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MLB ADDS WAL-MART TO ITS ALL-STAR FAN BALLOTING PROGRAM
Published April 14, 1998
MLB has expanded its All-Star Game fan balloting program while adding a retail partner "on every marketer's hit list: Wal-Mart," according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK. Also included in the program are Pizza Hut and CompUSA. MLB will distribute a record 70 million ballots (up from 60 million last year) between May 2 and June 21. Wal-Mart will distribute 20 million at 2,200 of its locations; CompUSA will handle 30 million inside MLB parks and 2 million in its 156 stores; and Pepsi will distribute 18 million at Pizza Hut's 4,500 units. Lefton reports that Wal-Mart, "which sells around 10% of MLB's domestic licensed merchandise, will buttress its balloting with front-of-store displays for licensed apparel, trading cards, videogames and Pepsi products." MLB VP/Corporate Sponsorships Tom Worcester: "Everyone wants Wal-Mart. But, in the first year, anything is a test and operational details are important to anyone with that many locations" (BRANDWEEK, 4/13 issue). VIDEO: BRANDWEEK's T.L. Stanley reports that Polygram plans a $5M "overhaul" of marketing, packaging and promos for the MLB video line after acquiring it earlier this year. The relaunch will begin in May with two new releases, "and will develop new music-driven titles" targeting younger demos (T.L. Stanley, BRANDWEEK, 4/13 issue).