SBD/Issue 103/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes

The White Sox’ new ad campaign tagged “Back to the Grind” includes print, TV, radio and outdoors ads, via Two by Four, Chicago, that are “intended to remind fans of what got the team to the World Series in 2005: The players’ collective, unrelenting hard work ethic.” In one outdoor ad, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen “will talk about the team being on ‘a mission from Guillen.’” White Sox VP/Marketing Brooks Boyer said that the campaign “probably will include a number of the players who were on the 2005 World Series team” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/16). The team also has an ad touting “The Southside Chicago Board of Tourism” that “pokes fun at [North Siders’] misconceptions about the area.” Boyer said that more than 90% of last season’s record 21,000-plus season-ticket holders have renewed (DAILY SOUTHTOWN, 2/16).

Howard Gives Phillies Fans
“Goosebumps” In New Ads
PHILLIES: The Phillies’ ad campaign this season is tagged “Goosebumps” and has TV spots featuring a number of players including 1B Ryan Howard, SS Jimmy Rollins, P Brett Myers, 2B Chase Utley, manager Charlie Manuel and others. The ads were created by Philadelphia-based bubble, Rubberband and NFL Films. The campaign will continue through March and April with outdoor, Internet, radio and TV ads (MLB.com, 2/15).

MARLINS: Marlins 3B Miguel Cabrera, who was criticized by Marlins execs after missing last week’s Fan Fest, said, “I had a family commitment with my father [related to his health]. They called me the week before, and I couldn’t cancel that engagement. ... They were told I had a family matter, but I think they took it another way.” Cabrera denied his pending arbitration hearing “had anything to do with” the absence. In Ft. Lauderdale, Juan Rodriguez writes the Marlins “never heard from Cabrera or his representative, SFX agent Fernando Cuza, about a prior obligation with his father” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 2/16).

Matsuzaka’s First Press Conference
Draws Large Japanese Press Contingent
JAPANESE FANFARE: Red Sox P Daisuke Matsuzaka’s press conference Thursday at the team’s Spring Training facility was beamed live to Japan, where it was 7:00am local time. Sixteen fixed-position cameras covered the event, “as did close to 100 Japanese media members.” There were also nine satellite trucks (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/16)....Two dozen reporters covered the first day of Spring Training for P Masumi Kuwata, a 38-year-old veteran of the Japanese Central League who signed a minor league contract with the Pirates (TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 2/16).

BREWERS: FSN North, which owns exclusive rights to Brewers telecasts, reached an agreement with News Corp.-owned WMLW-Ind to air 15 regular-season games and one Spring Training game over the air. FSN will produce the slate, which will be simulcast on FSN North outside of the Milwaukee market. The last time the team’s games were on over-the-air TV was ’03. The Brewers have 140 games on TV this season, the most in club history (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 2/16).

NOTES: Orange County Superior Court Judge Jonathan Cannon, who dismissed a discrimination lawsuit against the Angels over a Mother’s Day tote bag giveaway in ’05, threw out a countersuit by the team and one of its sponsors seeking to recoup $500,000 in legal fees (L.A. TIMES, 2/16)....Nationals President Stan Kasten said that former Nationals manager Frank Robinson “declined an offer to be honored by the club during a game this May.” Team officials “hold out hope that Robinson will reconsider” (WASHINGTON POST, 2/16).

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