Snapchat Gets a Test Run in the Dugout at MLB Spring Training

One-Day Exception From Longstanding Ban

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MLB is exploring getting social.
MLB is exploring getting social. Credit: Rhona Wise/Bloomberg

Major League Baseball will let players post to Snapchat during March 11 spring training games, a one-time suspension of the league's longtime prohibition on social media in the dugout and the bullpen.

Encouraging live, in-game posts -- called Snaps -- is part of an expanded agreement between the league and the $16 billion social media network. Under the new terms, Snapchat retains access to MLB logos and marks. It will also be given more behind-the-scenes access to expand its baseball content.

Based in Los Angeles, closely-held Snapchat has 8 billion video views a day, according to CEO Evan Spiegel. The service has deals with baseball, the National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League and National Collegiate Athletic Association. The partnerships typically include shared ad revenue and give the leagues access to Snapchat's millions of younger users.

Baseball, like other sports, prohibits its players from posting on social media during games. Boston Red Sox third-baseman Pablo Sandoval was benched last season for using Instagram during a 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Pro athletes in other sports have also been disciplined for using social media during competition.

But given the popularity of social media among athletes and their fans, the leagues seem to be taking baby steps, experimenting with sanctioned in-game activity in limited, low-stakes doses. The NFL, for example, allowed players to tweet during the 2012 Pro Bowl.

-- Bloomberg News

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