All-Star Week shows increases in FanFest attendance, sales, social chatter & charity

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - All-Star Week in Kansas City wasn't just about baseball. It was about fans, business, social media and charity, as shown in numbers released Friday by Major League Baseball.

Attendance at MLB All-Star Fanfest was 119,092 over the five-day event at Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City. That's the fourth-most ever and a 7.5 percent increase from the 2011 event in Phoenix.

Merchandise sales were up 19.1 percent based on Kauffman Stadium and FanFest returns.

The All-Star Game and State Farm Home Run Derby was the most social media-friendly event in baseball history, seeing a combined 1,611,940 comments on Twitter and Facebook, a 199 percent increase from last year's events in Phoenix.

That includes 6,053 re-tweets of a tweet from @MLBFanCave promising a chance to win an autographed Josh Hamilton replica bat, the most of any tweet at the All-Star Game.

During the festivities, MLB concluded 26 initiatives that benefited 24 national local charities, including Operation Breakthrough, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Make-A-Wish.

That includes a record total of more than $200,000 raised in the MLB All-Star Game Charity 5K and Fun Run for Stand Up To Cancer, Prostate Cancer Foundation and Greater Kansas City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Other numbers provided by MLB include:

• The All-Star Game delivered 27.7 million total viewers (persons age 2+ watching all or part of the game), +7% compared to a year ago, matching the biggest increase in total viewership for an All-Star Game since 1998.
• The All-Star Game was delivered to more than 220 countries by 54 broadcasters in 15 languages.
• Rogers SportsNet registered its largest audience in history for the State Farm Home Run Derby smashing the old record by +23%
• MLB Network's 2012 All-Star Game coverage on July 9 and 10 saw viewership growth over 2011, with an average increase in homes by +27% and an average growth of +9% in total viewers.
• MLB.com totaled 124.5 million page views and MLB.com At Bat was accessed 2.6 million times on All-Star Monday and Tuesday, each up over 25% from last year and the most ever for those two days.
• In addition to State Farm Home Run Derby ratings increasing +3%, the event had an average minute audience increase of +87% on WatchESPN and ESPN3 across numerous non-television platforms.

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