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News regarding sponsorship agreements in baseball, as well as promotions

Matt Kemp to be Final Dodgers Bobblehead Promotion of Season PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 15 June 2009 17:28

Matt KempThe Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that Matt Kemp will be depicted on the third and final bobblehead promotion of 2009. The first 50,000 fans in attendance on Wednesday, August 19, when the Dodgers take on the St. Louis Cardinals, will receive the Kemp bobblehead, compliments of Dodgers banking only at Bank of America.

Kemp is in his third full season in the majors, and is a career .301 hitter with 43 home runs and 176 RBI in 368 games since making his big league debut in 2006. The 24-year-old is batting .308 with eight homers and 35 RBI in 63 games this year. His 14 stolen bases rank fifth in the National League. He has started 60 of the Dodgers 64 games, all but one in centerfield. The Oklahoma native was selected by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the 2003 draft.

Kemp in 2008 launched his community initiative entitled Kemp’s Kids, hosting children from local Boys and Girls Clubs at a number of games throughout the season. Thus far in 2009, the children he has hosted are from West San Gabriel Valley Boys and Girls Club, Salesian Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles, and Variety Boys and Girls Club.

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.

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Free Parking at Dodger Stadium for June 16-18 Series with Athletics PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 07 June 2009 17:42

DodgersCiting the end of school and the beginning of summer, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that they will provide Free Parking in the general lots at Dodger Stadium for the three-game series June 16-18 versus the Oakland Athletics. Gates open at 5:10 p.m. and game times are 7:10 p.m.

Fans will be able to enter all Dodger Stadium gates, where the $15 parking fee will be waived for entrance into the general lots.  Fans who have purchased preferred parking will still park in their sections.

The Dodgers will be celebrating Heroes Week during the three-game series, honoring police, firefighters, and community heroes. DodgersWIN, the club’s women’s initiatives network, will be presenting the tributes.

On Tuesday, June 16, Police Appreciation Night, the team pays tribute to Los Angeles law enforcement officials. Kent McCord, who portrayed an LAPD officer on the show, “Adam-12,” will join female LAPD officers in the DodgersWIN tent in centerfield before the game.

Since the Dodgers defeated the A’s in the 1988 World Series, Oakland has played just eight times at Dodger Stadium with the Dodgers winning five of those eight games.

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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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Uniform Advertisement Just Around the Corner for Baseball PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 05 June 2009 19:25

EMC uniform ad patch

This uniform advertisement was in display during
the 2008 season-opening series in Japan. This
past week the floodgates opened on uniform
sponsorships. Baseball, you're now up to bat.

For several years now, I have been writing that it was a matter of when, not if, we’ll see corporate advertisements on jerseys in Major League Baseball, by looking at the corporate advertisement during the World Baseball Classic, and Opening Day games in Japan. As I reported in March just before the start of the WBC:

The idea of finding unobtrusive ways of engaging more sponsorship activation may never have been closer.

The reason is, of course, the gloomy economy.

When times are tough, you can always count on reevaluating old taboos. As the need for the almighty dollar makes owners and league executives redefine what is pure and what is not, aspects like uniform advertisement, or revisit the sacrilegious idea of ads on the sides of bases, become more likely.

Given that baseball is slow to move against its traditions (the hullabaloo over the Spiderman 2 6"x6" logo on the top of the bases that was to occur for all of two days in June of 2004 during interleague is the best example), it’s not surprising that other U.S. sports leagues finally have broken through the barrier.

Certainly MLS is not new to this, but the Big-4 had not done so. And while the WNBA is by all accounts a distant cousin to the NBA, it is the women’s pro basketball league that jumped out with not one, but two deals over the past week, with more on the horizon

On Monday, the Phoenix Mercury announced that they had reached a sponsorship agreement with identity-theft protection company LifeLock to have a 10-inch-by-4-inch version of their logo displayed across the front of their jerseys. Today, the LA Spark announced a similar deal with Farmers Insurance. The Fever and Storm have both been reported to be the next WNBA teams to go the jersey sponsorship route.

As mentioned, this is the WNBA, and not one of the Big-4, but ever so quietly, the NFL has jumped into the mix.

The Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys are reportedly close to deals that would place corporate advertisement on practice jerseys.

With these deals moving quickly, and sponsors a limited pool, baseball is assuredly eyeing these events. It may be that baseball starts with logos on jerseys worn during batting practice, or possibly during Spring Training. As the bar continues to inch forward, in the not too distant future, all sports leagues are bound to see some form of advertisements on jerseys during games, such as the WNBA is doing.

