Major League Baseball does not market its players enough; apart from the Pittsburgh Pirates, who promote other team’s players instead of their own.
To promote an upcoming clash with the Cincinnati Reds, the Pirates social media account invited fans to come to see rookie sensation Elly De La Cruz during the three-game series beginning on August 12th at PNC Park.
This is certainly an odd strategy and isn't something that fans see very often. Based upon the comments, it appears that the Bucs' fanbase did not approve.
Pirates shamelessly promote upcoming series against Elly De La Cruz and the Reds.
Elly De La Cruz is definitely one of the most exciting players in Major League Baseball. Currently hitting .269/.318/.468, De La Cruz has made national headlines with this unique combination of power and speed.
De La Cruz became the first Reds player since Eric Davis in 1989 to hit for the cycle and the 21-year-old made front page news when he stole three bases, including home, while the opposing pitcher threw just two pitches.
It's not hard to see why fans would want to watch him play - even fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, while every team wants to fill the stands, it's extremely uncommon to advertise another teams’ players.
The Pirates, with a record of 48-60, are near the bottom of the NL Central. The lack of in-house star-power combined with their losing record makes it difficult to put fans in the seats. According to ESPN, the Pirates are 25th in attendance averaging 20,923 fans per home game.
Like the Cincinnati Reds, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a list of home-grown talent featuring first-round picks like Ke’Bryan Hayes and Henry Davis. But instead of promoting their own players, the Pirates chose to list Reds Elly De La Cruz to help sell tickets. That's a bold strategy.