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Topps Becomes the Official Baseball Card of Major League Baseball PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 06 August 2009 09:16

Topps logoMajor League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and the Topps Company today announced an exclusive multi-year licensing deal to make Topps the Official Baseball Card of Major League Baseball. Topps will have exclusivity on MLB, Jewel Event and Club trademarks, logos and other intellectual property, for use on baseball cards, stickers and certain other product categories featuring MLB players. Topps’ exclusivity begins on January 1, 2010.

Financial terms were not released.

Topps will become the first exclusive baseball card company of MLB in nearly 30 years. Topps’ first exclusive product will be its 2010 Topps Baseball Series 1 to be unveiled next February.

“Generations of baseball fans have grown more connected to the game through collecting baseball cards,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “We look forward to partnering with Topps to restore baseball cards as the game’s premiere collectable.”

“Topps has over the years clearly distinguished itself as the leader in the industry and the best brand in the business,” said Howard Smith, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Major League Baseball Properties. “This exclusive agreement with Topps follows similar arrangements in other categories that have resulted in superior products for fans and in turn unprecedented business success.”

Michael Eisner and The Tornante Company, a private investment company he founded in 2005, acquired The Topps Company, Inc. in 2007 along with Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC.

“We are looking forward to working closely with MLB Properties and its Clubs to invest in innovation and creativity to bring baseball cards and other collectible items to new audiences for many years to come,” said Eisner.

“Topps has been making baseball cards for over 50 years and signed our first agreement with Major League Baseball Properties in 1969,” said Topps CEO and President Scott Silverstein. “Now, 40 years later, we are delighted to be taking this relationship to new heights.”

Source: Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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"Curtain Call Manny" Bobbleheads Coming to Sept. 16 Dodgers Game PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 05 August 2009 17:32

Curtain Call Manny Bobblehead - Back Manny Curtain Call Bobblehead

The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that due to popular demand, an additional bobblehead giveaway has been added for the first 50,000 fans in attendance on Sept. 16 at the 12:10 p.m. game. The fourth bobblehead of the season will feature Manny Ramirez tipping his cap to the crowd after being summoned for two curtain calls on Wednesday, July 22, when he hit a dramatic, pinch-hit, tie-breaking grand slam on his own sold-out bobblehead night.  The new bobblehead will be compliments of San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.

In conjunction with the announcement, the Dodgers are offering a limited number of Manny Bobblehead Packs in which fans can purchase a four-game ticket package that includes both bobbleheads featuring the Dodgers’ left fielder. For just $64, fans will receive the initial Manny Ramirez bobblehead from July 22, a reserved level ticket to the Sept. 16 game where they’ll receive the Curtain Call Bobblehead, and one reserved level ticket to the Dodger games on Aug. 23 vs. Chicago , Sept. 6 vs. San Diego , and Sept. 20 vs. San Francisco . Seating is also available in the Lower Reserve for $80 and Field Box seats for $120 each.

In addition, the “My Town” section on the right field reserve level on Sept. 16 will be tabbed as “My Town Dominican Republic.” For $45, fans will enjoy an all-inclusive, Dominican-themed menu and music, and will take home a limited edition My Town t-shirt in the colors of the Dominican Republic flag. In addition to the typical fare of the Dominican Republic , fans will enjoy all-you-can-eat ballpark items like Dodger Dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, Coca-Cola products, and water. The Dodgers currently have four players on the 25-man roster who hail from the Dominican Republic : Rafael Furcal, Guillermo Mota, Ramirez, and Ramon Troncoso.

“My Town Dominican Republic” is the latest addition to a schedule of games throughout the season in which the Dodgers will honor fans from all corners of the globe and the community. Other “My Town” games include Korea (Aug. 4), Mexico (Sept. 5), Ireland (Sept. 18), Italy (Oct. 2), Military Appreciation Night (Sept. 4), UCLA (Sept. 20), USC (Sept. 14) and the Philippines (Aug. 18), for which the section is sold out. Tickets in the My Town section can be purchased at www.dodgers.com/sitinmytown.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Anheuser-Busch Named Presenting Sponsor of Dodgers' "Bleacher Beach" PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 24 July 2009 12:24

Dodgers Bleacher BeachThe Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that partner Anheuser-Busch will be the presenting sponsor of “Bleacher Beach.” Bleacher Beach presented by Bud Light, a Dodger Stadium neighborhood for fans, debuted on Sunday, May 24. Financial terms were not released. The Dodgers converted two sections of the Reserve Level in left field to a beach-themed area offering unlimited fresh grilled beach fare, soft drinks, gifts, music and décor.

