MLB’s Grapefruit and Cactus league, who held spring training in Florida and Arizona, respectively, were great opportunities to get veterans back in game shape, and help new players acclimate to the Big Leagues. But, spring training is also a tremendous PR bonanza for all the teams in the league. Ronn Torossian breaks down the bonuses for the league…

Create an Opportunity to Connect with Snowbird Fans

Florida and Arizona are both hotbeds for snowbirds, folks who live half the year in cooler northern states and spend their winters in warmer climates. Because these fans are from other places, they carry their baseball allegiances down to the sunshine. They can support their hometown team even on vacation. This gives MLB 6 extra weeks of the season to connect with their die-hard fans.

Offer a Closer, More Intimate Environment

In most cases, spring training games are played in smaller stadiums where crowds are closer to the teams. The environment is more intimate and feels more like “old school” baseball, the kind everyone remembers as a kid. This proximity encourages a tighter bond between the teams and their fans, and it can often be the first chance young fans get to see their parents’ favorite teams.

Introduce The Team’s “Future”

Spring training is also about giving the up-and-coming players more reps with the veterans. Teams have millions invested in each player, even players that are essentially anonymous to all but the most die-hard fans. Spring training gives teams the chance to introduce these players to the fans and begin cashing in on their investment.

Promote Minor League Teams for Local Fans

Spring training also offers MLB teams the chance to promote their local minor league affiliates. Local fans looking for inexpensive and fun baseball action, particularly those who are in cities without their own MLB team, often adopt these minor league teams as “their” pro team.

Taken together, Ronn Torossian says each of these advantages weaves a PR bonanza for the major league teams that flee the cold and wet north each spring for the sunshine of the southern climes.