity, the addition of mobile device and tablet charging stations, and the unveiling of baseball’s first social-media center.
“Giants baseball is so perfect for social media,” social-media director Bryan Srabian said. “It gives us this unique opportunity to be leaders in that space.”
The Giants are first among Major League Baseball teams in Instagram and Google+ followers, and they rank third on Twitter with nearly 400,000 followers and fourth on Facebook with more than 1.6 million likes.
But when it comes to Twitter trends, #sfgiants blows the competition out of the water. In 2012, the team’s hashtag ranked fifth among sports trends, trailing #nfl, #nascar, #mlb and the Olympics.
The team’s popularity in the Twittersphere inspired the idea for a social-media center, where fans will be able to read the most entertaining tweets, see the best pictures and appreciate the massive volume of activity that’s taking place in and outside the ballpark in real time on a matrix of high-definition televisions.
The social-media center will be in the former Build-A-Bear store located behind the outfield bleachers, and it also will feature a Peet’s Coffee bar along with more high-definition TVs showing game action.
Srabian said the new addition, which will open on a homestand in late April or early May, will boost Giants content on Twitter and Instagram and give fans who are unfamiliar with social media an opportunity to experience it at the ballpark.
“Hopefully it gives them a reason [to use social media] and it adds to the experience,” he said.
But more activity means drained batteries, so the team added 10 charging stations where fans will be able to juice up their smartphones and other mobile devices.
The Giants also increased the ballpark’s Wi-Fi capacity, more than doubling the number of antennas from roughly 350 to 760.
Senior vice president Bill Schlough said it’s the biggest upgrade the park has experienced in 14 years.
“We had to, because it’s really becoming part of the experience,” he said.