“Dodger Stadium neighborhoods offer fans an enhanced and unique experience at the ballpark,” said Michael Young, Dodgers Chief Revenue Officer. “This section’s festive atmosphere makes Anheuser-Busch the perfect partner for this section and we look forward to Bleacher Beach presented by Bud Light increasing in popularity due to the prominent branding and added amenities our partner is offering.”

As part of the partnership, Anheuser-Busch will receive prominent Bud Light signage on stadium bowl section of Bleacher Beach . There will be an activation zone on the concourse featuring Anheuser-Busch’s promotional team.

Additionally, the lifeguard chair in Bleacher Beach presented by Bud Light will be a prominent point of activation for Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light promotional staff and special guests will sit in the lifeguard chair. Pro surfer Rob Machado made a visit last Sunday, July 19 and this Sunday, July 26 AVP players Carrie Dodd and Sean Scott will make an appearance.

Bleacher Beach presented by Bud Light features a beach party atmosphere with live music from a 102.7 KIIS-FM DJ. Fans will receive Dodgers Floppy Hats, Sandals, and Beach Towels on these remaining dates:

  • July 26 vs. FLA :           Dodgers Floppy Hats
  • August 9 vs. ATL:        Dodgers Sandals
  • August 23 vs. CHC:     Dodgers Sandals
  • September 6 vs. SD:     Dodgers Beach Towels
  • September 20 vs. SF:   Dodgers Beach Towels
  • October 4 vs. COL :     Dodgers Beach Towels

Groups of 20 or more can purchase at the special price of $35 per person, while individuals can purchase in advance for $45 or on the day of game for $50. Tickets to Bud Light Bleacher Beach , located in Sections 55 and 59, are available via dodgers.com/beach


Maury   BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Dodgers + Manny Ramirez Bobbleheads = Sold Out PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:02

Manny Ramierz bobbleheadThrow in a promotion in Mannywood, and this is what you get...

Despite the 50-game suspension for PEDs, the Dodgers on Sunday announced that today’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, featuring a giveaway of Manny Ramirez bobbleheads, was sold out. In what might be considered a grand slam for the organization, the final tickets purchased by fans for that game pushed the club over the three-million mark in tickets sold for the 2009 season.

This marks the 14th consecutive season in which the Dodgers have reached 3,000,000 tickets sold and a Major League record 24th time overall. As of Sunday, the Dodgers have drawn 2,059,516 fans over the course of 47 games an average 43,819 fans per game, which ranks 3rd in the league behind the Phillies and Yankees

Guinness World Records Book has certified the Dodgers as having the “Highest Cumulative Attendance for a Baseball Franchise.” Since 1901, when Major League Baseball began tracking official attendance, the Dodgers have played before more fans than any other franchise in the sport’s history with a cumulative attendance in excess of 181 million.

Source: Los Angeles Dodgers


Maury   BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Astros to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Lunar Landing on Monday PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 17 July 2009 16:03

Astros Apollo 11 cap

UPDATE: Image changed after receiving new shot of hat revealing Astros logo on right.


They did, after all, change their name from the Colt 45s to the Astros for a reason.

Monday, July 20th will be NASA Night at the Astros game, during which the Astros will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing mission, which happened on July 20, 1969. Eight members of the NASA Team contributing to the success of the Apollo Program will take part in the pregame ceremony, which will include each of them throwing out the first pitch. Astros players will wear special caps featuring the Apollo 11 patch (see above). The first 10,000 fans at the game will receive a replica of the Apollo 11 cap courtesy of United Space Alliance.

Astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger will sing the national anthem.

Source: Houston Astros


Maury   BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Reebok's Viral MLB All-Star Marketing Campaign Has Fans Searching for "Lost" Balls PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 13 July 2009 13:04
Jonathan Papelbon - Reebok Lost Ball campaign
Jonathan Papelbon is part of Reebok's "Lost" ball
viral campaign that starts today in St. Louis during
the All-Star Game festivities.

They've been popping up all over St. Louis. Tapped signs asking for help finding a lost loved one.

No, not a lost dog or cat, but a lost... baseball?