But, as with everything, it isn’t always as easy as it seems. What happens if a stadium has pouring rights for Pepsi and Coca-Cola wants to do jersey sponsorship? What if adidas is looking for uniform ads, but Nike is a key sponsor in the ballpark, such is now the case with the Yankees? All of this will be played out over the course of the next few years. Bank on it. Or, maybe I should say, look for a bank advertisement on a jersey for your sports team near you. Remember, money is hard for owners to say no to, and here’s one more revenue stream to collect from.


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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For Second Year, MLB Conducts "Welcome Back Veterans" on Memorial Day PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 20 May 2009 15:51
 
 Patriots

Major League Baseball will begin its second year of national fundraising and awareness initiatives for Welcome Back Veterans, a program which addresses the mental health and job needs of returning American Veterans.

At three key points of national reflection during the baseball season -- Memorial Day (May 25), Independence Day weekend (July 4) and Patriot Day (September 11) -- all clubs will participate in a number of initiatives to support Welcome Back Veterans.

For games on Memorial Day, all Major League Baseball Clubs will wear special “Stars & Stripes” caps. The caps will have the American flag etched into the team’s logo and for the first time, will be red in color (the Toronto Blue Jays hat will incorporate 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 an additional $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.

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.

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Mets Players Assisting in Athlete-Designed Merchandise Line PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 12 May 2009 13:16

Player merchandiseSix New York Mets players, along with the MLBPA, Majestic Athletic and Twins Enterprises held a design session yesterday in what would become the first line of player-designed line of merchandise with MLB player input. The products will be sold in the new MLBPA created Players Clubhouse store at Citi Field (see images and more on the unique store created by the MLBPA and Mets). As reported by Eric Fisher of the SportsBusiness Daily/Journal:

Pitchers J.J. Putz, John Maine and Bobby Parnell, LF Daniel Murphy, RF Gary Sheffield and C Omir Santos -- and have the new product on the shelves around the All-Star Break in July. Products being designed include T-shirts, jerseys and hats that will incorporate the players’ choices for colors, styles, as well as their names, and in some cases, their likenesses and signatures. Twins Enterprises VP/Sales Eddie Miller said, "This is the first time we’ve done anything like this. But nobody’s closer to the game than these guys, and we think they can bring in some new energy and push us toward some different looks. The more we get off the wall and get away from standard name-and-number type of stuff, the more we create a different market."

According to Fisher, the PA is considering the creation of a “jock tag” that would let consumers know that the products were designed with player input.

“This was nothing like I expected, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes out of this,” Putz said. "I started with a basic orange-and-blue camoflage type of thing, but as we kept talking, I ultimately got to a military camo shirt, but with an Affliction-style print, and red, white and blue lettering. But it was fun to bounce ideas around like that and see where it went.”  

The question is, how will it look? While the likes of LeBron James and others have embraced fashion, for the most part, ballplayers don’t exactly personify style. Let’s see if Majestic Athletic and Twins Enterprises can work on the process and come up with something (bad baseball pun) striking.


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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Priceless: MLB.com and Mastercard Launch Ticket Promo PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 11 May 2009 12:14

MLB Mastercard promoMLB.com and MasterCard Worldwide unveiled today an online ticket savings program exclusively available at MLB.com/MasterCard. This program represents an extension of the Commissioner’s Fan Initiative by bringing fans additional ticket price savings of 10 percent or more for select games in 2009 when they use their MasterCard card to purchase select tickets online at MLB.com and participating club websites.

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig launched the Commissioner’s Fan Initiative, including the Fan Value Corner on MLB.com, earlier this season to make fans aware of the affordable ticket and event promotions offered by the 30 Major League Clubs.

“MasterCard is a fan of the baseball fan,” said Robert Steeger, VP, US Sponsorships, MasterCard Worldwide. “Offering discounts to Major League Baseball game tickets is another way for us to thank our cardholders for simply choosing to pay with their MasterCard cards.”

“The long-standing service MasterCard has given to baseball fans created the ideal collaborative opportunity for us to extend Commissioner Selig’s commitment to making our games more affordable,” said Bob Bowman, CEO, MLB.com.

