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Summary:

Major League Baseball is using new data tools to create more detailed profiles of people who visit team and league websites. MLB plans to use the extra data to create profiles of affluent customers, and to let brands target those profiles on private ad exchanges.

Major League Baseball
photo: Flickr / random letters

Major League Baseball will start collecting more data about customers who visit its websites as part of a plan to create new premium categories for online advertisers and increase revenue from MLB’s media properties.

MLB is also planning online ad exchanges in which brands can bid in real time to show ads to a specialty audience — say affluent female car buyers — on sites they own such as the New York Yankees team page. According to a Thursday press release:

“Advertisers now can identify affluent audiences based on a range of demographic, behavioral and purchasing attributes and target them across all MLB properties.” The ad initiative reflects MLB’s role as the most tech-savvy sports league; to learn more, come see MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman join us at paidContent Live on April 17.

The release was put out by BlueKai, a company that collects and analyzes data from consumers as they move across different websites. In a phone interview, BlueKai Director of Business Development, Gina Kim, said the company is providing MLB with a data platform but that the league will not use it sell customer information to other publishers.

MLB’s plans to create more granular advertising segments also reflect a broader trend across major websites. Facebook, for instance, announced this week that it’s now using third party data companies to offer super-specific audience segments like “children’s cereals” or “full-size sedan buyers.”

The BlueKai executive said the data deal for now just covers desktop browsers and not mobile devices.

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  1. I am a premium MLB subscriber and their greed overcomes their quality. They cannot provide all the features they tout for the Premium TV subscription if your mobile or connected device has an iOS operating system. Sometimes the games are interrupted with a notice that the “Game Will Begin Shortly”. I don’t know what that is about. They add bells and whistles every year but not quality of broadcast.

    I live in Houston and could not watch a Rangers game because I was in a blacked-out area. Houston is almost 4 hours away by car!

    This is what happens when you have an anti-trust exemption.

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