THIS is the Face of MLB: Joey Votto

Feb 16, 2013; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Votto poses for a photo during photo day at the Reds Spring Training Facility. (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

If you follow a rabid Reds fan on Twitter, you might notice something missing from your timeline today – the absence of any tweet containing “#JoeyVotto”. That is due to the fact Reds fans overwhelmingly voted the Reds first baseman as the Face of MLB, a contest created by MLB Network.

Today was the formal announcement, but Reds fans attacked this from the onset. When the first round commenced, I wasn’t sure Reds fans were fully aware of it. And we know how Reds fans and Twitter co-exist. Once they received this information, it was downhill for all of Votto’s opponents. Here’s a look at Votto through the bracket.

Round 1 – opponent: Joe Mauer
Most may know Mauer as a spokesman for Head & Shoulders. At first, Votto trailed in this one. Once Reds fans were made aware of the contest, the result would never be in doubt.

Round 2 – opponent: Jose Bautista
A Toronto Blue Jay against the hometown guy. Again, not even close as the hometown guy got the nod.

Round 3 (quarter finals)- opponent: Derek Jeter
This was the round where I personally observed Reds fans create that “bond”. It was also the only round where I saw some doubt among the fanbase. Concerns over NYC’s population and Jeter’s overall popularity were voiced. Then the voting began…

Round 4 (semi-finals) – opponent: Andrew McCutchen
Didn’t Cutch get voted as the cover for MLB 13: The Show? Thought so. I know a few Reds fans that voted for him, too. Another resounding Votto win.

Round 5 (finals) – opponent: Matt Kemp
67% to 33%. Need more be said? A little over 693k “votes” were cast and Votto supporters claimed well over 464k of those.

Votto’s path was easier? Not hardly. Beat a product spokesman (Mauer), the coverboy of a video game which was voted on by fans (McCutchen) and a guy that is one of the best to ever don a uniform with a wide fanbase outside of the city in which he plays (Jeter).

What’s this prove? Never underestimate Reds fans and their understanding of social media’s influence. Last year, it was the “Hats off” campaign. This year, the Face of MLB. And that face is Joey Votto.

A sidenote here. BRM gained a substantial number of new followers during the period of this contest. We are extremely grateful for your follow and hope you will find BRM as one of your homes for Reds coverage in 2013 and beyond.

I also have it on good authority that BRM proved to be a top 10 contributor to the “Votto campaign”. Our own John Rentz willingly accepted a role of “stat guru” while the contest was taking place. John tweeted me last evening…or was it early this morning?

Topics: Cincinnati Reds, Joey Votto

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  • JD Rentz

    Social media analytics is fantastic to watch, and it truly showed that Reds fans rallied around the power of the retweet. Matt Kemp supporters made a fair amount of “unique” content (original tweets not retweeted), but that didn’t propel them in the total tweet count. Every day of the vote, the Votto supporters got stronger, not weaker, and the margin grew by the day.

    It was funny reading reactions of fan bases of the opponents, particularly for Jeter and Kemp, representing the largest of the large markets, and believing it was ultimately some “conspiracy” or that Reds voters were cheating. My timeline clearly told me otherwise. As the ESPN show title claims, “Numbers Don’t Lie”.

    • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

      In looking at the image you have provided, Kemp got over 6k votes in a hour once. Votto, 32! Of course, that’s if my old eyes aren’t failing me.

      In just those 32 hours, Votto accounted for a minimum of 192k. Total, Kemp got around 229k votes. Votto most likely covered that in these 32 hours alone.

      • JD Rentz

        Your eyes aren’t failing you. Votto had higher peaks and less deep valleys in the voting patterns. Any traction Kemp voters may have had fizzled by Day 2 when the Votto voters went gonzo between roughly 10am and 2pm ET and blew the margin wide open. Things didn’t change much after that. Late morning and lunchtime voting was the early success, then the late-night crew blew things up in the latter half. It was truly no contest.