Invest: Miami speaks to David P. Samson, President

In 2015, the Miami Marlins saw its attendance, revenue and per capita spending grow—even our television and radio ratings were up. While we had a setback last year when it came to on-the-field performance, we are back on the hope train for 2016 and looking forward to what it will bring as our plan is to bring another World Series Championship to Miami. Part of the success of the team hinges on having and maintaining an effective presence on social media. This is why we have an entire department devoted to marketing initiatives and the digital promotion of our team and baseball as a sport. The goal is very simple: to go viral. This is a challenge as it means having to make ourselves different from others in the digital marketplace, where our users’ desire for information about the Marlins can be fulfilled in myriad ways.

A further challenge is that the average baseball consumer is aging, while the number one growth demographic for sports and media in the world is the 18-to-34 age group. To capture this segment’s attention, we connect with fans on social media during and between games. We are looking for ways we can provide access to our players, our staff and our organization as a way to give users a unique online experience. These efforts seemed to have paid off and we turned the corner this year: our average fan age stayed the same and didn’t get older by even a year, so we have stemmed a 20- year tide.

You cannot have a great city without great sports teams, along with museums, public space, public parks and public transportation. Miami has always been a gateway city in terms of transportation and population, but we are becoming a gateway from an intellectual standpoint, as well. I am confident that, in my lifetime, Miami will become the greatest city in the Americas. But we can’t underestimate the importance of public transportation, public infrastructure and public park space—all of those things are required in order to achieve great city status and maintain it in the long term.