The Little League World Series wrapped up on Sunday, with the spunky team from Japan leaving Williamsport, PA with the title for the second time in three years. Even more impressive than Japan’s recent success in the global tournament, is the increased fan base for the League on social media platforms. The hashtag #LLWS was trending throughout the United States during Sunday’s championship game, and Facebook followers for the official Little League World Series page have increased 56% to 125,000 “likes” over the last year.
Brian McClintock, the media relations director for Little League Baseball, told the Sacramento Bee, “We’re really making a large, concerted effort to organize everything under the Little League World Series hashtag on Facebook and Twitter.”
The consistent use of #LLWS has incorporated the various social media platforms, allowing fans to easily connect with each other to discuss the games. An average post during the tournament received anywhere from a hundred likes, to a few thousand. Through a mix of score updates, game pictures, and funny videos, the League’s social media mangers kept fans informed and entertained throughout the 10-day tournament, even if they couldn’t watch the game live.
The Little League World Series has risen in popularity every year, and there is no question that social media is the primary reason. In adult sports, The U.S. Open debuted a social media wall in this year’s, 2013, tournament. Sports broadcasting will continue to be more integrated with social media to excite fans, because sports organizers are realizing the spectators of the world want instant updates and engagement with one another. Why cheer at the screen when you can cheer online?