As Baseball Returns, MLB Debuts Real-Time Campaign

Hundreds of Pieces of Content Will Run During the Year

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Of the major sports, baseball is the one that so often lives in its glorified past. But Major League Baseball for its season-long 2015 campaign is leaving the nostalgia behind with a real-time approach featuring hundreds of pieces of content.

The campaign, called "This Is Baseball," is the debut effort for MLB by Anomaly, which won the creative account a few months ago. The word "this" is a reference to the phrase often used by people on social media when sharing a piece of content that needs no further explanation.

Ads provide a documentary-style, up-close look at the players, managers and fans, including behind-the-scenes footage. The first ads that will run were shot during spring training. But MLB plans to update the campaign throughout the season. So if a pitcher throws a no-hitter, for instance, fans might see an ad about it the next day.

The campaign is "celebrating the things that are authentic and real about the game, most notably the players," said MLB Chief Marketing Officer Jacqueline Parkes. "There will be two to three pieces of creative developed every week. Some will be on television. Some will live in Vines. Some will be GIFs. Some will be Instagram posts. We are deploying the full media assets that MLB has."

That includes using footage from broadcast partners and every MLB team. The league will also periodically deploy cameras solely dedicated to gathering footage for the campaign. "We want to introduce baseball to America. Not the old America, the new America. Not the old baseball, the new baseball," said Jason DeLand, a founding partner of Anomaly.

The first ad will debut during the season-opening game on ESPN Sunday night between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. The spot (above) includes Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter in a riff declaring that "the game is being played better than it ever has in the history of it." He adds: "These are the good ole days."

Here is a look at a few of the other debut spots:

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