A short two years ago, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers each lost more than 100 games in their respective seasons; this year, they will face off against each other in the World Series. But how will this unlikely matchup, along with other factors (like the implementation of new rules and brand promotions) impact viewership of this year’s Fall Classic?

CivicScience data show nearly 2-in-5 (38%) consumers who watch baseball say they plan on watching the World Series this season, even if their team did not make it, while 11% report in as fans of either Arizona or Texas. The MLB rule changes meant to increase action and speed up the game appear to be influencing planned viewership – 10% say they’re more likely to watch as a result of the rule changes, but roughly twice as many (21%) are less likely to tune in. 

Brands often seek to tap into the wider audience of a league championship using interactive promotions (like Blue Moon in the Super Bowl). Taco Bell’s “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” is a prime example in the World Series realm. Everyone in the Taco Bell Rewards program will get a free taco with the first stolen base in the World Series, with an added bonus chance to win free tacos for life. But is this enough to entice more Taco Bell Rewards program sign-ups?

The latest polling data reveal that among those aware of the promotion, 19% feel more inclined to sign up for the rewards program thanks to the promotion. Steal a Base, Steal a Taco is even attracting more than a quarter (26%) of Chipotle customers who say they’re more likely to sign up for Taco Bell Rewards as a result of the promotion – nine points higher than Taco Bell customers (17%). While this gap is noteworthy, it’s certainly possible Taco Bell customers have already signed up for the Rewards program.

Although this isn’t Taco Bell’s first rodeo running the steal a base, steal a taco World Series promotion, it’s clear it’s attracting both its own customers and customers of its rivals alike. Other QSR restaurants are also pushing similar promotions to boost their own rewards programs, and recent CivicScience data show that consumers value these programs in general. Will this World Series initiative further demonstrate this tactic as a way forward in the food industry?  CivicScience will be watching these trends.

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