Dodgers and Rays Compete Off-Field in Payroll, Social Media, and Marketing

Michael Cupello

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As the Rays and Dodgers compete on field for the 2020 World Series, SportsAtlas analyzed each team’s work off the field this season. At just over $28m in payroll (due in part to 2020 prorated salaries), the Rays fielded the third lowest payroll this season. In opposition, the Dodgers came into the World Series with the second highest at $107.9m. Clayton Kershaw, the highest paid player on the Dodgers ($16.3m), made nearly triple the Rays’ highest player, Charlie Morton ($5.6m).  

The most followed athlete on the Dodgers is Mookie Betts with 1.1m total followers on Instagram and Twitter. Betts eclipsed the Rays most-followed player, Blake Snell, by about 1m across both platforms. As for team social media accounts, the Dodgers topped the Rays in total followers (2.2m vs. 601.8k) and total playoff engagement (2.2m vs. 861.5k) on Twitter, respectively. These numbers are deceiving, however, when considering the Rays managed to achieve more engagements than total followers, unlike the Dodgers. This trend continued with the Rays generating 1m total playoff engagements across 356.2k followers on Instagram. The Dodgers managed 2.4m in total engagement across 8.8m followers.  

The Rays’ higher rate of engagement indicates they have cultivated a passionate and engaging fanbase. This insight is further solidified when examining the Rays partnership with Tropicana, the brand that owns naming-rights to their stadium and branding throughout it. Measured by Zoomph, the top non-sports interest of Rays’ fans is fruit juice, illustrating just how effective the Rays have been with marketing their brand partnerships and developing a closeness with their fans. 

The Rays effective marketing strategy again comes into focus when researching brand affinities, where Dex Imaging, a notable sponsor with seven stadium signage assets, also owns the second highest brand affinity with the team at 21.35x (followers are 21.35 times more likely to follow Dex Imaging on Twitter than the average league follower). The Dodger’s three highest brand affinities are with San Manuel Casino (14.57x), Banc of California (10.26x), and City National Bank (7.04x), all state-local brands. 

NOTE: Notable sponsors were based on the total amount stadium signage assets for each brand. 

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