Perrysburg woman competes in baseball ‘Fan Cave’ contestWritten by Don Lee | | email@example.com
Kate Longenecker makes it her business to find fun ways to tell you the score. Now she’s asking you for a little bit of help to step up her game.
The Perrysburg woman is one of 52 fans of the national pastime who made the almost-final cut — from more than 10,000 applications — for Major League Baseball’s “Fan Cave.” The final winners will live in a Greenwich Village apartment, watch baseball and tweet, post and pin their opinions on social media and MLB’s own website.
“Who wouldn’t want to be paid to watch 2,400 baseball games, the opportunity to live in New York City and chronicle it on social media?” she asked, laughing.
Longenecker, like the other almost-finalists, made a video to state her case and it’s posted on the MLB Fan Cave website. Just scroll down until you see her in her red Philadelphia Phillies T-shirt and ball cap, then watch her spoof the Gangnam-style dance she hopes to replace with custom handshakes for each sports celebrity she meets.
“I do think I’d be an entertaining person to be in the Fan Cave,” she tells prospective voters.
Wait a minute? The Phillies? This is Toledo! Doesn’t our Major League heart belong to the Detroit Tigers?
Well, Longenecker is “Philly-born and raised,” as she says in her video, but moved to Toledo with her college boyfriend when he found a job here. She shopped her love of sports around and landed jobs with the Mud Hens and the Walleye, doing electronic graphics that keep fans up to speed on the stats that drive the games. She also does color commentary for Buckeye Cable Sports Network.
So if you’ve got the picture — fun puns are her specialty — “It’s what I make and what I create and what I do. You can be very creative with it.”
She’s hoping for more than a stretch in sports fan heaven from the Fan Cave, though. The whole idea is to get a group of fans who create buzz for the games through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, in addition to what they say on MLB.com. That’s an exploding trend sports organizations and sports broadcasters want to tap — Feb. 3’s Super Bowl XLVII set records for the number of fans watching the game streamed live on the Internet, and set a number of other records related to social media, according to the news site Mashable.com.
Longenecker’s also looking to get in front of that trend; she’s hoping to get some new ideas — graphics, tweets, posts, what have you — for how she lets Mud Hens and Walleyes fans know the score.
She’s already learned a thing or two — namely, how fast something can get going and growing online. Appearing on Twitter as @Klongen, she’s already developed friendships and “friendly rivalries” with some of the other finalists.
Voting at MLB.com ends Feb. 13; from the 52 videos, voters select 30 finalists who go to spring training in Arizona and then to the Fan Cave.