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BASEBALL'S NATIONAL CAMPAIGN: "WELCOME TO THE SHOW"
Published April 20, 1995
MLB will announce its new ad campaign today with the tagline: "Welcome to The Show." The campaign is a "bold effort to reposition the strike-battered sport as likable," according to the WALL STREET JOURNAL's John Helyar. The 30-second national TV ads will feature such "emblematic figures" as a Giants' hot dog maker, the Rangers' organist and a lucky apartment dweller who has a view of Wrigley Field. Rather than the "usual worshipful celebration of the game's past, the campaign is a savoring of baseball's quirky everyday pleasures." Jeffrey Goodby, whose Goodby, Silverstein & Partners agency created the campaign: "Our job is to remind people of what's good about the game, remind them about the whole experience of the game and why it's No. 1 in your heart." Helyar notes that MLB passed over a host of big ad agencies in favor of Goodby Silverstein, a San Francisco-based firm with a "strong creative reputation." The agency has also done ads in the past for the Giants and A's. Expos Owner Claude Brochu, who headed the committee that picked the campaign: "It recognizes the uniqueness of baseball but doesn't take itself seriously." No current players are featured in the first round of ads, but eccentric former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee does appear. As the season begins, more and more current players will be incorporated. The first two ads should be ready for baseball's first regular season national telecast on ESPN. The ads will also appear on ABC & NBC regularly -- the two networks that make up The Baseball Network. Topps Inc. has also agreed to incorporate "The Show" into some of their new merchandise (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/20). IMPLEMENTATION: MLB is shipping thousands of bumper stickers and badges emblazoned with "Welcome to The Show" for teams to hand out at games. The total budget for MLB's campaign is estimated between $10-15M (USA TODAY, 4/20). Interviewed during last night's ESPN game, NL President Leonard Coleman called for a "Marshall Plan" for baseball: "We have got to reach out and touch all segments of the society. Baseball has been a great game because it has been able to transcend the playing field" (ESPN, 4/19).