Encouraging baseball fans to get off the couch and get outdoors, Reebok is hosting its first-ever “Hidden Ball Trick” Scavenger Hunt, a viral marketing campaign by the athletic footwear, apparel, and equipment company. Reebok’s interactive event takes fans on a hunt throughout the city to find 101 special hidden baseballs. The hidden balls are all worth prizes including Reebok’s advanced technology O-Bat baseball bats, Reebok baseball gloves, Reebok footwear, and the grand prizes of two autographed baseballs – one signed by American League Reebok players Jonathan Papelbon, Justin Morneau, Josh Beckett, Justin Verlander, Joe Nathan and Tim Wakefiled, and one signed by National League Reebok players Tim Lincecum, Raul Ibanez, Francisco Rodriguez, Prince Fielder, Francisco Cordero, Hunter Pence, and Heath Bell. Fans will also be encouraged to follow Reebok’s Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/reebok for clues.

The campaign began today and will run until all 101 balls are found.

Source: Reebok


Maury   BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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MLB Players to Wear Stars and Stripes on 4th and 5th as Part of Welcome Back Veterans PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 03 July 2009 12:32

Red Veterans capsAs with the games on Memorial Day earlier this year, all Major League Baseball Clubs will wear special “Stars & Stripes” caps on Saturday and Sunday, July 4th and 5th. The caps have the American flag etched into the team’s logo and are red in color (the Toronto Blue Jays hat incorporates a Maple Leaf design instead of the “Stars & Stripes”). These MLB Authentic Collection caps, produced by New Era, are available for sale to the public at www.mlb.com. Major League Baseball Properties, Inc will donate all of the proceeds it receives from the sale of the caps to Welcome Back Veterans. In addition, MLB.com will donate at least $1 to Welcome Back Veterans for each cap purchased through www.mlb.com. Pictured are the caps to be worn by the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies and American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays.

“Major League Baseball considers it a privilege to assist our troops in any way we can,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “We are proud to support these efforts in every way possible, and we ask our fans to join us this Fourth of July weekend and beyond in this effort to raise awareness and funds for this important cause.”

Welcome Back Veterans was created by New York Mets Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fred Wilpon and a group of private citizens. Supported by Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the McCormick Foundation, the goal of Welcome Back Veterans is to raise $100 million and provide 100,000 job opportunities for Veterans.

With its second round of grants in April 2009, Welcome Back Veterans has awarded $5.5 million in grants to 24 non-profit agencies across the country targeting veterans’ greatest needs, including mental health and job training/placement. Welcome Back Veterans has teamed with the University Hospitals of Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York , the University of Michigan and Stanford University , which are developing treatment procedures for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health issues of returning Veterans and their families. In addition, Welcome Back Veterans is working closely with corporate America to provide 100,000 job opportunities for returning Veterans.

Source: Major Leagye Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Qdoba Mexican Grill Enters 3-Year Marketing Agreement with Red Sox PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 22 June 2009 12:32

Red SoxQdoba Mexican Grill today announced that it has signed a marketing and concessions agreement with The Boston Red Sox thereby earning the designation as the Official Mexican Restaurant of the Boston franchise. Financial terms of the three-year deal were not disclosed.

The sponsorship features three main components: in-stadium marketing; external promotional rights and in-park concessions.

“The Boston Red Sox are proud to welcome Qdoba Mexican Grill to our family of corporate partners,” said Sam Kennedy, Executive Vice President & Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of the Boston Red Sox. “Qdoba has been a great supporter of our sport and will be an excellent partner for the club. We look forward to working with Jeff and his team this season.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Qdoba will receive significant exposure in Fenway Park, including main scoreboard LED advertising for one-half inning and centerfield scoreboard text messages promoting Qdoba’s 18 area locations and concessions throughout Fenway Park.

The concessions deal will provide Qdoba Mexican Grill with vending rights within the storied ballpark and enable the fast-casual restaurant group to serve their signature products to members of Red Sox Nation throughout the baseball season. An exclusive chips and queso cart featuring Qdoba’s savory three-cheese queso will be located under the bleachers at Fenway Park. In addition, Qdoba’s famous tortilla soup will be offered in the stadium during the colder months of the season.  

“We’re thrilled to enter into a relationship with one of the most prestigious franchises in all of professional sports,” said Jeff Ackerman, president and CEO of local Qdoba franchise Chair 5. “Our partnership with the Boston Red Sox is a home run for Qdoba, but more importantly for our fans as this program allows us to better serve our loyal customers and Red Sox Nation by providing them the opportunity to experience our fresh, quality products inside the ballpark.”

