MSN Debuts Original Interactive Baseball Reality Show

  |  July 11, 2006   |  Comments

"Fan Club: Reality Baseball" lets viewers call the shots for a minor-league team.

Hoping to capitalize on the impulse that fuels fantasy baseball players everywhere, Microsoft's MSN is aiming for a hit with a new program called "Fan Club: Reality Baseball." The show lets viewers vote on management decisions for a real professional minor-league baseball team, then watch what happens.

The program, part of the Originals venture announced in May, is expected to debut today with advertising opportunities that include display ads, streaming video availabilities, sponsorship packages and in-content integration. The company didn't divulge the identities of initial advertisers, though it said it had signed some deals. MSN attempted a similar original content initiative in 1996, but eventually ended up cancelling all its programs.

"Fan Club" content will consist largely of short-form video. Background information on the team, the Illinois-based Schaumberg Flyers, will populate the site upon its launch. Along the way, users will be able to select the team roster, determine batting order and choose pitchers. They'll also be able to make decisions on roommate assignments and player trades. Whatever they collectively decide will be implemented, and they'll then be able to watch the results via short-form video and text narrative.

Team members, their families and friends will blog on MSN Spaces as part of the program, a content element which aims to provide viewers a window behind the scenes.

The show is being put together in partnership with production company Live Planet, which ran "Project Greenlight" for HBO and Bravo, and Los Angeles-based interactive agency Schematic.

"This is an incredible opportunity to bring a brand-new form of interactive storytelling to MSN's many millions of users -- a much larger audience than can typically be reached today on TV," said Larry Tanz, CEO of LivePlanet, in a statement.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Parker

Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Jobs

    • Tier 1 Support Specialist
      Tier 1 Support Specialist (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreThis position requires a highly motivated and multifaceted individual to contribute to and be...
    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...