Major League baseball players and their smartphone-toting fans have a new, convenient way to engage in mobile fanmail,
through next-generation autographs.
lettrs® announced today that it is partnering with the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to add Major Leaguers to its fan-friendly messaging and media application. MLBPA-licensed lettrs app, available now, will provide mobile FanMail messages with original, authenticated digital autographs and branded, digital FanStamp stickers.
In this, the first agreement between a message app and a professional players association, MLBPA and lettrs have entered into an early stage agreement to activate digital messaging memorabilia – estimated by some analysts to be a $3 billion market by 2021. With the participation of current Major Leaguers, lettrs expects to fuel growth of the mobile autographs market in the off season, when players have more time to actively engage with their mobile fans.
The lettrs “autografs” application offers athletes, entertainers and fans innovative ways to enhance the quality and profitability of their social communications, turning a mobile device into an autograph store with the use of lettrs’ patented autographs biometrics. MLBPA digital FanStamp packs will also activate collectable stickers.
The 80-language communications app uses a phone’s biometric thumb authentication to activate a unique serial number and seal of authenticity for the autograph, including its original price, location, device, and even whether the original autograph was purchased for charitable dollars. The technology was patented by former Army officer, cyber expert and now lettrs CEO Drew Bartkiewicz.
“One of our main goals at MLBPA is to facilitate and enhance the player-fan connection,” says Michael Amin, Category Director-Interactive Games, Digital Products and Services at MLBPA. “The lettrs platform allows fans to have meaningful interaction with players that they can’t get anywhere else, in multiple languages, and provides a lasting and unique memento of that interaction, which could provide a lifelong connection.”
Since its launch in 2014, lettrs has notched more than 2 million downloads of its mobile app and garnered over 5 billion media impressions. In addition to the Major Leaguer autographs on text messages and selfies, lettrs will offer collectable player FanStamp sticker packs that will unlock statistics, facts and even prizes.
“For years, the traditional autograph was the cornerstone of a priceless communication, the ultimate in fanmail memorabilia,” Bartkiewicz says. “We are giving that experience new life for the over 3 billion fans in the world with a smartphone in their hand, including millennials whose parents collected autographs on baseballs, and legacy paper mediums.”
How it works: Once they have downloaded the lettrs app, fans get to “Pen Pal” their favorite Major Leaguers, writing them direct digital letters, and in some cases being able to purchase a personal, autographed message back. The autographed message can be shared on users’ social media channels. This service creates digital memorabilia for younger, global fans of professional baseball players.