retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Justin Verlander apparently is not just a big deal on the baseball field.

The Detroit News reports that Verlander - the star pitcher for the Detroit Tigers - also is a pretty big deal in the virtual world - he has more than 50,000 followers on Facebook and more that 46,000 followers on Twitter. In fact, has has almost as many Twitter followers as does the official Detroit Tigers feed does.

According to the story, “a handful of Tigers actively use Twitter, with Verlander (@JustinVerlander) being the most notable. Late last week he used his Twitter to give away tickets to the home playoff games, asking fans why they deserve tickets. ‘I'll pick the winner. Get creative,’ he wrote.” In addition, “Tigers pitcher Brad Penny (@bradpenny) ... has accumulated more than 16,000 followers and tweets in short bursts about the action on-field or his favorite movies (he's a fan of Warrior).

“He also seems like the Tiger most likely to tweet you back, even if it's a flip comment: He told one user ‘get a life’ after that person suggested he spend some time with his pitching coach rather than at the movies.”

It’s all about creating connections with the customers.

Though, to be fair, it should be noted that one of Verlander’s on-field opponents has been even more successful in this area.

Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees has more than 1.3 million people on Facebook who “like” him.
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