The annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity is a long-running DC tradition in which Democratic and Republican members of Congress come together to play against each other to raise money for charity. The Congressional Women’s Softball Game began in 2009 as women members in both parties teamed up to challenge women members of the press corps to raise money for the Young Survival Coalition. This year, the events became an important national moment of resilience and unity after a tragic shooting at a pre-game practice left a member of Congress, staffers and Capitol Police injured or in critical condition.
The Hill, a national politics publication, broadcast live on Facebook with original programming before, during, and after the event, while event organizers used Facebook’s donation products to encourage viewers to participate in the event in new ways and donate to the cause.
On June 15, The Hill’s Live broadcast from the Congressional Baseball Game, streamed from National’s Park in Washington, D.C., had nearly 6 million video views. Of all the Facebook Live broadcasts of the event, The Hill’s video generated the greatest number of views; it was also the most-viewed Facebook Live for The Hill this year. The video has been shared more than 13,000 times, most notably by the National Boys & Girls Club of America, MLB and Robinson Cano.
“Thanks to Facebook’s charitable giving tools, we have raised over $100,000 that will be directed to local charities and to support those who put their lives on the line at the shooting at the GOP practice on June 14,” according to organizers of the Congressional Baseball Game. Over 500 donors chipped in more than $17,500 while the broadcast was live.
The following week, The Hill also went live from the Congressional Women’s Softball Game from the Watkins Recreation Center in Washington, D.C. The live broadcast featured interviews with several public figures during the game, including Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald J. Trump, and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).
“While we anticipated that the game would be of interest to our audience, the tragic event that took place the day before only underscored the importance of the game as a show of unity. By using Facebook Live and the donate button we were able to raise a significant amount of money for the Congressional Baseball charities and hopefully spread the word about a great cause.” – Taylor Lorenz, Director of Emerging Platforms, The Hill
Facebook Live has a unique ability to bring users together around an event and Facebook’s donation products give people an easy way to support the causes that matter to them. We’re excited to see partners utilizing our platform and tools to reach their audiences and communities.