MLB lockout could alienate Gen Z fans

NEW YORK – Max Scherzer stars in the latest video posted on Major League Baseball’s TikTok account ahead of the lockout declared by team owners Thursday morning.

The short, which has more than 400,000 views, shows the last out of Scherzer’s first no-hitter in 2015 with the Washington Nationals team and his teammates besieging him to shower him in chocolate cream. In the background is “Swang” by hip-hop duet Rae Sremmurd.

“Max Scherzer is … officially a New York Mets !!!” reads a text to celebrate the $ 130 million deal that the three-time Cy Young Award winner reached to pitch in Queens.

It could be the last content a major league player has sent to the account’s 4.8 million followers for months, in a situation that could have consequences for a sport interested in courting young fans.

Even if baseball’s first lockout in 26 years doesn’t result in game losses, the league and its players are at risk of alienating their next crop of fans.

Generation Z, which encompasses those born between 1995 and 2010, has never experienced a strike or stoppage in baseball.

Fan sentiment in previous stoppages was affected primarily by disruptions to the game schedule, but for a generation that gobbles up entertainment in bites at a faster rate than its predecessors, there is a chance that the damage will be long-lasting even if the regular season 2022 starts on time.

For Generation Z, the important thing is the content and suddenly, in social networks, the MLB has run out of stars like Shohei Ohtani or the Dominican Fernando Tatis Jr.