Highlights of the MLB.com/MasterCard initiative include:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks: Every Tuesday home game will feature $10 discounts off Baseline Reserved seats.
  • Atlanta Braves: Beginning May 19, Golden Moon Casino Pavilion level tickets will be offered at a $10 discount for select home games.
  • Boston Red Sox: Beginning June 5, select June and July home games will feature a 10% discount for Outfield Grandstand tickets.
  • Chicago White Sox: Offering $10 savings off Upper Box and Upper Reserve seats for a select home game every month, beginning April 28 against Seattle Mariners.
  • Cincinnati Reds: Offering half-price tickets for View Level seats at every Tuesday home game.
  • Cleveland Indians: Every Tuesday home game and other select games will feature $10 discounts off Lower Reserved and Upper Box seats.
  • Colorado Rockies: For every Value and Premium designated home game through May 31, there will be discounts of $8 and $10, respectively, for Pavilion, RF Mezzanine and Upper Reserved INF seats.
  • Kansas City Royals: Select home games will feature $10 discounts off Field Box, Field Plaza, Outfield Box and View Level Infield tickets.
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Offering half-price tickets for Field Box, Terrace Box, Terrace Box WC and View MVP seats for a select home game every month.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: Every Tuesday home game will feature 15% discounts for Field Box and Infield Reserve seats.
  • Milwaukee Brewers: Offering at $10 discount for Club Outfield seats at select Tuesday home games, and other select games this season.
  • Oakland Athletics: Field level tickets for more than 30 select home games are available for $10 off the regular price.
  • Philadelphia Phillies: Offering discounts of at least 50% on Pavilion Deck seats for select home games in July, August and September.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates: Every Sunday-Thursday home game will feature a $10 discount off Outfield Box seats.
  • St. Louis Cardinals: All weekday home games will feature a $10 discount off available individual tickets in all seating locations.

The Biz of Baseball notes that the Yankees and Mets are not listed within this program. Those organizations should see the results of latest Biz of Baseball poll question.

Source: MLB.com


 

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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Dodgers a Case of Supply-and-Demand with Manny Ramirez Marketing PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 10 May 2009 08:15

Free Manny

Vendor sells "Free Manny" tee-shirts
outside Dodger Stadium before the
Dodgers lost to the San Francisco
Giants, 3-1, on Friday night.
(Danny Moloshok/Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Dodgers have marketed nearly everything around Manny Ramirez in the 10 months he’s been in Dodger Blue. But, with his 50 game suspension this past week, the question was whether that marketing campaign would be shelved entirely, as the club worked to distance themselves from Ramirez.

While the Mannywood section of Dodger Stadium will be renamed 90090 while he is serving the suspension (the number is in reference to the new zip code that serves just Dodger Stadium), according to the New York Times, the Dodgers are, for the most part, standing pat, going the supply and demand route. The club will continue to sell all manner of Ramirez marketing elements, from selling merchandise such as signature dreadlock wigs, to jerseys bearing 99 and his name, to billboards around the Los Angeles area that have gone up just after his 2-year, $45 million contract that read “Manny’s Back”. As reported by the New York Times:

The Dodgers sold 30,000 tickets the day after Ramirez arrived from Boston in a trade, the highest 24-hour period in franchise history. At Dodger Stadium this year, they have sold 850 of his jerseys and 5,000 Ramirez T-shirts, the team said.

[...]

“We’ll continue to sell Manny product,” [Dodgers president, Dennis] Mannion said. “It will be a supply-and-demand situation.”

No one canceled season tickets after the suspension was announced, he said. About a dozen of the 3,100 people with future seats in Mannywood asked for a refund, according to the team, and no corporate sponsors backed out of agreements.

In a further sign that Ramirez’ personality might transcend the stigma that other players caught in baseball’s drug policy have endured (at least at Dodger Stadium), fans wearing “99” jerseys seems to outnumber all other player jerseys combined at the first game after the start of the suspension, fans chanted “Manny” throughout much of the game from the upperdeck, a banner in support of Ramirez was unfurled in the seventh inning, and at least one fan was reported to be wearing a “Free Manny” tee-shirt in support of Ramirez.

While the Dodgers made it clear they support MLB’s drug policy, they also understand what Ramirez does to help the Dodgers win and how he makes cash registers ring.

“You’re thrilled to have a Manny Ramirez,” said Charles Steinberg, the team’s executive vice president who oversees a wide range of the marketing. “And we’re still thrilled to have a Manny Ramirez.”


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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R.I.P. -- Mannywood at Dodger Stadium PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 07 May 2009 22:16

MannywoodYou could have figured this was coming with an egg timer: the Dodgers have ended Mannywood, a leftfield section comprised of 5,000 seats at Dodger Stadium that the club has historically had trouble selling seats in. The special deal was launched in late April where a pair of tickets and special “Mannywood” tee-shirts were offered.

Now, in the wake of Manny Ramirez being suspended 50 games for PEDs, the club really had no choice but to shut the section down. As reported by CNBC’s sports business reporter, Darren Rovell:

Since the Mannywood section came into being, a Dodgers official told CNBC that about 2,500 people had bought the two-seat packages, which cost $99 (Ramirez' jersey number) and came with two Mannywood T-shirts.

