On Tuesday, the Major League Baseball Players Association announced a deal with Jump Ramp Games’ Lucktastic App that will give fans the chance to win authentic memorabilia.
Lucktastic can be described as a virtual online scratch ticket that rewards users with promotions and rewards. The deal will give fans the ability to win personalized memorabilia from some of the game’s biggest stars such as Chris Sale and Paul Goldschmidt.
Although the deal is only expected to run through the rest of this current season, this type of deal will hopefully address what has been a recurring issue for the sport as a whole. Over the past decade plus, baseball has slowly declined in popularity; partially due to the inability for MLB and the MLBPA to properly market their players to a greater audience.
Part of the misconception surrounding the lack of popularity in the sport revolves around the pace of play. This is something that Commissioner Rob Manfred has been adamant about addressing since he first took office. To his credit, his efforts have led to new policies and guidelines designed to speed up gameplay. But is this really the issue? Or is MLB overlooking a more serious threat?
This deal will hopefully bring the sport the type of exposure and familiarity with some of the game’s biggest stars to their fan base. As of right now, Mike Trout; who is widely regarded as the best player in the game, can walk around in broad daylight and go relatively unnoticed. This would be an impossible feat for an NBA or even NFL star.
Once fans, no matter how diehard they may be, are able to recognize and connect with players on a wider scale, is when the popularity of the sport will begin to revive itself. Although this certainly is a small step, it nonetheless is a step in the right direction.