Business VoIP Featured Article

MLB and Zoom Put Fans in Center of Close Calls

March 21, 2023

By Greg Tavarez, Business VoIP Editor

Baseball fans are a passionate bunch. With a long and storied history in America, fans today continue to talk about legends such as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron, all of whom have left their mark on the sport, for better or for worse.

Fans are even passionate about baseball-adjacent traditions and customs, such as singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch and throwing back home run balls hit by the opposing team.

It’s safe to say baseball will always hold a special place in American culture as it continues to be a beloved pastime for millions of fans.

But there’s one aspect of the game that could use improvement, many fans feel: Close calls from the umpires, that is.

So, to put fans right in the center of umpires’ close calls, MLB and Zoom have entered a partnership to use Zoom Contact Center and the Zoom platform technology to power new elements of MLB games and broadcasts.

During the 2023 season, the crew chief (or the most senior member of the four-man umpire crew) will connect to the Zoom Replay Operations Center through Zoom Contact Center during a replay review and provide fans with live access to the decision as it’s being made.

During national broadcasts on the MLB Network and on Apple TV+, fans will see the Zoom Replay Operations Center in action and hear from an expert rules analyst dedicated to the real-time discussion of calls with the broadcast team.

With Zoom, the replay review process is more transparent and engaging than ever before, and those close calls may be a little less anxiety-inducing for diehard fans.

“MLB brings together tens of millions of passionate fans every season,” said Zoom Chief Marketing Officer Janine Pelosi. “Zoom’s rapid pace of innovation and obsession with making human connection easier and better is crucial to help MLB evolve its experience and deliver unprecedented transparency and access to its fans.”

Besides its use in on-field decisions, Zoom is expected to have a role in facilitating communication during other high-pressure events, such as the 2023 MLB Draft.

Additionally, the comprehensive collaboration platform is integrated into various MLB clubs, platforms, and broadcast outlets. Many of these clubs use Zoom Meetings and Zoom Phone to maintain communication with their colleagues and customers, as well as Zoom Contact Center to offer efficient, precise, and tailored experiences to their fans. The MLB corporate offices employ Zoom Meetings, Zoom Phone, Zoom Rooms, and Zoom Webinars to promote effective communication and streamline their operations.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to leverage best-in-class technology to advance the MLB experience and deliver more to our fans,” said MLB Chief Operations and Strategy Officer Chris Marinak. “Partnering with Zoom, a category leader that reinvented the way we connect, was a natural next step for us.”

MLB continues to strive to hit a homerun for fans and teams alike. With Zoom, MLB does just that as it bridges digital divides that previously limited fan experiences.

Edited by Alex Passett



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