SBD/18/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

MLB SET TO LAUNCH MARKETING CAMPAIGN THIS WEEK

     MLB heard pitches last week from ad agencies looking to
create its "return of baseball" campaign, according to the
current issue of AD AGE.  At least three agencies are bidding,
including Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco.  A
"Let's Play Ball" theme was developed by Partners & Shevack
during the replacement spring training (ADVERTISING AGE, 4/17
issue).  Sources tell THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY that MLB will
announce its new marketing campaign on Wednesday, but that the
campaign's theme will not be "Let's Play Ball" (THE DAILY).
     AROUND THE LEAGUE:  The Marlins launch a new TV ad campaign
April 21.  The new 15- and 30-second ads feature comic Gary
Valentine playing a fan in a Marlins uniform, who, in an empty
stadium, plays out different fantasies -- from being a play-by-
play announcer to a player who catches a ball against the foul
wall.  The tagline:  "You Gotta Be There.  Marlins" (Alina Matas,
MIAMI HERALD, 4/17).  "Entertainment Tonight" examined the push
to win back baseball fans.  Media analyst Paul Schulman, on wary
fans:  "If their team wins two in a row they're going to be
excited and they'll be right back there."  Clips of the Marlins
spot and a Twins ad featuring manager Tom Kelly getting some
psychotherapy were shown ("ET," 4/16).
     WORRIES?  TBS ran a special last night entitled "Baseball's
Back," with a segment on the business aspect. Timothy Mueller,
sports consultant at KPMG Peat Marwick:  "We're still faced with
a situation where we don't have a contract, we don't have a new
economic environment."  Brandon Steiner, Steiner Sports
Marketing:  "Corporate America doesn't wait around.  They find
other avenues and they go different directions and they have.
You will not see corporate America back this summer and maybe not
even through the season."  Former MLBP President Richard White:
"The concern we had with baseball when I was there, and one that
continues, is that baseball's audience is aging.  It's not an
attractive audience for advertisers for people who deal with
consumers at large.  It is by and large, an audience that's 35+
and that has the entire industry greatly concerned."  ABC's Al
Michaels called MLB's $1B CBS deal "a blessing and a curse.  It
brought baseball a lot of money for a particular period of time
and then all of a sudden everybody took a look at the ratings and
where baseball was and that money wasn't there any more" (TBS,
4/17).
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