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BASEBALL'S BACK: HOW MANY WAYS CAN THEY SAY WE'RE SORRY?
Published April 20, 1995
Today, MLB releases its league-wide marketing strategy designed to lure fans back after the strike. But an exclusive survey by THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY of all 28 MLB teams shows that local ad campaigns of varying themes are already under way. Below are summaries of each team: ANGELS: A print ad campaign which is an open "goodwill" letter to fans thanking them for their loyalty, support and patience. During the season, there will be a TV campaign featuring fans and players alike asking for viewers to get more involved with the team. The slogan: "California Angels ... My Team!" ASTROS: Print/radio/TV ads have run with a "Play Ball" theme, but the main campaign will center around a "remember what you love about the game" idea. A'S: Print/radio/TV ads stress their $1 special discount prices for children 14 and under. A follow-up campaign will focus on players, fans and the fun of baseball while stressing team promotions. BLUE JAYS: Both print and broadcast advertising. Slogan: "Year of the Fan." BRAVES: TBS promos stress Braves baseball as "the best game in town, with the best seats in the house" either at the stadium or at home. TBS is using Braves players for 15-second spots. BREWERS: TV ads featuring their broadcaster Bob Uecker. Slogan: "Get Up, Get Up, Get Out Here!" No print ads now, but, the team is featuring "huge" banners that say "Celebrate Baseball" at entries of the parking lots. CARDINALS: An extensive print campaign around the slogan of "Let's Play Ball" ran during the replacement period, with TV ads highlighting team history and former Cardinal greats. They are in the process of forming a new campaign, and a decision is expected early next week. CUBS: The Cubs shot six commercials with former Cubs Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo, and current Cub Mark Grace, and new leadership -- manager Jim Riggleman, President Andy McPhail, and GM Ed Lynch. The message, according to a Cubs spokesperson, is "We are working on it" -- meaning bringing a winner to the city. A print campaign is yet to be finalized. Radio spots will focus on Harry Caray and the Wrigley Field experience. DODGERS: During replacement baseball, the Dodgers ran TV & print ads focusing on the Dodger Stadium experience. With the return of major leaguers, the theme has been altered to include an emphasis on their three consecutive Rookies of the Year: Karros, Piazza and Mondesi. EXPOS: Print ads in local papers promoting the team and its ticket policy. They are in the planning stages for a second ad campaign focusing on their players. GIANTS: Radio/TV/print campaign focuses on "Baker's Dozen" -- a plan that allows fans to buy tickets for 12 games and get the 13th for free, with priority for post-season tickets. Beginning Sunday, ads will focus on the first homestand and the promotions during that week. INDIANS: Nothing at this time, but they are waiting to see what MLB does with their campaign. MARINERS: Two print and broadcast campaigns -- one focuses around the theme of the Ken Burns' "Baseball," and the other with the theme of "Play Ball." The "Play Ball" campaign will only run through the end of May. MARLINS: The Marlins and their advertising agency are running a fan-focused campaign, targeting families with an emphasis on the return of the game. Their slogan is "You Gotta Be There," and ads are running on radio, print and TV. Ads may feature Marlin players in a later campaign. METS: Print ads center on themes of "We Missed You" and "Here Is What We Are Doing For You." The print-only campaign stresses reduced ticket prices. ORIOLES: No print or broadcast ads at this time. They may decide to run something closer to opening day. PADRES: Ads with the slogan "We Want You Back!" on print, TV and radio. The theme will continue through the season with various promotional tags. Throughout the year, the team will always be referred to as the "New Padres." The opening day promotion is a "welcome home party" for the San Diego Chicken who has not appeared in six years. PHILLIES: The Phillies are celebrating their 25th anniversary, and many of their promotions will focus on that theme. Their advertising buy is radio-heavy, stressing "price, players and promotions." They will also run the 25th anniversary ads during games broadcasts. PIRATES: The Pirates ran an "awareness campaign" during replacement baseball and will run print, radio, and TV ads in preseason stressing the experience of going to the ballpark. No plans to use their players in these ads. RANGERS: Print and broadcast ad campaign with the slogan "Baseball's Back at The Ballpark." REDS: Print and TV campaign with the slogan: "The Reds Are Alive in '95." The team will continue with these ads for the better part of the season. RED SOX: They are continuing with their "Friendly Fenway. Great Times For Everyone" theme on print/radio/TV. The team will debut a new tagline soon: "Fielding New Dreams." Players will appear in later ads. ROCKIES: Print and radio ads that started in March have sold the experience of being at the ballpark. The team ran four ads, including one on Coors Field and how it was built, the experience of entering a ballpark for the first time, and catching a foul ball. The ads were designed to "give a warm feeling about baseball" while stressing the new Coors Field. A mid-March to Mid-April TV campaign on the new ballpark will be rerun later this week. ROYALS: TV and radio ads with a possibility of print ads later. Slogan: "Royals Baseball. Bring It On!" TIGERS: The Tigers have run ads with a "There is no place like home" slogan since the beginning of the year, and have no plans to change that strategy. The ads, running in both print and radio, emphasize the ballpark experience. TWINS: The team ran half-page print ad promoting half-price tickets for their first home series. Slogan: "Twins Baseball, A Family Tradition." WHITE SOX: The White Sox claim that they spent most of their ad budget advertising budget during the strike and say they have no plans to run ads at this point. YANKEES: The Yankees will introduce a special ticket offer in conjunction with the New York Daily News beginning on April 30. The campaign will be launched in Sunday's edition focusing on "legendary baseball in Yankee Stadium."