Additional promotional and advertising opportunities include the rights to use the Boston Red Sox official trademark and logos in-store and in-market throughout the course of the season.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Red Sox to Celebrate 500th Consecutive Sellout at Fenway Park PDF Print E-mail
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Sponsorships, Promotions
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 15:07

Red SoxWith a sellout in tonight’s game against the Florida Marlins, fans of Red Sox Nation will achieve 500 consecutive regular season sellout games at Fenway Park.  The previous Major League record of 455, set by the Cleveland Indians between 1995-2001, was broken by the Red Sox on September 8, 2008.  The Red Sox plan to hold a number of special activities and giveaways at Fenway Park tonight to thank the fans and to celebrate this remarkable accomplishment.

“This record is the fans’ record, and we want to salute the members of Red Sox Nation for reaching this extraordinary milestone,” said John W. Henry, Principal Owner.  “It’s a testament to the passion and dedication they have for the game, for the team, and for the ballpark.  Every day, we work hard to ensure that we are worthy of their loyal support.”

Every fan will receive two mementos, one on their way in and the other as they leave the ballpark after the game.  A special commemorative postcard celebrating the historic achievement will be distributed to fans as they enter the gates.  The front of each postcard features a panoramic photograph of Fenway Park and the graphic “Thank you for 500 Consecutive Sellouts at Fenway Park 2003-2009”.  On the reverse is a letter from Red Sox ownership expressing the team’s gratitude and appreciation to the fans for their unwavering and passionate support.  As they leave Fenway Park, all fans will also receive a special commemorative baseball etched with the ‘500’ graphic.

In addition, at the end of every inning break, randomly selected fans throughout the ballpark will receive giveaways thanks to valued Red Sox corporate sponsors.  The giveaways and their corresponding sponsors/partners, in alphabetical order, are:

  • ARAMARK: 500 Certificates for a free Hot Dog
  • D’Angelo: 500 Free Lunch Coupons (includes a small sub/sandwich, chips and a drink)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: 500 $10.00 Gift Cards
  • Gulf: 500 $10.00 Gas Cards
  • Qdoba Mexican Grill: 500 Certificates for a free Burrito
  • Papa Gino’s: 500 Coupons for a free Large Cheese Pizza
  • The Red Sox Team Store: 500 $10.00 Gift Cards
  • Stanley Tools: 500 25' Stanley FatMax Tape Rules

Additionally, one lucky fan whose seat is located 500 feet from homeplate will be chosen to receive two authentic bleacher seats from Fenway Park.  The pair was part of the seats taken out and replaced before the 2008 season.  Coincidentally, Red Sox Legend Ted Williams hit his 500th career home run against the Cleveland Indians on this day in 1960.

During inning breaks, brief video “thank you” messages from players, ownership and other Boston notables will be played on the centerfield videoboard.  After the top of the fifth inning, when the game and the 500th sellout becomes official, a congratulatory video dedicated to Red Sox Nation will be played on the videoboard as well.  The video features some of the most memorable and significant moments that have occurred during the span of the past 500 games at Fenway Park.

As part of the pre-game ceremonies, the three fans who will deliver the Ceremonial First Pitch will wear Red Sox jerseys with the numbers ‘5’, ‘0’ and ‘0’ on their backs to represent all those in Red Sox Nation who helped make possible 500 consecutive regular season sellout games at Fenway Park.

Source: Boston Red Sox


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Orioles Create "2110 Eutaw Street" Ticket Promo PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 16 June 2009 17:54

OriolesFirst, the Dodgers created Mannywood, a section of bleacher seats in leftfield and a special ticket promotion to go with. When Ramirez was suspended in May for a drug violation, the Dodgers rechristened the section 90090, the new zip code assigned to Dodger Stadium. Now, the Baltimore Orioles have taken a page out of the Dodgers playbook by announcing a new ticket promotion today.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is located at 333 West Camden Street , but this summer Orioles fans will have the option to reside at 2110 Eutaw Street by taking advantage of a new ticket offer. The Orioles have combined the uniform numbers of two of their best young outfielders, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, to re-identify an area of the Eutaw Street Bleachers and give fans the opportunity to take part in a unique promotion.

For a number of pre-selected games beginning with the game on Sunday, July 12 vs. Toronto , fans can purchase a Eutaw Street bleacher seat and a limited edition “I Live at 2110 Eutaw Street ” t-shirt for only $21. In addition, Markakis and Jones will toss baseballs into the stands throughout the game, and for every home run hit by Markakis or Jones in that day’s game, one fan in the section will receive a bat autographed by the player who hit the homer.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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