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How Fubo is using Major League Baseball to draw new viewers to the streamer

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Fubo (formerly Fubo TV) is ramping up its social media strategy to prepare for the upcoming season of Major League Baseball with new ads across Twitter, YouTube and Instagram which dropped earlier this month.

The move to win over baseball fans also comes at a time when other brands such as DirecTV and Roku are marketing around the return of the MLB.

Aside from showing up on social platforms with its new logo and look — Fubo TV rebranded to Fubo ahead of the World Baseball Classic last month — the streamer is also running its new ads featuring the brand’s new logo and look on linear TV along with digital displays. The brand wants to attract Gen Z fans, who are already accustomed to streaming platforms, as well as millennials and Gen Xers who want an alternative to cable to watch baseball without the hassle of paying for it.

“We’ve always felt that baseball is where we planted our flag and so demographically we’ve been able to bring in that audience that’s a little bit older to play, but still much younger,” said Yale Wang, Fubo’s svp of marketing, adding that Fubo to get the most awareness, it released ads on YouTube where it has over 45,000 subscribers.

Fubo also posts content in real-time on its social media channels during MLB games to try and distinguish itself as a brand voice focused on sports.

Fubo hired YouTube personality Jimmy “Jomboy” O’Brien (1.7 million subscribers), to talk about the new Fubo rebrand during his live stream on opening day. During the week leading up to opening day, he also shared Fubo’s match schedule pages into his Instagram feed. The financial agreement was not disclosed. 

“There is a huge audience for fans who watch sports through digital channels, especially throughout the pandemic, with growth predominantly driven by Gen Z and millennials,” Laura Connell, consumer trends manager at GWI.

According to GWI sports data on Gen Z, 56% of Americans and 40% of Canadians are either watching or following baseball. The market for sports streaming services is even more present with a hefty 68% of the overall audience watching sports events either on TV or online.

It is unclear how much of Fubo’s marketing budget was allocated to social media as Wang declined to share budget specifics. Sensory Tower data indicated Fubo has seen a decrease in its digital ad spend of 18% from last year, with the majority of ads being served through OTT and YouTube so far in 2023. In 2022, most ads were served on OTT and desktop video (no ads were served on YouTube).

“Dropping ‘TV’ was a good call by Fubo and when you’re trying to build brand recognition, simpler is almost always better,” said Brittany Hodak, marketing expert and co-founder of The Superfan Company, a fan-engagement agency.

Gen Z’s “everything all at once” media mindset suits with Fubo’s rebrand, said Steve Dunphy, executive creative director of Chase Design Group.

“America’s pastime is finally altering its once sacred rules in order to challenge the media dominance of the NFL and NBA by making their product more engaging for a younger, and less patient demographic,” said Dunphy.

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