Social media has completely revolutionized the way that professional sports are covered and viewed. It serves as a direct gateway between a team and its fans. Doug Gausepohl, the senior manager of social editorial for the MLB’s social media accounts, discussed the rapid growth of social media at “Pizza With the Pros” on Nov. 28.
Gausepohl, a 2013 Rowan graduate, has spent the last eight years working on the MLB’s social media content team and was recently named its senior manager. The team consists of about 100 people.
The official MLB accounts have a combined following of roughly 40 million between Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. Gausepohl’s role is very much all-encompassing.
“I’m going to be overseeing the people that are publishing on the official MLB Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok platforms,” Gausepohl said. “So, [I’m] helping make content plans whether it’s around Jackie Robinson Day, the Postseason, Opening Day — making sure that everything we put out there is correct from an editorial perspective.”
A very common talking point about the current climate of baseball is that it’s a boring and slow sport that has become unattractive to the fast-paced, younger generation. Part of what makes Gausepohl’s role so important is that he and others have a chance to defy that idea.
“I think it’s really important to kind of squash that narrative because I don’t personally think it’s true,” Gausepohl said. “I think baseball is a very exciting sport and I think we’re doing everything we can to try to cater to that younger audience. It is ultimately up to us to get more young people involved in baseball.”
How the MLB connects with prospective young fans and players is imperative to driving natural interest in the sport. Gausepohl says that the MLB has been doing just that.
“I’m very proud to say, actually, that this past season in 2022, we had the highest engagement rate of all four major sports leagues on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.”
The sports social media job market is in a frenzy. New positions routinely pop up, which provides fresh opportunities for those looking to emerge into the field. To Gausepohl, staying on your toes is essential.
“My current job now, I couldn’t have imagined it five years ago, even,” he said. “I’m sure my job now would have evolved in a year’s time with a new platform that’s emerged or a certain type of way of doing content. Which is a really exciting part about working in social media because it’s never going to be the same thing over and over. You’re going to be covering similar events, but you’re going to be covering them in very different ways.”
In what will be the final “Pizza With the Pros” of the fall semester, Doug Stasuk and Simon Rosenwasser will speak about the pivotal role of live streaming in sports on Dec. 5. Stasuk is the managing director of BFA Sports, which specializes in the live streaming of high school athletics. Rosenwasser is the president of Play by Play Productions.
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