Those who purchased future Mannywood seats and no longer want to attend the game can get refunds or a credit. They also will be able to exchange their Mannywood T-shirt vouchers for two shirts in the Dodgers team store valued at $28 each or less.

Luckily for the Dodgers, the Mannywood section didn't have any permanent signage. The only signage was above the section on the LED ribbon in the stadium.

So, what will the section now be called? The club has decided to change it to the 90090 section, named after the zip code where the stadium is located (the USPS recently designated the new zip code just for Dodger Stadium and the surrounding property). As for tee-shirts, the club will now offer them branded with the zip code, as opposed to Mannywood.


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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Hostess Offers Chance to Throw Three Strikes at a Royals Game to Win $1M PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 04 May 2009 19:26

Hostess Baseball CupcakesMaybe the next David Wells could use the snacks as an incentive.

Hostess announced today that they are kicking off the "Steeerike It Rich!" sweepstakes, in which one lucky entrant will win the chance to throw three strikes on the field of Royals' Kauffman Stadium for one million dollars. This prize also includes a trip to Kansas City for the winner and three of his/her family members for 3 days and 2 nights.

Throughout May, specially marked family-sized packages of Hostess Twinkies(R), Hostess Cupcakes and Hostess "Baseballs" -- cup cakes with vanilla icing and red swirl "stitching" -- will feature a "Steeerike It Rich!" sweepstakes entry code that consumers can use to register online at www.hostesscakes.com from May 4 through June 26, 2009. One lucky winner will be randomly selected from all entries. For official rules and additional information about the sweepstakes, including information on the non-purchase method of entry, visit www.hostesscakes.com.

"The 'Steeerike It Rich!' sweepstakes is a perfect partnership between two American favorites -- Hostess' iconic snack cakes and baseball -- America's pastime," said David Leavitt, VP of Snack Marketing at Interstate Bakeries Corp., makers of Hostess products. "Hostess consumers love baseball and with the chance to win one million dollars on the line, we know this promotion will knock it out of the park."

The winner of the sweepstakes will have the chance to throw three strikes at a target. If he/she does not throw any strikes, he/she will win a consolation prize of $5,000. If one strike is thrown he/she will win $10,000. If two strikes are thrown he/she will win $15,000. If three strikes are thrown, he/she will win $1 million!

Source: Interstate Bakeries Corp.


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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Buy a Majestic Jersey, Get Two Tickets to an MLB Game PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 29 April 2009 17:45

Majestic

Buy a Majestic jersey at a Team Shop, get two tickets
to an MLB game. (images courtesy Majestic Athletic)

Proving that MLB is working to get you to the game, as well as into garb, the league today announced an in-stadium retail promotion that gives each fan two tickets with a Majestic Athletic Replica Jersey purchase during the 2009 season.  This program supports the recently unveiled Commissioner’s Fan Initiative, which is designed to make fans aware of the affordable tickets offered at each of the ballparks across the country.

Participating MLB Clubs will provide fans two complimentary tickets with their purchase of a new Majestic Athletic Replica Jersey, and tickets can be redeemed throughout the 2009 MLB season.  Fans can contact their stadium’s Team Store for specific retail promotion dates, which runs in nearly all locations until the beginning of June.  Game-dates are subject to each club’s discretion and are available while supplies last.

Majestic is introducing a new generation of the MLB Replica Jersey that will be the closest version to mirror an authentic jersey ever produced, marking the largest change to the product in its history. The new jersey features official team fonts and is available with or without a player’s name and number.  The new replica jerseys are made from durable 100% polyester double-knit materials and now feature unique club-specific front locker tags.

(see images provided, courtesy of Majestic Athletic)

“We are always looking for unique ways to thank fans for their support, and this new jersey brings them closer to an on-field experience through a replica product than ever before,” said Howard Smith, MLB Senior Vice President, Licensing. “Our merchandise partners and clubs have teamed with Major League Baseball for offerings that will be popular with our fans, and Majestic continues to build upon this commitment through our over 25-year partnership”

Further details pertaining to the in-stadium retail promotions can be found at each stadium’s Team Store. Additionally, as part of the Commissioner’s Fan Initiative, Major League Baseball has unveiled the Fan Value Corner on MLB.com, which displays the numerous ticket and event promotions available to fans in addition to the opportunities highlighted above.

(See Affordable Ticket Option details here on The Biz of Baseball, as well)

Source: Major League Baseball, Majestic Athletic


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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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